UEN Teacher Tips


Five Tips for Embracing the Holidays in the Classroom
Practical tips for inclusive learning and year-round celebrations
by Kayla Towner

Celebrating holidays in the classroom can be an exciting and fun experience, albeit somewhat exhausting. It helps students learn about different cultures, languages and traditions. It also teaches important lessons about kindness, gratefulness and selflessness. Before you create your next holiday lesson, check out these five tips: 

  1. Know Your School Policy -   Most schools have holiday policies. Engage in discussions with the school administration before planning your lessons. This is also a great time to invite them to your celebration! 

  2. Teach About New Holidays - Foster an inclusive classroom by introducing students to new holidays. By using Culturegrams in Utah’s Online School Library, you can easily research holidays across the globe. For example, Chuseok is an important Korean holiday where families gather to remember ancestors and show gratitude for the past and future. Can you think of a holiday that is similar to Chuseok?

  3. Focus On A Season Or Theme - Instead of teaching about one specific holiday, focus on multiple holidays, a season, or a theme.  For example, center your lesson on fall traditions around the world or the importance of giving back. 

  4. Boost Engagement - Hands-on activities such as games, crafts and experiments make your lessons more engaging, interactive and educational. If you’re short on time, try this interactive Nearpod lesson that’s free in your Nearpod Library! 

  5. Celebrate All School Year - Consider celebrating holidays throughout the school year by incorporating cultural traditions into your curriculum. This approach ensures a continuous infusion of cultural exploration into your student’s learning experience. World Book Online is a great resource for finding holidays year-round.  

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Kayla Towner is the Utah’s Online School Library (UOSL) Product Manager and a Teacher Fellow for Hope Street Group. She’s passionate about learning that focuses on student agency and encourages educators to expand their comfort zone. Before her work at UEN, Kayla was an elementary school teacher in Utah (Davis) and South Korea.

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