Dec 4: Kwanzaa

This week we began our holiday-themed lessons. The 3rd-6th graders and preschoolers studied both Kwanzaa and Hanukkah while the K-2nd graders and infants and toddlers focused on Kwanzaa. All of the kids also continued the Guest at Your Table program.

In the 3rd-6th grade classroom, Larry explained the history behind the Kwanzaa and Hanukkah celebrations. The kids got lessons in the Civil Rights’ Movement and the Maccabean Revolt. Larry also elucidated the significance of lighting candles in both holidays and then the kids lit nine candles. Playing with fire is so fun!

In the K-2nd grade classroom, Molly talked with the kids about the seven principles of Kwanzaa and taking pride in your heritage. Then they discussed the tradition of making homemade gifts and made some of their own. They practiced weaving with construction paper and braiding with colored string.

In the Pre-K class, the preschoolers studied the holidays that involve candle lighting, focusing primarily on Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. They colored menorahs and kinaras. Then they made special Chalice Children winter celebration candles and Sandy gave each of the kids a special present.

In the nursery, the infants and toddlers read a story about Kwanzaa. The story taught them that Kwanzaa means “first fruit” so when they were finished reading it they enjoyed eating some clementines. Then they read other stories like Skunka Tanka and played with toys.

If you would like to extend these lessons at home, here are some suggestions: for 3rd-6th graders and preschoolers, light a candle in your home every night in honor of something you are thankful for and want to celebrate. For K-2nd graders, make the Kwanzaa tradition of homemade gifts your family’s tradition this year. Homemade gifts are the best! For infants and toddlers, introduce them to a variety of fruits. Some might even be their firsts, like pomegranate or star fruit. ‘Tis the season for healthy eating!

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