Create a Holiday

Author: Nan Ray
Lesson Plan:

TITLE: Create Your Own Holiday: What Will It Be?

PURPOSE:
Look deeper into the art and orchestration of celebrations. This lesson plan encourages children to reflect on their individual and family celebrations as well as how,what,when, why of celebrations of others. Imagination, creativity, research, planning, presentation and implementation are part of this create-your-own-holiday celebration lesson. History, social studies, cultural traditions, religion, and multi-cultural considerations should be contemplated with this lesson plan. 

MATERIALS NEEDED:

For the students:

↵ Access to holiday books, celebration materials, internet access, banner and art supplies.

↵ Classroom set of People Holding Hands® TRACE, GAIL, JESSIE, and CONNIE; one set per group of 4, one character for each student to actively participate in a presentation of their NEW celebration.

↵ Paper, pencils or pens for each group.

ACTIVITY:

BEFORE YOU START THE LESSON:

Take the time to discuss one traditional holiday. For example - Thanksgiving.

List the characteristics of that holiday on the board:

Name: Thanksgiving Day
Date This Year:
Colors: Fall colors: yellow, orange,red, brown, black
Symbols: Turkey, pilgrims, etc.
Songs and Sayings:
Foods:
Tradition:
How this holiday started:
Why this holiday exists today:

1. Introduce the People Holding Hands® characters to the class. Remind the students that each of the characters are varied cultural characters and the NEW celebration they create needs to incorporate ideas, activities, and interests of varied cultures that can be enjoyed by ALL people.

2. BRAINSTORM CELEBRATION IDEAS - PICK ONE

3. Divide the class into groups of 4.

4. AFTER the class has decided on their new holiday, named their holiday, and set a celebration date, give each group a celebration characteristic or task (i.e. colors, songs, instruments, food, activities, etc.). The group must clearly identify and present, with the multicultural PEOPLE HOLDING HANDS® characters, their "celebration category/part" in character theater format, with each participant having a significant role and speaking part.

Below is an itemized list of group responsibilities that may help your groups organize their brainstorming ideas, research and presentation:

  • Identify your groups celebration characteristic/task.
  • Clearly identify what your group is suppose to accomplish and verbalize your responsibilities at the beginning of your presentation.
     
  • Among your group, discuss options and ideas for your task, including as many of the who, what, where and why answers you can for your task or celebration characteristic. Including WHY you chose something may offer be fun and funny!
     
  • Make an itemized list of your groups decisions.
     
  • Incorporate your decisions into a theater play scenario.
     
  • WRITE THE SCRIPT (for younger learners ask them to write words to remember what they will say when they utilize the puppet characters to present their portion of the celebration decisions.)
    REMEMBER, each group member must participate in the presentation.
     
  • Practice your presentation. Know YOUR portion of the task or characteristic so that any questions directed your way can clearly be answered.

    **The scripts can be the conversation the group had about WHY they chose their ideas, or presentation of their ideas, or other...be creative with the scripts. (GREAT way to get reading practice in too!)

    TIME FOR THE PRESENTATIONS - OUR NEW HOLIDAY CELEBRATION, by (your group name here!)

    The teacher or leader will introduce the class's NEW celebration. Then, each group will be invited to share their portion of the planning and decision making to the class.

    REMINDER; be open to ideas and enjoy what each group puts together. Watch how it all falls into place...or falls apart! Either way is VERY fun..

    AFTER each presentation, ask your entire group if they have questions or comments about the presentation group's decisions.

    FINALLY - DISCUSS ALL!

    Ask the entire group if the celebration they came up with is something they would enjoy participating in!

    Ask the students if they felt these items were considered and included in their decisions:
     

  • Was there something for everyone to enjoy in the final celebration; young and old, foreign language speakers, different religions, etc.
     
  • Was this task hard or easy?
     
  • Do you think that it would be hard for people, outside of your classroom, to understand what your NEW celebration was all about?
     
  • What would you all do differently next time in planning and preparing for your celebration? The same?
     
  • How do you think other people could be informed to JOIN YOU in celebrating your NEW day. Is there a way celebrations come into being? Who decides? Want to take your group's ideas further? How would you do this?

    (NOTE: This lesson plan can be "tweeked" for early learners. A GREAT lesson plan for 5th graders to perform for their "Kinder Buddies" or reading pals. The leader or teacher will want to list 'guidelines' for the students PRIOR TO their planning; religion, age, etc. Excellent lesson plan for incorporating historical study, geographical influences, multicultural peoples, organization, task management, complexity vs. simplicity, social skills, inclusion, etc.)

    Here is "starter" idea for your student's scripts:

    JESSE CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL CANARY DAY - You're Invited!

    JESSE: Hi everyone! Would you all like to celebrate CANARY DAY with me?

    GAIL, TRACE, CONNIE: (All together) YES! We would love to!

    GAIL: But hey, JESSIE, what is CANARY DAY? I've never heard of that before.

    CONNIE: Well, do we have to wear BIRD costumes - dress all in yellow?

    TRACE: .....your script here......
    _________________________________________This lesson plan offered by http://www.PeopleHoldingHands.com  Dedicated to providing classroom materials that will open the discussion about race, diversity, and appreciation of ALL people!

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