Celebrating Holidays Around The World

Here are a 5 lessons designed to teach students about different holidays around the world, including Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa while incorporating core subjects including math, science, language arts, and social studies.

I teach one lesson per day, starting on Monday. Throughout the week, students learn about the many different celebrations going on around the world and create festive crafts for many different holidays.

Each lesson is designed to take up about an hour of time, 30 minuted for the large group/ reading activity, and 30 minutes for the craft.  It may take you more or less time to actually complete each lesson.  I hope you enjoy these and let me know what you think!

Lesson 1: Celebrating Christmas, Journaling

Objectives:  Students will use scribbles, shapes, pictures, and letters to represent objects, stories, experiences, or ideas.  Students will copy, trace, or independently write letters or words (Colorado Standards: Literacy Knowledge & Skills 5.3, 5.4)

Materials: Book: Celebrate Christmas, Book: Santa Claus, Journals/ Writing paper, Pencils, Colored pencils

Procedure: Read Book: Celebrate Christmas. Ask: What are some things that might be under a christmas tree?  Gifts, Presents, Toys.  Today we will be writing about some things that we might find under a christmas tree.

Write students suggestions on the whiteboard. Students work on journals at tables, drawing a picture of a gift that might be under a Christmas tree, using the writing prompt, “Under the Christmas Tree, there is  _________.”

Assessment:  Objectives will be met if students are able to write the first and last letter of the words they are writing, and pictures have at least 3 colors and details.


Lesson 2: Celebrating Kwanzaa and Weaving Patterned Mats


Source: MrsRichardsonsClass.com

Subject Math

Objectives: Students will create patterns through the repetition of a unit (Colorado Standards: Math Knowledge And Skills 4.3)

Materials: Book: Celebrating Kwanzaa, Black red and green construction paper – prepared for weaving

Procedure:  Read Book: Celebrating Kwanzaa, Have a discussion about traditions associated with Kwanzaa, such as the mat, or mkeke.  Why do people celebrate Kwanzaa.  

Model how to make the Kwanzaa mat.  Students go to tables and get busy making their own Kwanza mats

Assessment:  The standards will have been met when students are able create a pattern by alternating the red and green strips of paper as they create their mats.

Large Motor Connection Activity: Kwanzaa Colors Jump Game

Resources: Kwanzaa Activities by Mrs Richardson


Lesson 3: 

Celebrating Ramadan and Learning About Cycles of the Moon


Source: Adventure-in-a-Box.com

Objectives: Students will identify patterns based on representations of objects in the sky. Vocab: Crescent Moon, Full Moon, New Moon (Colorado Standards: Science and Knowledge Skills 2.4)

Materials: Book: Celebrating Ramadan, Crescent shape outlined with marker on paper plates or card stock, buttons, sequins, glue, scissors.

Procedure:  Say, “Ramadan is celebrated at a certain time in the year when the moon looks like a crescent.  The moon has phases and what it looks like changes over time.”

Show pictures of a full moon, crescent moon, and new moon and talk about what it looks like when it is in different phases.

Today we will create a crescent moon craft. Students cut out the moon shape and teachers punch a hole in the top.  Students glue buttons and sequins onto the paper moon and let dry.  Tie a string in a loop through the hole in the top.

Assessment:  Objectives will be met when students are able to identify that there are different phases of the moon.


Adventure-In-a-Box.com – Moon Button Collage

SimplyDesigning.net – Button Art Ideas for Kids


Lesson 4: Celebrating Diwali and Making Festive Candle HoldersSalt Dough Candle Holders Image

Objectives:  Students will ask and answer questions and make comments about print materials (Colorado Standards:  Literacy Knowledge & Skills 1.3)

Materials:  Book: Celebrating Diwali, Salt Doh (see recipe below) or Air-Dry Clay, Sequins, Glitter, Gemstones, Cabochons, Glitter Glue.

Procedure: Read Book: Celebrating Diwali.  Review some of the important things that are celebrated for Diwali.  Write students answers on the whiteboard.

Today we will be making special candle holders, similar to the candle holders used during Diwali celebrations.  Students got to tables and create candle holders out of salt dough, then decorate them with the rhinestones, sequins, and other craft materials provided.  Let dry for 2 days before taking home.

Colored Salt Dough Candle HoldersAssessment:  Standards will have been met when students answer questions based on the book, Celebrating Diwali

*Salt Dough Recipe: 1 cup Salt, 1 cup flour, ½ cup water. Bake at 100F or 200F for 1 Hour or Air dry for 2 days








Lesson 5: Celebrating Hanukkah

Standards: Social Studies Knowledge & Skills 1.2

popsicle stick and tissue paper star craft

Source: RedTedArt.com

Objectives: Students will understand similarities and respect differences among people

Materials: Blue Tissue Paper, Popsicle stick stars (prepared before the lesson) watered-down glue

Procedure:  Read Book: Celebrating Hanukkah.  Talk about some of the objects and symbols used in celebrating  Hanukkah, dreidel, menorah, Jewish star/ star of david which is a symbol of the Hanukkah celebration.  Explain to students how to make the star of David craft.

Students go to tables and create the Star of David craft.

Assessment:  Objectives will be met when students discuss some of the traditions people take part in for Hanukkah




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