Otisville Elementary third-graders are learning about diverse traditions this holiday season in a series of lessons focusing on different holiday practices in 13 countries, another way Minisink Valley faculty are blending diversity/cultural awareness lessons into academic instruction.
The lessons, developed by teachers Linda LeMieux and Holly Pason, featured reading, watching a video, vocabulary awareness and an art project to represent what they learned that day, in addition to discussions about the information presented to them.
A recent lesson on holiday traditions for Sweden included a discussion about St. Lucia Day, and the crown of candles St. Lucia wore on her head. Students watched a video highlighting special Swedish foods prepared for the holiday season as well as other Swedish holiday traditions. They made their own crown of candles in a concluding art project to represent what they learned about Sweden.
Identical lessons took place for the remaining 12 countries.
Students worked from a specially created book and were given “passports” where they could create a stamp representing the country they visited that day.
“Our faculty put great efforts into presenting robust and interesting material to our students which reinforce as much that while cultures are different than what we know here in our own community, we are all the same and special,” said Assistant Principal Julia Downey. “To better know and understand about different cultures makes all our students more well-rounded, aware and accepting of how our differences are really not that different. Our third-graders are loving these lessons.”