Here are a few ideas for alternatives to traditional winter holiday parties.
- Winter solstice luncheon. Have a class feast on (or close to) the day of the winter solstice. Families contribute a traditional family dish, from the winter holiday season or not. (Be sure families know your school’s food restriction policies.) The class then sits down to a family-style buffet luncheon, sampling dishes from different families and cultures.
- Family game and story fest. My colleague Margaret Berry Wilson has had students share a game, story, or tradition from their family’s celebration of a holiday, again from any season. Chinese yo-yo’ing, variations on the Go Fish card game, versions of fairy tales from around the world—expect a delightful variety of activities!
- Poetry pajama party. This one’s been a favorite of classes I’ve taught. Students come to school in PJs and read poetry to each other or quietly by themselves. It can be poetry about winter or a holiday from any time of year, or a holiday from anywhere in the world. If you time it right, this could also double as the culmination of a poetry-writing unit.
All these ideas lend themselves to curricular connections. Depending on their grade, students can write about the dishes and games they brought from home, or practice speaking about them with classmates. A solstice luncheon can tie in with studies of the seasons for young children and the solar system for older students. A poetry party reinforces literacy learning. And of course, inviting children to share family foods and traditions teaches the class the important social skills of inclusiveness and honoring all members of their community.
Have you got ideas for inclusive holiday celebrations? Please share here in the comments—or add to the thread started last week on this topic on the Responsive Classroom Facebook page!
December 6, 2010, Responsive Classroom Blog, Original Link: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/blog/holiday-celebrations
Mike Anderson is an education consultant, award-winning teacher, and author of many books including What We Say and How We Say It Matter, The Well-Balanced Teacher, The First Six Weeks of School, The Research-Ready Classroom, and Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn. Learn more about Mike and his work or invite him to work with your school or district through his website: www.leadinggreatlearning.com. Connect with Mike on Twitter: @balancedteacher.