The end of the calendar year revolves around Christmas for your students, especially giving and getting presents. Keep the excitement going once they return from winter break by celebrating the New Year. Considered a fresh start for many, people celebrate the New Year in a variety of ways across different cultures, and it can make a great learning tool for your class! Here are a few ways for you to ring in the New Year with your students.
Resolutions are promises that people create. Some people want to better themselves; others promise to be nicer to those they meet. Have your students brainstorm their resolutions for the New Year and write them down. Some may want to improve their grades, be nicer to friends, or have more fun. They can show off their creativity by writing down their resolutions on construction paper with crayons, glitter, or colored pencils. Hang all of the resolutions up in the classroom, and then review your students’ progress as summer break nears. This is also a great lesson in setting goals.
Introduce the Celebrations of Different Cultures
Different cultures around the world celebrate the New Year in different ways, so why not teach your students about some of them? One perfect example is the Chinese New Year! Teach your students about the Chinese zodiac and talk about when the Chinese people celebrate the holiday. You could even have your class create their own zodiac animals!
Besides making resolutions for the future, New Year’s is about reflection. Have your students tell the class what happened to them over the past year. Let them celebrate the good things and move past the bad. Was the past year a good one? Discuss how they can make the New Year even better!
Throw a New Year’s Party!
Once your students return from their break, throw them a small party! Ease them into the New Year by having some fun. Students can bring in drinks, food, streamers, and party hats. They could make their own festive mugs for hot chocolate! Let them play fun and educational games, and offer crafts that represent different cultures’ celebrations of the New Year. Allow your students to have a bit of educational fun!
New Year’s is a time for celebrating, reflecting, and planning! By teaching your class about resolutions, asking them to reflect on the past year, and showing how different cultures ring in the New Year, they will be able to celebrate this fresh start in a fun and educational way!
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