Make a Multi-Cultural Calendar

Art Activity

In this activity, students research the traditions of different cultures through the creation of a multi-cultural calendar.

WHAT YOU NEED

WHAT TO DO

  1. Explain to the class that they are going to create a multi-cultural calendar. Together, develop a list of at least twelve present-day ethnic or religious cultures students would like to learn more about. (Examples: African-American, Latino, Vietnamese, Jewish, Irish, Christian, Buddhist, Thai, Chinese, Islamic, Swedish, Hawaiian.)

  2. Divide the class into twelve groups. Giving consideration to student interests, assign a culture to each group.

  3. Groups then do research to find important calendar dates in the traditions of their assigned culture. As a class, decide which culture will be assigned to which month, in order to maximize the number of events per month. Have students complete the calendar pages by filling in the dates for holidays and other important dates in the culture. For example, students assigned to Irish culture and working on March should label the 17th with "St. Patrick's Day." Students might decorate the calendar month with motifs and symbols from their assigned culture. They should choose one holiday or important date from their month and create an illustration on the 8 1/2" x 11" drawing paper.

  4. Have students mount the illustration and the calendar sheet on a piece of 11" x 17" construction paper. Collect students' pages and fold and staple them in the middle to create the calendar. If possible, before binding the sheets, copy them and then bind them so students will each have a copy to take home. You might ask one student to make a cover for the calendar that incorporates several of the cultures inside.

TEACHING OPTIONS

Have students search through books of quotations, or other sources, for sayings, short poems, proverbs, etc., from their assigned culture to add to their month. For example, the month for African-Americans might include a quotation from Langston Hughes' poem "My People," such as, "The night is beautiful,/So are the faces of my people." Students might choose to have a "Quote of the Day," too.

Use the calendar in your classroom, encouraging the class to learn more about the culture of each month. You may also wish to celebrate certain occasions from the calendar by having students recite poems, sing songs, bring in special foods, or read stories appropriate to the day.


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