Overview: After learning about international holidays, students work as a group or class to create a picture book with terms related to a holiday from another culture.
Subject: Social Studies: Holidays, Cultural & Social Studies; ELA: Writing
Grades: 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Duration: 2 hours
Related Concepts: Celebrations, Cultures, Creative Thinking, Categorization
Students will be able to:
Demonstrate their knowledge of an international holiday by creating an ABC picture book that includes one fact about the celebration for every letter of the alphabet, as well as illustrations.
Essential Questions: What holidays do people in another country celebrate? How are other cultures' celebrations similar to and different from my own?
Vocabulary: holiday, celebrate, customs, family
Common Core Standards Addressed:
- ELA: Writing
- W.2.2, 7
- W.3.2, 7
- W.4.2, 7
- ELA: Speaking & Listening
- SL.2.1, 2
- SL.3.1, 2
- SL.4.1, 2
- ELA: Language
Book about a variety of international holidays (such as Kids Around the World Celebrate!: The Best Feasts and Festivals from Many Lands)
Markers, crayons or colored pencils
Front and back cover material
Book binding method (brass fasteners, string, staples, etc.)
Writing paper with lines for printing on the lower portion and a blank area for illustration on the upper portion
Optional encyclopedia or other reference books with information about multicultural holidays
- Internet access
- Student computers/devices
- Projection equipment
Do some preliminary research online and/or in available source books to locate relevant information about international holidays.
Ask students which holidays they can list and what traditions their families follow that are related to their favorite holidays. Tell students that people in other countries celebrate some of the same holidays in the same ways, while they may also celebrate different holidays or in different ways.
Read a children's book such as Kids Around the World Celebrate!: The Best Feasts and Festivals from Many Lands. Watch a video about multicultural holiday traditions.
Tell students they will be making their own holiday books based on the theme "Everyone celebrates holidays." As a class, make notes about what to say on the first few pages that address the topic and any other big ideas that you want the students to focus on in their books.
After plotting out the introductory section of the book, lead the class discussion to a decision about what holidays to address in the rest of the book. Children could choose to focus on one familiar holiday, such as Christmas, or might prefer to sample a variety of celebrations from other cultures. Model the process of doing research in front of the students by looking up references in an encyclopedia or on the Internet, finding relevant points in the book read in the opening, and so forth.
Have students create a sentence for each page in their book in draft form.
Create a blank book for each student with a cover and back cover.
Pass out the prepared blank books. Display the title on the classroom display and have the students copy it or create their own alternative appropriate title in large print. Have students put an alphabet letter on each page of their books, then write a word or sentence beginning with that letter on the page. Allow time for each to add personalized illustrations.
Make arrangements for students to share their books with students in other classes or younger grades.
- Check student work to make sure they copied the text correctly and in good form. Check to see if illustrations are related to the concept on the page.
Provide some or all preprinted pages to students who are not yet ready to copy the text from the display.
Allow more advanced students to work as a group on a culture they do not celebrate in their family, and to conduct their own research from appropriate sources to produce a different book from the rest of the class.
With their permission, have students from different cultural backgrounds give short presentations about a holiday from their culture.
Provide additional practice with printing for struggling students.