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Social Studies - Kindergarten
Standard 1 Objective 1
Students learn about multicultural holidays celebrated in winter: Hanukkah, St. Lucia Day, Las Posadas, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year.
St. Lucia Day
Chinese New Year
Eight Nights of Hanukkah, by Judy Nayer; ISBN 0-439-69383-7
Eight Lights for Eight Nights, by Debbi Herman & Ann Koffsky; ISBN 10: 0764126008
Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli; ISBN 10: 0060094699
D is for Dreidel, by Tanya Lee Stone; ISBN 10:0843145765
The Colors of my Jewish Year, by Mari Gold-Vukson; ISBN 10:1580130119
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes, by Linda Glaser; ISBN 10:0807508
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblin, by Eric A. Kimmel; ISBN 10:0823411311
The Seven Days of Kwanzaa, by Melrose Cooper; ISBN 978-0439-5746-6
Together for Kwanzaa, by Juwanda G. Ford; ISBN 0-439-82959-3
A Kwanzaa Miracle, by Sharon Shavers Gayle; ISBN 0-439-69003-X
My First Kwanzaa, by Karen Katz; ISBN 10:080507077X
The Story of Kwanzaa, by Donna L. Washington; ISBN 10:0064462005
Kwanzaa Fun: Great Things to Make and Do, by Linda Robertson; ISBN 0-7534-5685-0
Obarand the Gatekeeper, by Michelle Bodden; ISBN 10:0975308904
Obara the Merchants, by Michele Bodden; ISBN 10:0975308912
Nine Days to Christmas, by Marie Hall Ets. & Aurora Labastida; ISBN 10:0140544429
Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year, by Joan Holub; ISBN 10: 012400009
My First Chinese New Year, by Karen Katz; ISBN 10:0805070761
Lion Dancer: Ernie Wans Chinese New Year, by Kate Waters & Martha Cooper; ISBN 10:05904304755
Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah, by Susan L. Rothl; ISBN 10:0439908728
Festival of Lights, retold by Maida Silverman; ISBN 0689830831
My First Kwanzaa Book, by Deborah M. Newton Chocolate; ISBN 0439129265
On the First Night of Chanukah, by Cecily Kaiser; ISBN-10: 0439758025
Another Trip Around the World, by Leland Graham, and Traci Brandon; ISBN 044222- 120054
Resources for Creative Teaching in Early Childhood Education 2nd Edition, by Darlene Softley Hamilton/Bonnie Mack Flemming; ISBN 0-15-576652-X
Learning about Cultures, by John Gust, M.A. and J. Meghan McChesney; ISBN 978-1-57310- 012-1
Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom, by Judy Herr and Yvonne Libby Larson; ISBN 10: 1-4283-1832-1
Celebrations, by Anabel Kindersley & Barnabas Kinderslay; ISBN 10:07894202
Kwanzaa Fun, by Linda Robertson & Julia Pearson; ISBN 978075345685
Social Studies, the Mailbox Magazine; ISBN 10 #1-56234-645-8
Arts and Crafts, by the Education Center, Inc.; ISBN 1-56234-32-6
Sing a Song of Seasons, the Mailbox; ISBN 13: 978-156234498-6
Children everywhere love holidays/celebrations days set aside for a break in routine, special fun and surprises, delicious treats, and a time to be with close friends, relatives and neighbors. Religious, seasonal, and patriotic holidays and celebrations vary with the customs, history, environment, and traditions of countries around the world. One way the world becomes smaller and people begin to develop respect, acceptance and understanding of others is by sharing celebrations of everyday life. Helping children discover how children everywhere are alike and can work and play together leads to multi- cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Very young children do not always comprehend the history or deeper meaning involved in other cultures celebrations, but they can learn the name of the celebration and begin to understand some of the outward symbols for the inner meanings. Children can learn that not everyone believes the same thing, and that we must respect each persons right to individual beliefs. As children learn of customs and celebrations, they can learn that they all have some beliefs in common and some that differ. Five different Winter Celebrations will be addressed, giving the children opportunities to experience games, art, music, and stories of different cultures.
On December 13th, many Christian countries in Europe celebrate St. Lucia Day. The story behind the holiday is of a young girl who lived over 1700 years ago. She would not deny Christianity, so she was punishedher eyes were put out and she was put to death by the Romans. She was subsequently made a saint. In Sweden, a young girl, usually the oldest daughter, dresses up in a long white dress tied with a red sash and a leaf covered crown of candles. On the morning of December 13th, she and other costumed children awaken their family members with a tray of coffee and pastries. St. Lucia Day is celebrated in Sweden, Finland, Italy, and the Caribbean.
Hanukkah, a festival of light, comes in late November or December and begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislet. The Hebrew calendar is a lunar one, so the exact date of Hanukkah varies each year. Hanukkah celebrates religious freedom for the Jews. Antiochus, a Syrian king, drove the Jews from their temple in Jerusalem and ordered them to worship Greek gods or be put to death. The Jews fought back and finally regained Jerusalem and set about purifying their temple, which the Syrians had defiled. When it was ready, they proclaimed a holiday and called it Hanukkah, which means dedication. There is a legend about the first Hanukkah that relates how only one little jar of oil was found to light the holy lamp in the temple for the festival. It should have lasted only one day, but it lasted eight days. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. Candles are lit each night in a special candleholder called a menorah (meh-nor-ah). A candle known as the Shamash (shah-mush) is a ninth candle in the center that is higher than the other four on each side, and is lit every night. Families enjoy eating potato pancakes called latkes (lot-kuhs). Children like to play games with a dreidel (dray-dull). The dreidel is a foursided top with Hebrew letters on each side representing the words in the phrase A Great Miracle Happened There. Gifts are generally given to children one each night. Frequently bags of chocolate coins covered with gold foil are in favor in American families.
The Posada celebration is way of celebrating Christmas in Mexico. The posada, is a re-creation of Mary on a donkey and Joseph searching for a room at the inn. Accompanying them is a choir of small children who knock on doors asking for lodging for the weary couple. The procession, which takes place during the 12 days before Christmas, moves along, growing in numbers, until it reaches the church, where mass is held. After the service, the children get to enjoy a festive piñata party. The Posada is an enactment of looking for lodging of St. Joseph and Virgin Mary, called the Pilgrims going to Bethlehem for the Census according to the Bible. Each family in a neighborhood will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their home, starting on the 16th of December and finishing on the 24th. Every home will have a Nativity scene. The hosts of the home are the innkeepers, and the neighborhood children and adults are looking for lodging. They will ask for lodging in three different houses but only the third one will allow them in. Once the innkeepers let them in the group of guests come into the home and kneel around the Nativity scene to pray. After all the prayer is done, then it comes time for the childrens party. There will be a Piñata, filled with peanuts in the shell, oranges, tangerines, and sugar canes. The children in turn will try to break the Piñata with a stick while blindfolded.
Kwanzaa (keb-wahn-zab) is a holiday that was created for Afro- Americans by Dr. Malana Karenga in 1965 to help focus on the richness of their African culture and reinforce the need for Black unity and self-determination. At the heart of Kwanzaa is the Nguzo Saba or seven principles of daily living, that Dr. Karenga found in the African harvest festivals he had studied. Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. Each night, a candle is lit and a principle discussed. The last night, a Karamu (feast) is held.
The Seven Principles of Daily Living
Chinese New Year (Yuan Tan) is celebrated on the first day of the new moon, which varies from January 21 to February 19. The Chinese celebrate this day to show their appreciation for the previous safe and happy year and to wish for another prosperous year to come. The first day of this religious and historical celebration is dedicated to worshipping ancestors and Buddha and to praying for happiness, prosperity and good fortune. The following 14 days are filled with parades, fireworks, gift giving, feasting and dancing. Red is the symbol of happiness to all Chinese. This color is always used for New Years decorations. Friends exchange greetings in red envelopes. On this holiday, children receive gifts of money from older people, such as their grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles. The gift money is given in red envelopes, often with gold lettering or pictures on them. It is important to Chinese children and their parents to wear new clothes, especially new shoes, on New Years Day to bring good luck. A lion dance or dragon dance performed by adults is an important part of this New Years parade.
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behavior.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.
Invitation to Learn
Students will be given a brief overview of the celebration that will be covered during the next two months. They will then be given a Celebrating Winter Holidays Journal. The journal has calendars and symbols for each of the winter holidays we will be talking about. The students will color in the dates on the calendar; illustrating the month and days the celebration takes place. Students will write their name on the front, decorate the cover, and save it to be used after each celebration lesson. This journal will be used as an assessment at the end of each celebration discussion.
a. Each player puts two of their objects into the center pot.
Give each player a turn to spin the dreidel (like a top). The letter that is facing up when the dreidel stops tells what the player must do:
If the pile is empty, or has only one penny, each player puts in one penny before the next spin.
St. Lucia Day
In Sweden, a young girl, usually the oldest daughter, dresses up in a long white dress tied with a red sash, and places a crown of evergreens adorned with glowing candles on her head. It is her task to serve coffee and special twisted buns with raisins to her family at daybreak. The buns are twisted into different shapes. The lights represent the breaking of the winter spell and bringing light into the world.
St. Lucia is followed by her brothers, who are dressed in white and wear pointed hats with silver stars. They are called star boys. Her sisters wear white robes too, but have tinsel in their hair. They are called Lucia Maidens.
This ceremony is to assure the family that beginning on this day (the shortest, darkest day of winter) the days will begin to be longer again. It also reminds them that Christmas is near. Some call it Little Christmas.
OPTIONAL: maraschino cherry and/or orange slice
Mix ingredients, add ice cube and serve! YUM!
These seven candles represent the seven principles which are 1) unity, 2) self-determination, 3) collective work and responsibility, 4) cooperative economics, 5) purpose, 6) creativity, and 7) faith. Show the Kinara picture.
Chinese New Year
Give each child a paper plate that has two eyeholes cut out of it. Have him color his mask; then invite him to decorate his mask by gluing on a variety of craft items, such as colorful feathers, sequins, pom poms, and paper scraps and streamers. After the glue dries, help each child tape a wide craft stick securely in place.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Using a cheese grater or food processor, grate 6-8 potatoes to yield 6 cups. Drain off the extra liquid. Grate 1⁄2 onion. Mix the grated potatoes and onion with the eggs and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oil in a skillet and drop your batter by teaspoonfuls into the hot oil. Fry until brown on the edges, then flip and fry the other side. Serve while still warm. Warm latkes and cold milk or apple sauce go really good together.
Come and Spin the Dreidel
(Tune: The More We Get Together)
Oh, come and spin the dreidel the dreidel, the dreidel,
Oh, come and spin the dreidel the dreidel, the dreidel,
You might have to give some.
Oh, Come and spin the dreidel and see what you get.
Hanukkah is Here!
(Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Lets light the menorah, menorah, menorah,
Lets light the menorah, menorah, menorah,
One candle each joyous night, joyous night, joyous night.
One candle each joyous night, for
Hanukkah is here!
Latkes, games, and family, family, family.
Latkes, games, and family, for Hanukkah is here!
Lets light the menorah, menorah, menorah.
Lets light the menorah, for Hanukkah is here!
Spellikngs, M., (2006) Secretary of Education remarks at S. University Presidents Summit on International Education in Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 25, 2008 from http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2006/01/01062006.html
Education teaches more than students. It teaches all of us to see beyond our borders and boundaries, both real and imagined. It teaches us to overcome stereotypes and appreciate cultures other than our own. In so doing, it gives us hope for a brighter future by advancing freedom, opportunity and understanding.
Seefeldt (1977). Social Studies for the Pre-School Child. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/ Prentice Hall.
Young children, through activities involving relationships with others, cooperative group experiences, and many forms of firsthand experiences, can develop awareness of: 1) the interdependency of humans on one another, (2) the cultures of our world, and (3) the similarities between people everywhere. (p. 153)