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As your students return from the holidays, it’s a great idea to reestablish a strong sense of community and ensure a positive “new year” together. A great way to do that is to celebrate the different cultures in your classroom. Here’s a simple, creative idea to help you get started.
What more could your students love to do than to make homemade “greeting” cards for your room?! Each child will make a card from a piece of cardstock folded in half, and they will fill the card with words, photos, pictures and objects that share their favorite aspects of their families and/or cultures. Then, they will have a chance to share their cards with the class, so that their classmates can “greet” them, so to speak, by getting to know their traditions. You can also display the cards on a bulletin board (“Nice to Greet You” is a cute title :) or post them outside of your classroom.
Here’s how to make them:
1. Have students think about their family traditions, their culture throughout various holidays, their favorite foods, sports, etc. They can make a list of their favorite words (ex: soccer, spaghetti, stockings, etc.). They can also brainstorm how they would like to show various aspects of their lives on their cards: would they like to bring in some dried spaghetti to glue on their card, for example? Or cut out a soccer ball from construction paper? Or write the word “stocking” in bubble letters?
2. Provide art supplies for your class, and encourage students to bring small objects, stickers and magazines from home, as well.
Some things that you may want to include in these materials:
-cardstock paper (to make the cards)
-wrapping paper (bring in the small scraps, leftover from wrapping, that you always find yourself throwing out)
-themed scrapbook paper
-ribbon (all different kinds)
-markers, crayons, pencils
3. Students should fill their “cards” with images, photos and words to describe themselves and their families.
4. Allow a time to share, and then post the cards on a bulletin board or wall (they look cute hanging from a clothes line, too!). And talk about how special your class is because everyone is so unique and brings such value to the group.
Kelli Lewis is a graduate student at The University of Georgia who is chock-full of great ideas and insights. We’re so glad she shares them with us at A Learning Experience!