HAPPY HAPPY AND IMPORTANT HOLIDAYS!
My classes are always composed of wonderful people from all over the world - many different countries, different religions.
Over the years I have found a way to celebrate in December that brings us all together to learn and share.
I list the holidays that are on the Toronto District School Board list as being days of significance - and the students sign up for a holiday (sometimes in pairs, depends on the level and the numbers) The proviso is that they cannot sign up for a holiday they celebrate themselves! (great confusion in the beginning about this!)
I then give them a worksheet with questions: What is the holiday? When is it? Who celebrates it? What is the background to the holiday (history, origin, intent)? What special customs are associated with it, e.g. traditions, clothes)? Any special foods? Is fire or light a part of the holiday?
For the lower levels I usually provide readings from various sources (Holidays we celebrate? When's the next holiday? The internet. )For higher levels (last year, and this year) I have them find their own resources. (But I help them if they are having problems.)
They write up their findings and then we make a wall display (I like the linear one so that is what we will do this year. I prepare a HUGE wallchart. Each "field" has its own size and colour. Each student (or pair) gets a set of sized papers. They fill in the information, decorate if they like, and then we assemble them all together. ) Then we talk about the information. Then we have a potluck!
For my classroom I have collected symbols from different religions and we put them up along with greenery and decorations with nature and toy themes...
(Note - which holidays are included sometimes depends on the composition of the class. For anyone wanting to do this I suggest checking with your school board, or management as they may have policies in place that would not tie in with this.)