Looking at calendars throughout history is an interesting way to explore multiple perspectives. Nothing is as ingrained in our lives as seven day weeks, twelve months, and 365 days per year. Challenge your students’ perceptions by investigating various solar, lunar, and lunisolar calendars.
Naturally, the origin of a topic is a great place to start, and the Christmas tree has quite a twisty, knotted history. Some trace the roots of the tree-decorating tradition back to ancient winter celebrations. However, the use of decorated trees as a Christmas-specific decoration is surprisingly new, appearing in the last 500 years or so.
This year, I changed one requirement. Students had to compose a haiku as the body of their card. This gave me a chance to introduce a type of poetry that I like to use throughout the year, while still maintaining the purpose of expressing unexpected thankfulness to someone.
Teaching students about the first Thanksgiving feast is standard fare in the primary grades, yet there is a gold mine of fascinating information about the origin of Thanksgiving’s date. It’s a bizarre history that will intrigue your students and could lead down some interesting avenues!
Halloween is coming up, and it’s a hard one to ignore in the classroom. Sure, you can always use the traditional cut and paste pumpkin activity, but let’s think about how we can capture students’ excitement and use it to deepen thinking and increase knowledge?