Teaching Students About December
December is a month filled with excitement and anticipation for students. It’s a time of year when they can look forward to winter break, sparkling holiday decorations, and festive celebrations. However, December is more than just holiday cheer; it’s an excellent opportunity to explore various educational topics and incorporate cultural learning into the classroom. This article will discuss how educators can teach students about December in a way that captures both the excitement of the season and imparts valuable knowledge.
One way to teach students about December is to highlight its diverse array of cultural celebrations from around the world. Discussing various holiday traditions such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali allows students to broaden their understanding of world cultures and learn about religious and social customs beyond their own backgrounds. Teachers can invite guest speakers from different religious and ethnic communities to share stories of their own holiday traditions or create a multicultural fair where students can explore various cultural elements like food, music, and art.
In addition to cultural explorations, December also presents natural phenomena that offer intriguing science-based learning experiences. The winter solstice (typically occurring on December 21st) provides an opportunity for teachers to discuss Earth’s rotation and axial tilt while engaging students in activities related to the solstice such as candle-making or sundial construction. Furthermore, weather-related topics like snow formation or seasonal bird migration could also be studied during this chilly month.
December has been a witness to numerous significant historical events that can be incorporated into classroom lessons. For instance, teachers may choose to examine events like Pearl Harbor (December 7th), Rosa Parks’ bus boycott (December 1st), or the signing of the Declaration of Independence (December 26th). Studying these historical events encourages students to appreciate the importance of remembrance and the impact of past events on our present lives.
Incorporating Arts and Literature:
December is a time when many seasonal stories, songs, and poems can be incorporated into classroom activities. From well-known classics like “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nutcracker” to less prevalent, yet still meaningful works like “The Snowy Day” or “Owl Moon”, there is no shortage of festive literature available for all age groups. Teachers can also encourage students to create their own seasonal stories or poems. Art projects could include making holiday cards, drawing winter landscapes, or even creating a class mural depicting various winter scenes.
Teaching students about December offers a unique opportunity to combine festive cheer with fruitful learning experiences. By exploring diverse cultural celebrations, discussing science-related phenomena, examining historical events, and incorporating arts and literature into classroom activities, educators can create an engaging and dynamic learning environment during this exciting time of year. After all, the best gift we can offer our students is the gift of knowledge – knowledge that stays with them long after the holiday season has passed.