- List prior knowledge of Diwali
- Listen to books about Diwali
- Compare and contrast Diwali to other celebrations
- Create clay Diyas
- Diwali by Christina Mia Gardeski
- Here Comes Diwali: The Festival of Lights by Meenal Pandya
- Chart paper and markers or interactive whiteboard
- Self-hardening clay
- Sandwich-size reclosable zip baggies
- Tempera paint
- Tea candles (wax or battery operated), one per child
- Divide the self-hardening clay into small bowl-sized balls and put in reclosable zip bags. Each student will need one ball of clay.
- Optional: If you plan to use an interactive whiteboard during class discussions, set it up prior to the lesson.
Step 1: As a group, list what the children already know about Diwali on a sheet of chart paper or the interactive whiteboard.
Note: If you are using an interactive whiteboard program, add a new section to the chart you made about Ramadan in the previous lesson.
Step 2: Read Diwali by Christina Mia Gardeski and Here Comes Diwali: The Festival of Lights by Meenal Pandya aloud to the class. (As an alternative, you can also read about the festival online at DiwaliFestival.org.)
Step 3: Return to the chart paper or interactive whiteboard and list what the children learned about Diwali.
Step 4: Compare and contrast Ramadan and Diwali.
Step 5: Help students create Diyas from clay by following these steps:
- Use the ball of self-hardening clay to shape a small bowl. The bowl should be large enough to hold a tea candle.
- Allow the clay to harden.
- Once the clay has finished drying, paint the Diya.
- Optional: Paint the tea candle that will rest in the Diya.
Step 6: Arrange the finished Diyas together and light the candles.
Step 7: As a group, write a letter to parents explaining about Diwali and the Diya. Have the students copy the letter as a handwriting exercise or duplicate what they have composed as a class and have them practice reading it before they take it home.
Step 8: Send the finished Diyas home with the letter. Remind students to ask that an adult help them light the candle.
Teacher observation will assess student participation in listening to the book and contributing to the discussion.