Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Celebrating the Unity in Our Diversity: Montessori Holiday Celebrations

NAMC montessori holidays celebrating diversity. dancers

Cultural awareness means being aware of and appreciating the differences in people’s attitudes, beliefs, practices, customs, and social behavior.
— NAMC, Five Great Lessons/Cosmic Education & Peace, p. 137.

As Montessorians, we strongly believe in the importance of cosmic education, and we give students every opportunity to positively contribute to the world by being caring, considerate, and respectful of one another. We also understand the value of integrating cultural awareness and cultural appreciation into the classroom.

Montessori Holiday Celebrations: A Wonderful Way to Explore and Celebrate Culture

NAMC montessori holidays celebrating diversity. diverse students

At our Montessori school, part of our cultural awareness involves celebrating the unique backgrounds of our varied student population by acknowledging and showing respect for our diverse cultures and religions.

We have also chosen to move away from celebrating one or two particular holidays in our thematic work; instead, we celebrate the seasons. There are so many wonderful activities, field trips, and art projects to celebrate fall, winter, spring, and summer. During this time of year, for example, our students especially love to create winter art projects with snowmen, snowflakes, and pinecones.

One way our school likes to celebrate our families’ diversity is by hosting an International Children’s Festival each year. To prepare for this special event, each student colors a country flag or two from their ancestry. We decorate our gym with flags from around the world and the elementary students make cut-out dolls of different cultural backgrounds and cultural dress. The students also make a beautiful banner and a painting of the globe as decorations.

NAMC montessori holidays celebrating diversity. cultural dress

On the day of the festival, the students are invited to wear clothing from their culture and everyone brings a dish to share at our festival. The whole school gathers for a morning of performances from different cultural dancers and musicians. The performers can be our students, their family members, or special guests of our families. We have also invited local cultural groups to perform for us and teach us a dance. We have had wonderful opportunities to learn African, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, and Scottish dancing at our school! After the performances, we all share the delightful dishes that the families brought.

As you can imagine, this is a favorite day for our students and staff! We are fortunate to have this fantastic way to celebrate the unity in our diversity.
Julie — NAMC Graduate, Montessori Teacher
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, December 15, 2015.


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