In our multicultural and diverse society, teachers can no longer assume that all students and their families celebrate the same holidays in the same ways. Instead of making students feel left out by traditional holiday celebrations, try inclusive activities that are also educational. The idea we’re sharing in this blog can really help students get to know more about their classmates. Even if the students share cultural backgrounds, learning how other families celebrate and hold traditions can expose students to different ways of doing things. Expanding their minds like this helps them be more open to other people and experiences in the future. Here’s how to set up this activity:
Have students work with partners. We suggest having them paired by the teacher or using a random pairing method so they learn about someone they may not already be good friends with. Students will ask each other questions like:
Remind students that they can discuss any holiday they’d like—winter holidays, birthdays, Fourth of July—whatever holiday is most meaningful and fun to discuss
After students have interviewed each other, they’ll write a report or story about what they learned from their classmate. They should craft the story using details from the interview. If they need to ask additional question during drafting, they should.
Have the students create an image to accompany the story or report. They can find the picture online or they can create it themselves.
Have students add a multimedia component to the story. The can transfer the story to a slideshow and add photos on each page. They can link to a song or video that represents an idea in the story. Or they can create a video or take photos themselves to add to the project.
Have the partners pair up again and present the stories to each other. The partners can take home the presentations created by their friends to share with their families on that holiday. Students should present the stories to the class so that everyone can hear about the unique traditions of their classmates.
How do you celebrate diversity during the holidays? We’d love to get some suggestions from you in the comments!