winter-holidays-around-the-world

Winter Holidays Around the World Inquiry Unit

Hey, y'all. We're gearing up for our holidays around the world unit we do every year, but this year, it's time for some updating. 

I love teaching my kids about different cultures, traditions, holidays, and more. But sometimes, it seems like I'm doing all the work and the kids just expect to be spoon-fed the answers. That's where inquiry and PBL come in.  

When students start asking the questions, they begin to actively seek their own answers. This is where the learning begins to stick and teachers become more of the facilitator and less of the provider of knowledge. 

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This year, we'll be starting with an engagement activity, like a QFT session, to get students intrigued. Then, we'll be narrowing down our essential questions for the unit. Students will make a plan for their research and figure out where they want to begin. Of course, we've done several of these units already this year so students know what is expected and how to make a plan. 

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Students will need things like books about holidays on or near their reading level, a hyper doc with links to videos or articles about different holidays and traditions, and perhaps this holiday unit for use with Google Classroom™. As students learn about the different holidays, they'll be organizing their findings on their note takers and graphic organizers. I like to provide my students with a list of different winter holidays or countries to begin their research.  

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Once students have a strong understanding of a few holidays, countries, and traditions, we use a Venn diagram to show the similarities and unique qualities of different celebrations. For instance, we may compare and contrast Hanukkah and Kwanzaa or Christmas celebrations in different countries. There are lots of different question for students to explore in the "Getting Started" section of this unit. 

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We also use a map to show where different celebrations take place. With this unit, we learn about culture, geography, map skills, reading, social studies, and so much more. 

As teachers, many of us like to do the holiday crafts and things we do every year. They can still be done with inquiry units. You will be more of a facilitator in this unit, but you can still facilitate holiday crafts! What I do is put books about the holiday in tub (plastic shoebox) along with the craft pieces and an example. Students can read, research, and complete a memento to help them remember what they learned. 

To learn more about this holiday inquiry unit, head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. I'm always adding more resources so be sure to follow my store and check back often for more ideas for your classroom. 

I hope you found some new ideas for your classroom and ways to spice up your holidays around the world unit. Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon. 

Stay cozy,