It is that time of year that every teacher yearns for but also is somewhat fearful of! It is the run up to the Christmas holidays. Teachers and children are tired, emotional and they want to get to the holidays as quickly and as fun as possible! If you teach in an Educate Together school you may be looking for ideas on how to make your Christmas classroom more inclusive. You might teach in a denominational school and also be interested in seeing what you can do within your own school ethos.
Here are 3 tips for you to celebrate the Christmas season in a more inclusive way in your classroom this December!
- Learn about Christmas around the world. The website https://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/ is an amazing resource for just that! It is packed with beautiful photos of countries like Brazil, Russia and Ireland all showcasing their own countries unique take on Christmas, covering food, customs and even Santa Claus. Children could design projects on Google Slides and make their own Kahoot quizzes to test each other’s knowledge.
- Teach about the history of Christmas from the history of the Christmas tree, the story of the Nativity and the origins of Santa Claus. Incorporate learning about other Festivals of Lights like Kwanzaa, Diwali and Hanukkah. There are so many common traits within these religions and festivals. Be aware that not all students in your class may celebrate Christmas due to their own family belief systems. Teach from a neutral, objective point of view and encourage questions.
- There are so many beautiful picture books that cover themes of winter and tell folktales from all around the world. Picture books are suitable for Junior Infants to 6th Class, everyone loves a good story! Children could practice reading their favourite winter story and record and edit using iMovie, book creator or Green Screen Do Ink app. Here is a brilliant article listing loads of multicultural Winter holiday picture books for you if you need to be tempted to buy more books! https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/multicultural-winter-holiday-picture-books/
I hope that these ideas will send off in a new direction this Christmas! What type of activities do you use to promote an inclusive Christmas Classroom?