Using The Multi-Cultural Calendar in your Classroom

  Using The Multi-Cultural Calendar in your Classroom

How can we use the MCC with students?

| Inquiry | Activities | Assesment

The Multicultural Calendar is rich in cultural diversity as well as curriculum activities. Creative teachers will find many ways to use it with their students. Here are a few suggestions to help you begin to use with technology.

Example of a “small group projects” submission: Choose a Cultural Celebration. Have students in three or four groups. Group one: On a word processor or slide show; tells about three or more traditions along with artwork for each tradition. Group two: on a word processor or slide show; tells about the origin and history of the Celebration in writing along with artwork*. Group three: On a word processor or slide show; tells about myths and folklore along with artwork*. Group four: Shares a recipe and a family memory of the celebration along with artwork*.

*Artwork may include: Paintings, drawings, photographs of students dressing up to celebrate, photographs of finished recipe, photographs of students’ collections of cultural memorabilia, (pictures of: ornaments, toys, pennants, maps, souvenirs, jewelry etc…)

Example of a Class project submission: Choose a Cultural Celebration and a traditional recipe that is used for this celebration. Film the students cooking while talking about how to make the recipe also about the Celebration.

Another example: Choose a Cultural Celebration. Write your own Reader Theater skit or find one on the internet. Film the students acting out the celebration.

Music Teachers: Film your students performing a cultural celebration tune and submit your music as a video or audio file.

We welcome more ideas and would like to hear your success stories when you use it. Please share with us!

Hints for teachers:

  1. The easiest way to use the KIDLINK Multicultural Calendar is to announce the names of the holidays and read a description to the students on the days they occur. This requires some planning and effort but is very rewarding. It is also only a door to the full richness and potential of this valuable learning opportunity for students. An announcement of each holiday in your classroom is a great start; an announcement on the school's public address system each day a holiday occurs is excellent.
  2. Print a copy of at least one holiday description for each holiday in the month. Some months have many entries for the same holiday so choose the one you prefer. You should do this well in advance of the coming month. December is filled with beautiful holidays so you might want to start that one now!
Activities for students:
  1. Discuss the meaning of the word "holiday." Classify holidays into categories. What categories do you think you will find? Religious holidays and national holidays are two kinds. Can you think of more? Make a chart with these categories and as you see holidays in the MCC place them in the proper location on the chart.
  2. Make a list of your "roots" or make a "family tree" and identify the country of your ancestors.
  3. Talk to the oldest members of your family who live near you and ask them to describe special holidays they loved to celebrate as a child. Has this celebration changed over the years?
  4. Locate the countries that have holidays listed for a given month on a wall map. Place a flag or marker of some kind on the map. Toothpicks and colored paper work nicely and are not expensive.
  5. Find the time zones for that country. Here is a place to find this information:
    Compare the time in your country/area with the time zone of the country that is having a holiday. Chart the data for each holiday.
  6. Discuss seasons in the countries of the holidays. Are the countries have the same seasons that you are having? Are you in the same hemisphere?
  7. Look at the holiday or festival descriptions. Is there enough information to give you a good understanding about the special day? Do you want to learn more about this day? How can you find out? List your additional questions.
  8. Go to Search User  in KIDLINK and search by country name to find other kids from the country which celebrates the holiday. Use a date within the current year to make sure you find kids who are still in KIDLINK. Chances are you will find someone from the country and you can ask them your additional questions about the holiday. Tell them about the MCC and ask them to add more holidays from their country if they are not already there.
  9. Use a WWW search engine and find lists of holidays around the world. If you see a holiday that is not in our MCC find a KIDLINK kid, using the Search User  in KIDLINK, and ask them to write about that holiday in their country.
  10. Ask your school librarian help you find books about holidays and make them available for your and your classmates.
  11. Can holidays give us the full picture of a country or culture? Would someone learn a lot about the USA from a description of Halloween? Join a group in your class and research more information about a country that is celebrating a certain holiday.
  12. Holidays help build pride in one's country or culture. Research some famous people from the country that is celebrating a holiday this month. How did this person help build pride for his or her country?
  13. Compare celebrations for the same holiday across different countries such as Mardi Gras in the USA, Brasil, Peru and Germany. Search the MCC database by "holiday" to find the various countries where a holiday is celebrated. Build a chart to compare the celebrations.
  14. Look at the national holidays you see in the MCC. Do you see commonalities? What kinds of days are celebrated? Suppose the reason for a certain national holiday did not take place. How would that have changed history? Write a creative essay using this as a topic.
  15. Ask students in the country of the holiday to share recipes of foods that are served on the holiday. Add these to the KIDLINK Multicultural Recipe Book
  16. Draw pictures that illustrate holidays and send them to KIDLINK. They can be added to the MCC or the KidArt Gallery
  17. Build a display board of pictures and text from the MCC to highlight holidays for the month.
  18. Learn a few words in the language of the country which is celebrating the holiday. Write to students in that country and ask them to teach you some phrases.
  19. Arrange for a chat in KidCom or Skype room and talk to kids from the country celebrating the holiday.
  20. Ask your online friends in the country to describe holiday games they might play on a special holiday. Arrange time with your gym teacher to teach your class the game.

Assessment Tools

  1. Performance-based task - Students perform a task and the teacher observes. A set of rubrics is established before hand so that students know exactly what is expected of them.

    Sample Task: Students go to the web pages for the KIDLINK MCC holidays and search for holidays that are celebrated in several countries such as Mother's Day or Father's Day. They are to make a chart showing the holiday name, countries that celebrate the holiday, the date and the way the holiday is celebrated. In addition to the chart the students write a paragraph expressing new insights from building their chart.

    Sample rubric: (students can/should help develop these)

    0 points
    No effort
    gave up
    1 point
    not complete
    2 points
    some help
    3 points
    Well developed
    no problems
    Found holiday entries
    in MCC database

    Listed holiday

    Listed country

    Listed date

    Wrote holiday description

    Composed original
    interpretation of the chart

  2. Real-world task - Students are assessed as they do a task in a real life situation: sending e-mail to a student in another country to ask about holidays.
  3. Portfolio - Samples of student work is collected. These can include text, pictures/art, sounds (recordings of oral presentations) as well as student made web pages and multiu-media presentations: copies of e-mail letters, interviews with elders about holidays, drawings of holiday scenes, etc.
  4. Journal - Students may be assigned specific topics each day or may write their own reflections during a project: students record MCC tasks, reflections, insights, etc.
  5. Written test - Students write essays in response to questions or complete other means of pencil and paper testing: students are tested on holiday facts, etc.
  6. Oral test - Student makes a presentation of their task to the class: Students give an oral report on a new holiday description they have found, share holiday celebrations in the family, etc.

Updated and Moderated by: Joyce Fisher Original Project Design by: Patti Weeg

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