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Ten Ways to Celebrate Diversity During the Holidays

By Samantha Stinchcomb
 | Dec 14, 2017

shutterstock_210167587_x300The holiday season is a great time for educators and students to explore how different cultures express their values, beliefs, and customs. Celebrating classroom diversity, especially around the holidays, helps students to build an understanding and awareness of other cultural practices and to reflect on their own. Following is a list of 10 ways to embrace this time of a year in a culturally responsive manner:

  • Encourage students to bring in a dish related to a holiday they celebrate. Ask them to write a recipe card to share with the class.
  • Discuss similarities between different holidays. For example, many traditions incorporate the motif of light. Ask students to research the cultural significance of these themes.
  • Invite students to create their own holiday. This allows them to contemplate what values and customs are most meaningful to them.
  • Connect globally. Contact schools in other countries ahead of time to establish a relationship and form pen pals so students can share traditions around the world.
  • Stock your classroom library with books that introduce students to different end-of-year celebrations across the world. Check out this list of multicultural titles for ideas.
  • Incorporate a geography and history lesson. Teach students about the origins of modern-day holiday traditions.
  • Follow this lesson plan that introduces students to five different countries and the winter holidays they celebrate.
  • Ask students to create a Venn diagram comparing their winter traditions to those of their classmates.
  • Present students with the writing prompt: If you could give a gift to everyone in the world, what would it be?
  • Visit TeacherVision’s list of “Diversity Resources for Holidays” for printable worksheets, activities, and crafts that enhance students' understanding of the various holidays different from their own.
Samantha Stinchcomb is an intern at the International Literacy Association.

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