I am linking up with the I Teach First Bloggers this month.
We have some great ideas to share with you for the month of December!

Are you planning to teach Holidays Around the World this month?  If so, Kwanzaa is an interesting holiday for students to learn about.  I find the majority of my students have never heard of it.

I always start by reading a Kwanzaa story.  
My favorite to read is K is for Kwanzaa: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book by Juwanda G. Ford.

After we read we paper weave Mkeka (em-KE-kah) mats.  The students really enjoy making these.  It is also great for their fine motor skills.  Some students catch right on, and some need some assistance. I always rotate around the room to help those who are struggling.  I also have students help each other as they finish their mats.

To paper weave, students go over and under the black strips with their colored strips.  Each strips starts the opposite way.  It also helps for students to add a dab of glue to hold their strips in place.

Once their mats are finished, they color and glue on the symbols of Kwanzaa.  We always have fun saying the Swahili words for the objects, and reviewing the meaning of each object.

To complete the project you will need the following supplies for each student:
8 1/2" by 11" black construction paper
1" by 8 1/2" strips of red, blue, and green paper- about 10 per student

To make the mats, fold the black paper in half, cut approximately 1" strips out from the fold line.  Stop cutting about 1" from the edge of the paper.

If you have a parent volunteer, they can help with these steps.

Click here to get the symbols sheet.

Hope you have fun learning about Kwanzaa!

Click on the links below for more great December ideas!


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