In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Celebrations, birthdays, Christmas, thematic unit
A theme looking at how we celebrate... from birthdays to death, countries and holiday... a slice of life of cultures around the world.
The "Celebrations" Theme can range into a lot of different curriculum areas. It is theme that connects a number of ideas or patterns to give that sense of wonder. Celebrations and ceremonies (more formal celebrations) are an ongoing part of life, where we say "thanks" for what we have or the milestones that have been passed. Each country, group and family have different celebrations but the connecting threads in these are: fun, sense of thankfulness and appreciation, bonding of the group, connection with the traditions of past in family, group, country), moments of reflection and importance. Some say we are losing our sense of celebration in a world of individualism, this is a chance to celebrate the celebrations and realise how important they are to us.
Celebrations can be a school-wide theme. With junior pupils we can build this theme around the idea of birthdays and at the upper end of the school we can look into a wider range of celebrations (boyhood to manhood, death, graduating, religious celebrations, reasons behind some of the countries public holidays etc) and many of these can involve first hand interviews with people or people groups. Senior pupils could also be ask a great question, "How can we better celebrate around our school?" They can research, survey, debate this and come up with ways unique to your school. Note that this topic can flow over into celebrations of cultural differences, ways that families celebrate and much more.

Inspiration Mindmaps: Birthdays mindmap, Celebrations Promethean Activboard IWB File, A great way to introduce and scaffold the topic.

Celebration Unit Plans
See Google Doc Here. Go to the Recent Units Doc

Celebration WordBank birthday, christmas, easter, new year, holidays, valentines, national holidays, special occasions, festival, event, coming of age, anniversary, ancient festival, commemorate, observe, mark, keep, honor, remember, memorialize, good time, party, revel, roister, carouse, go out on the town, paint the town red, whoop it up, have a ball, Anzac day, religious festival, art festival, music festival, cultural festivals, harvest festivals,

Celebration Questions Look at some of these and make up some supporting questions to ask. Are celebrations becoming more commercial today? What festivals or events are common to a number of different cultures... why? How have festivals changed over time? What would happen if we didn't have Christmas?

Celebrations Information: Our own Quicktime movie with some simple information overviewing Celebrations around the world!

Celebrations Online Activities: None available.

Celebrations Online Bookmarks: Series of screened links from the Internet. Links covering and range of information, integrated unit plans and other sub-topics within this theme. When you visit the collection page type in "celebrations" or "festivals" to get the best links. Star rating or *** or **** and rarely ***** are either the newer or better sites.

Celebrations Unit: Integrated unit (coming)

Celebrations Banners: Happy Birthday, Birthday Months (Click on 'General Life- Family' Section), Congratulations (Click on 'General Class and School' section) , Same and Different (Click on Social Sciences section)
Check out our banners for this topic. See also our awards section for general awards to give out in celebration.

Celebrations Science: What science can be found in celebrations? Nobel Prize for science (Life of scientist). Look at how people are affected by celebrations. How do they improve the mental health and physical health of an individual or group.

Celebrations Social Studies and Issues : Put together Powerpoint- Keynote presentations, digital camera pictures and Video with other display items from your unit.. voile.. a show! If you threw a birthday party for Planet Earth, what would you celebrate and how would you do it?
Prepare an ad using Keynote, Powerpoint or Scratch that promotes festivals or celebrations in a chosen country.

Celebrations Health & P.E: What are the top five ways people celebrate badly?

Celebrations Technology: Create a technology challenge of designing a pop up birthday card or a party christmas cracker.

Celebrations Maths Measurement: Practical graphing, measuring, weighing, volume will all be covered in such a unit. Geometry of a birthday party could be investigated.
Statistical analysis of information. Find out about the celebrations in the different families in the class. We have a birthday survey here (pdf version, Apple Pages version) and a sample graphing activity (pdf version)

Celebrations Gallery: Send us digital pictures of your experiences, with a short descriptive paragraph, and we will put them on line.

Last Supper Celebation Art
Celebrations Art: Look for paintings and art that communicate about celebrations. Some like "The Last Supper" (wikipedia entry) will have a joy and sadness mixed around them. How much of art is a "celebration of life?" as we move, act, dance, paint etc.Look in the photo albums at home or on computer and ask, "How many photos capture moments of celebration?" Look into the use of digital cameras and how to capture the "Celebration" moments (Framing the subject, getting close, using creative angle and always remembering to tell the story by capturing what it is about in a series of photos) Check out our digital camera tip sheet here (in the ICT section).

Celebrations English/Language Ideas & links: Write a recount about a major celebration in your life or one that you recently went to. What did the celebration taste like, smell like, sound like, look like? What were the highlights of the event?
Read books about the same and different ways people celebrate events. Create a presentations advertising a tour to three celebrations that are the same/different in three different countries. DO some countries not celebrate a particularly common celebration to many others in the world?

Celebrations Music/Drama/Dance: Summarise aspects of knowledge learned in a drama/video re-enactment. Look at the music for different types of celebrations (Last Post, Wedding, birthday) and identify how the melodies, rhythm and words combine for different moods. Try using Garageband or another musical loop program to write an alternative to, "Happy Birthday" Investigate how "Happy Birthday has become such a universal song.. is this the same in all cultures?

Celebrations Daily Activities: Look for ways to turn some events in your class into better celebrations of the good that is happened. What are your class traditions?

Celebrations Teacher/ Learning Resources: Community Links: any business involved in any of the areas above. Clowns, cake making service, entertainment company, celebrations director of community events.
Celebrations Thematic Unit Rich Topic
Disasters visuals, resources and photocopy masters