Let's Celebrate Kwanzaa!
In this Kwanzaa lesson plan, students will make a decorative mancala game, listen to relevant readings, write a letter to parents, and compare and contrast Kwanzaa with other holidays.
- Grades: 1–2
- Unit Plan:
About this book
Students will learn about multicultural celebrations.
- List prior knowledge of Kwanzaa.
- Listen to books.
- Compare and contrast Kwanzaa to other celebrations.
- Create a project.
- My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah Newton Chocolate and illustrated by Cal Massey
- Egg carton for each child for the Kwanzaa Mancala game
- 48 plus 2 extra (50) small rocks or beans for Mancala game (red beans work well)
- Plastic zip baggies to store each child's beans
- Instruction sheet for the game
- Computer and Inspiration software
Setup and Preparation
- Cut rectangles of construction paper
- Make enough bulb patterns out of tag board so that students can share
- Cut a length of yarn or roving on which to string the lights
- Plan where to display them in the classroom
- Check glue bottles
- Check computer connection to large screen monitor
Step 1: As a group, list what the children already know about Kwanzaa on the Celebration chart.
Step 2: Read My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah Newton Chocolate and illustrated by Cal Massey
Step 3: Using Kidspiration®, list what the children learned about Kwanzaa
Step 4: Compare and contrast Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.
Step 5: Make a decorative Mancala game
- Remove the lid from an egg carton.
- Cut two separate egg sections from another carton and staple one on each end of the carton.
- Count out 50 beans and store in baggie
- The directions for playing Mancala can be found at: http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/mancala.html
Step 6: Teach children how to play the game. (Suggestion: Invite 10 older students to your classroom during a recess and teach them the game. Arrange with their teacher to have them visit your classroom for an hour in the afternoon to work with your students. Have one older student for every two of you students.)
Step 7: As a group create a letter to parents explaining about Kwanzaa and the Mancala game.
As a class, write a final note to parents. Have the children say what they have learned about the fall and winter celebrations and about multiculturalism.
- How well do the children understand the similarities and differences between Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas?
- Was the use of Kidspiration® an effective tool for brainstorming?
- Should I do more with the geographical origin of these celebrations?
- What was the most difficult part of this unit? What was most successful?
- Teacher observation will assess student participation in listening to the book and contributing to the discussion.
- The teacher will also observe how well the children play the game, Mancala.