How can we use the MCC with students?
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.
We welcome more ideas and would like to hear your success stories
when you use it. Please share with us!
Meeting curriculum standards:
Identify the curriculum performance standards that are
specific for your school system. These are samples.
Social Studies - Students will demonstrate a
multicultural perspective and understanding of the history, diversity and commonality of the
peoples of the world.
Reading - Students will demonstrate their ability to
construct a personal reflection/response as well as construct,
extend and examine meaning for a variety of texts.
Language Arts - Students will demonstrate an ability
to write effectively for various audiences and purposes while using
appropriate style and form.
Math - Students will be able to collect, organize and display data
and will interpret information obtained from displays.
Fine Arts - Students will recognize art as a
universal language that communicates through visual symbols. They will
explore art, music and foods of different cultures and times.
Applying Dimensions of Learning:
- Positive attitudes and perceptions toward learning - Students
look forward to opportunities for meeting online students from other countries.
- Acquiring and integrating knowledge - Students link prior knowledge of
holidays with more personal and detailed acquired knowledge.
- Extending and refining knowledge - Students classify and compare
holidays and customs.
- Meaningful use of knowledge - Students engage in investigation tasks such
as asking "what if...?" questions for historical holidays.
- Productive habits of mind - Students exhibit a
desire to be life-long learners, to continue to explore cultural diversity on their own.
Addressing Multiple Intelligences:
- Bodily Kinesthetic - Students engage in role playing,
drama, sports and games associated with various festival or
- Intrapersonal - Students work independently on holiday research.
- Interpersonal - Students work in groups to research holidays.
- Naturalist - Students research agricultural festivals and holidays.
- Logical/Mathematical - Students organize and classify holidays, customs, dates and calendars.
- Spatial- Students draw pictures to express holiday celebrations.
- Linguistic - Students are the scribes for the holiday descriptions. They
interview elders for customs and folklore.
- Musical - Students identify the music that accompanies holiday celebrations.
Now that computers are appearing in schools along with cables and hubs
that connect us to the Internet we have additional "tools" to use in
our classrooms. In truth we have always had the best tool of all -
a natural curiosity that drives us to ask questions. Questions are
our best tools for learning. Encourage your students to ask questions...
The driving question
What do the students want to know? Building from what the students
already know they will formulate their questions.
- Imagine that today is a holiday in your country.
Are other students around the world in school today? Do they
celebrate the same holiday? If they
celebrate this holiday is it at the same time of year?
- Why are certain days designated as holidays?
- Do countries around the world have similar holidays?
- Do we celebrate in similar ways?
- Do most cultures have special music, dance or food for holidays?
- Why do some holidays have a bigger celebration than others?
- Are harvest holidays at the same time of year for everyone?
- Why do some holidays move to different dates each year?
- Do we have the same calendar around the world?
- Is it important to be aware of the holidays of other people and
- What if there were no more holidays...?
- Suppose the reason for a national holiday didn't happen.
Would history be different?
Activities for the Classroom
Hints for teachers:
Activities for students:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Make a list of your "roots" or make a "family tree"
and identify the country of your ancestors.
- 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?
- 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.
- Find the time zones for that country. Here is a place to find this information:
here if your browser supports a Java applet:
http://www.kidlink.org/KIDPROJ/test/dualclock.html 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Is there an e-mail address for the person who wrote the holiday description?
Since KIDLINK kids leave KIDLINK after age 15 you might not be able to
contact the same person who wrote the text. How can you find out more
information about the holiday?
- Go to the RESPONSE archives 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.
- 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
RESPONSE archives, and ask them to write about that holiday in their
- Ask your school librarian help you find books about holidays and
make them available for your and your classmates.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Ask students in the country of the holiday to share recipes of foods
that are served on the holiday. Add these to the KIDLINK
- Draw pictures that illustrate holidays and send them to KIDLINK. They can
be added to the MCC or the
KIDLINK Gallery of Art.
- Build a display board of pictures and text from the MCC to highlight
holidays for the month.
- 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
- Arrange for a KIDLINK IRC and talk to kids from the country celebrating
- 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.
- 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)
|Found holiday entries
in MCC database
|Wrote holiday description
interpretation of the chart
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.