New Years Around the World Inquiry Based Learning
Hey, y'all! My students are loving exploring different cultures around the world and are a blown away by the idea that not everyone celebrates different holidays the same way. We explore different winter holidays around the world every December, and Thanksgiving traditions in the month of November. This January, we'll be exploring how different countries celebrate the New Year--including traditions, ways to bring good luck, special foods, and more.
We start off by looking at images from different New Year's celebrations and get our minds in the right place. Then, we start working on our guiding questions and what it is we are looking for in our research.
Next, we explore some New Year's vocabulary words. Some of them are examples of traditions, some are names of special people or events in different countries related to their celebrations, some are foods, and more. We explore the words or brainstorm our own, quickly see which words we recognize, and get to exploring.
For this unit, you may want to break students up into teams or let each student pick a country or culture to research. Another option is for the class to pick a handful of places to research and each student fills in the table with the different traditions and customs of those countries.
Once students have gathered their research, they can write about what they've learned. There are plenty of pages for students to create their own mini-books with. Or you may want students to create a slide deck, poster, video, or some other representation of their learning.
There are also writing pages for narrative stories as well.
Many students in the US are shocked to realize that it's not winter everywhere in the world during Christmas and New Years. They just don't think about it.
So I like to have students mark the temperatures in different parts of the world on New Year's Day. It's quite the eye-opener for some of our students and a great conversation starter about the earth's rotation, tilt, axis, etc.
And then I always like to have students reflect on what they've learned. A lot of the time, students learn way more than what they show in one project or on a worksheet. This gives students an opportunity to show what else they may have discovered that didn't fit into any other boxes.
This unit includes lesson ideas, extension activities, ways to integrate the unit into different subject areas, and more. You can check out the full unit in my TPT store here. I'm always adding new resources so be sure to follow me while you're there so you don't miss anything.
I hope you found some new ideas for your classroom this year. Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon.