Help your students learn about Diwali with this middle school Diwali lesson plan. It is important to recognize all major holidays in your classroom – not just the traditional North American commercialized celebrations. Middle school lesson plans for Christmas or Thanksgiving are easy to find, but this is not always true for world holidays.
Did you know that over a billion people worldwide celebrate Diwali each year? Despite this, engaging rigorous lesson plans focused on this holiday can be hard to find.
You may not have students who celebrate this holiday in your classes, but helping students build background knowledge and understanding of world cultures is an important goal. I use the Article of the Week format to help my students build their background knowledge. To help with this knowledge building, you can use this middle school Diwali lesson that focuses on reading a nonfiction article and completing comprehension tasks. In this Diwali lesson, students will learn what Diwali is as well as this important holiday’s history and traditions.
When I want to bring awareness to holidays, important days or significant events, I always start with a quick video and then a high-interest non-fiction reading. By starting with a quick video it catches students’ attention and activates any prior knowledge they may have about the topic. Non-fiction articles are a great way to build students’ interest and background knowledge (schema) about a topic.
When learning about important days, I do not try to have students replicate cultures, events or symbols through crafts or games in order to avoid cultural appropriation.
Middle School Diwali Lesson
- Complete a pre-reading activity like a K-W-L chart.
- Watch a short video about Diwali.
- Have students read a non-fiction article about Diwali.
- Students will work on their non-fiction reading comprehension skills with short answer questions and a multiple choice quiz.
- Have students work on a long answer critical thinking writing prompt like “What comparisons can you find between Diwali and another celebration you are familiar with?”
- Students can share their ideas post-writing with the class through a class discussion. Class discussions can take place in person or through digital means like Flipgrid, Zoom, Google Meet or by having students record their ideas using Online Voice Recorder and uploading them to Google Classroom or another LMS.
Want a No-Prep Middle School Diwali Lesson?
Students will learn about the celebration of Diwali in this non-fiction article. This resource contains 1 non-fiction article and 3 reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep (EQAO) and cross-curricular learning. This resource contains Google Slides formatted lessons for 1:1 schools as well as individual PDFs of student pages.
- Teacher lesson plan
- Pre-reading K-W-L chart
- 1 Non-fiction article (regular and modified versions)
- An audio file (mp3) of each article (regular and modified versions)
- 3 Post-reading activities: comprehension questions, grammar questions (2 options: paper and self-grading Google Forms), long answer writing response
Buy this lesson here.
Other Lesson Plans
- Find other holiday resources in this Holidays & Celebrations Non-Fiction Articles Bundle.
- October Lesson Plans
- November Lesson Plans