Inclusive Holiday Celebrations

Inclusive holiday celebrations are important in the middle school classroom. In this blog post, find holiday-themed lesson plan resources.

Inclusive holiday celebrations are important in the middle school classroom. The focus of holiday celebrations and learning should not solely focus on the holidays and celebrations that are important to that teacher. 

Reflect Students’ Holidays In Mentor Texts

Classrooms need to be places where students see themselves reflected in the texts being read and the holidays being celebrated.  Another important consideration is that teachers need to cover their curriculum expectations (standards) when celebrating or learning about holidays. A way to recognize and celebrate holidays is to incorporate them into your daily lessons plans. Learning about holidays should not be an afterthought or add-on. 

Teachers can plan inclusive holiday celebrations by using picture books about holidays as mentor texts for units, offering students creative writing opportunities, reading non-fiction articles and using digital escape rooms. Try to connect with your school’s teacher-librarian or a children’s librarian from your local public library to find books about the various holidays you will be celebrating in your classroom. 

Use Non-Fiction Articles

I love to use non-fiction articles incorporated with my weekly Article of the Week lessons to help students learn about a variety of holidays and celebrations.  Another option is to use non-fiction articles as different stations and have students rotate through each station to learn about different celebrations.

Survey Your Students

At the start of a new school year ask students to share on your back-to-school survey what holidays they celebrate and/or that are important to them. Use this information to create a list of holidays that are important to your students. It is also important to note that not all students and their families are permitted to celebrate holidays for reasons of religion or creed. It is important to reach out to those families and ask what their child is permitted to partake in or what special considerations must be made.

I had a student who did not celebrate any birthdays, holidays or days of significance. This was a middle school student who could tell me specifically what they were permitted to learn about and take part in. I would send home an email to parents ahead of any holiday-themed lessons to ask for their input. An accommodation that I made for the whole class was to offer choice in our lessons.

For example, I love giving students the opportunity to work on their creative writing skills. I have 9 different choice boards that are either holiday or seasonal themed. I double-sided photocopied the holiday choice board on one side and the seasonal choice board on the other. Students could select any of the writing prompts. They did not have to select a holiday writing prompt if it did not suit their needs. Students of all ages love having choices when completing lessons and assignments.

In this blog post, I have provided a few lesson ideas and suggestions for each month. Check out this list of Canadian holidays and observances for 2022. Once you visit this website you can change the country to suit your needs. 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of inclusive holiday celebrations lessons. I have put together a list of holiday resources that can be read about from this blog or purchased from the 2 Peas and a Dog store. 

Inclusive Holiday Celebrations

January 

Inclusive holiday celebrations are important in the middle school classroom. In this blog post, find holiday-themed lesson plan resources.

 

February

March

April

  • April Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA – As the days get warmer and brighter, I want to help you beat cabin fever and keep your lessons engaging.
  • April Fools’ Day Non-Fiction Article –  Have you ever wondered about where the tradition of April Fools’ Day came from? I bet your students would want to know! Use this April Fools’ Day non-fiction article which contains both a regular and modified text as well as 3 post-reading activities. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
  • Earth Day Non-Fiction Article  – Earth Day is important to help students reflect on their contribution to the environment. Use the Earth Day non-fiction article (both modified and regular text) to help students learn about the origins of Earth Day and reinforce their literacy skills.  Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
  • Ramadan Non-Fiction Article – In 2022, Ramadan begins on Saturday, April 2. Help your students learn more about Ramadan with this non-fiction article. This article comes with both the modified and regular text as well as mp3 readings of each article. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
  • Easter Digital Escape Room – This Easter-themed digital escape room provides students with the opportunity to work independently or with their peers to solve 11 Easter-themed challenges. This escape room is non-religious and focuses on chocolate, candy and animals. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
  • Easter Creative Writing Assignment – This Easter creative writing assignment has students select one of the provided character roles: Easter Bunny, Easter Egg Basket, Zookeeper, Candy Store Owner, Chocolate Inventor and create a written or visual product based on the character’s writing prompt. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD

May / June / July 

Inclusive holiday celebrations are important in the middle school classroom. In this blog post, find holiday-themed lesson plan resources.

 

August

September 

October 

  • October Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA – Planning your second month of school lessons can be overwhelming. Read this blog post to see what I teach during the month of October for middle school ELA. 
  • Diwali Non-Fiction Article – 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. Use this middle school Diwali lesson to help your students learn more about the celebration in an engaging and informative way. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.  
  • Halloween Unit – This engaging Halloween Unit contains 5 different activities that will help reinforce your students’ reading and writing skills. Students will learn about the historical background of Halloween traditions and prepare for a Halloween discussion about current Halloween costumes. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
  • Halloween Digital Escape Room – This Halloween-themed digital escape room provides students with the opportunity to work independently or with their peers to solve 10 Halloween-focused challenges. Students must solve these required challenges to “escape” from the haunted house that they have accidentally locked themselves into. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
  • 10 Halloween Costume Ideas For English Teachers – Find 10 creative Halloween costume ideas for English teachers in this blog post.
  • Halloween Costumes for English Teachers –  It’s not always easy to think of good teacher costumes that are both creative and appropriate. Check out this list for inspiration.

November

  • November Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA – Find engaging November Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA for reading, writing, speaking/listening and media literacy. 
  • Remembrance Day Unit – Help your students develop a deeper connection to Canadian Remembrance Day in this two-week-long unit. Teachers are provided with 10 in-depth, engaging and relevant multimedia lessons to help their students explore and understand key concepts related to Remembrance Day. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
  • Veterans Day Unit  – Help your students develop a deeper connection to Veterans Day in this two-week-long teaching unit. Teachers are provided with 9 in-depth, engaging and relevant multimedia lessons to help their students explore and understand key concepts related to Veterans Day. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD

December 

Inclusive holiday celebrations are important in the middle school classroom. In this blog post, find holiday-themed lesson plan resources.

I hope this detailed list of inclusive holiday celebration ideas can help with your weekly and monthly lesson planning.

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