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Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy ChristmaHanaKwanazaa!

Last week we started gearing up for the winter holidays. As a class we researched Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. We spent a lot of time reading informational text which is a BIG standard in California for 5th grade and obviously important with Common Core, too! (Getting ready for our school's official switch next year!:) )

Here are some fun resources we used to find out about the history, symbols and traditions of each holiday.

Children Just Like Me: Celebrations!

Love, love, love this book! 

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Kwanzaa: With Candles, Community, and the Fruits of the Harvest   [HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD CELE] [Paperback]

I just picked up this book and the photographs are amazing! 

Okay so my kids are a little old for Elmo's world but sometimes he does a better job at explaining things then I can. We watched a clip about Hanukkah from Elmo's holiday special. It really helps to have the students wee children actually celebrating each holiday. 

As we read and researched, the kids practiced taking notes. They looked for connections between the holidays we studies. 

We turned those notes into these quick little foldables.

 Each holiday foldable was divided in to four sections: history, symbols, traditions and  connections to other holidays. 

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I had originally wanted to add a larger writing component to this mini unit but the week just went by too quickly. Plus, I think the kids really enjoyed being able to show their understanding of the content without having a formal writing assessment.

 How do you teach about different holidays in the classroom? 

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