For the month of December 2011 here is a list of some of the religious/ethnic holidays:
Dec. 5 Ashura, Islamic/Muslim
6 St. Nicholas Day, International
8 Bodhi Day, Buddhist
12 Virgin of Guadalupa, Mexico
13 Santa Lucia Day, Sweden
16-25 Las Posadas, Mexico
21-28 Hanukkah, Jewish
25 Christmas, Christians, Roman Catholics, International
26-Jan. 1 Kwanzaa, African Americans
What should happen in the classroom during this holiday season?
Some teachers select several different holidays to teach about religious/ethnic traditions. Other teachers just share holiday traditions for one or two religions/ethnic groups. Another approach would to be to ask for parent volunteers to teach their religious/ethnic holiday traditions. An another approach might be to do nothing at all.
I've done it all. For me, I found the best approach was to ask for parent volunteers to come in and do a 30-40 minute presentation. If I didn't know the parent well, I would ask them to share with me their lesson plan in advance. In this way, I could help them with appropriateness for the age group and timing. The parents were always well prepared. It would be an amazing lesson and better than what I would have done.
There would be years when only one parent would come in and I would need to teach 1-2 more holidays. Then other years there might be 3 different parents who would come in to share 3 different holidays. If no one volunteered then I would teach Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, or a holiday that reflected the population in my class.
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