This Humanities and Social Sciences unit addresses the topic of celebrations. It covers personal, family and community celebrations; national days; Australia-specific commemorations and religious/cultural celebrations from around the world.
A 60 minute lesson in which students will compare and contrast how Christmas is celebrated around the world.
Ask the students whether or not their families celebrate Christmas (it is important to be culturally sensitive here; as some students may celebrate other religious festivals). Allow the students to share their experiences of Christmas celebrations with the class.
Ask the students if they think Christmas would be celebrated in the same way all around the world. Explore both sides of the issue. Encourage the students to explain and justify their viewpoints.
Watch the Christmas Celebrations in Different Countriesvideo on YouTube. Depending on the literacy levels of students, teachers may need to read the written text on the video aloud to the class (the only audio on the clip is background music).
At the end of the clip, ask the students to name some of the countries mentioned in the video. Locate each country on a map of the world. Identify whether the country is located in the northern or southern hemisphere and discuss what the weather is likely to be like in each country at Christmas time.
Project the Christmas Around The World – Fact Sheets on the board; or, alternatively, provide the students with a copy. As a class, read about how Christmas is celebrated in Australia, Brazil, Japan and France. Compare and contrast the experiences of each country.
Monitor and support the students as they write their Christmas postcard, describing what it is like celebrating Christmas in the opposite hemisphere. Ensure that the students have access to the Christmas Around The World – Fact Sheets during this process. Internet access may also be helpful for the students.
Encourage some students to share their Christmas postcards with the rest of the class. Ask summary questions, such as:
Do people celebrate Christmas in the same way all around the world?
What factors influence the way in which Christmas is celebrated?
What other religious celebrations might be celebrated differently, depending on the country?
Encourage strong writers to write a letter from their country of choice, rather than a postcard.
Allow students who find writing challenging to write their postcard with a partner. Alternatively, weaker writers could work in a small group with a teacher or teacher aide.