Celebrate Holidays Around the World through the Magic of Art
The amount of time students are using their artistic abilities in school has sadly and dramatically decreased over the last 15 years.
With so much focus on standardized testing and new initiatives, arts education has taken a hit.
That’s why I try to naturally incorporate as much art exposure as possible throughout the traditional school day.
Reading and social studies easily lend their hand to cross-curricular connections with art.
That’s why I created 5 fun and engaging art projects to pair with the Holidays Around the World Unit. In my class, we complete this unit each year during the month of December.
The Holidays Around the World Unit integrates social studies and literacy concepts. In addition, students learn about cultural traditions from around the world! (Yay!)
What better way to embrace the beautiful rituals and customs from across the globe than to incorporate hands-on, engaging art projects!
These projects will bring cheer and meaningful connection to your classroom during an otherwise hectic month.
By the way, did I mention that these Holiday Around the World Art Projects are totally FREE?
By Incorporating the Holidays Around the World Art Projects in Your Classroom, You Will:
- Help students think creatively & outside of the box
- Increase students’ critical thinking skills
- Improve student decision-making skills
- Helps students express their feelings
- Build student confidence
- Allows students who struggle academically to excel in another area & more!
5 Projects Included in this FREE Resource:
Painted Paper Menorahs to Celebrate Hanukkah in Israel
This is project is an Eric Carle-inspired painting activity which will take two sessions to complete.
Typically, Carle used acrylic paint and tissue paper to create his beautiful art. However, we’re going to stick with tempera paint and construction paper for elementary students to keep it simple.
The painted paper will be cut to make the candles and the menorah base.
Remember, full instructions are included within the Holidays Around the World Art Projects for Upper Elementary.
Here’s a photo of the completed project.
Romero Britto Inspired Pop Art Christmas Trees to Celebrate Christmas Around the World
Romero Britto is a Brazilian-born artist who was inspired by Picasso and Matisse. Britto’s art is considered Pop Art which became extremely popular in the 1950s.
Pop Art attracts the eye with its bright colors and thick black outlines.
You’ll want to make sure to show students examples of Britto’s art and fellow Pop Artists, like Andy Warhol’s art as a source of inspiration!
Keep in mind, all directions for creating the Pop Art trees are included within the Holidays Around the World Art Projects for Upper Elementary Students.
Here’s a photo of the completed project.
Sponge-Painted Rangoli to Celebrate Diwali in India
Well, there’s not much to say about sponge painting except that I absolutely love it!
Conveniently, sponge painting has all the perks! It’s a fast, easy entry activity, and simple to set up and clean up!
I highly suggest teaching about rangoli, the materials used in this beautiful art, and the meaning behind it.
Then, be sure to view several examples of rangoli art from India.
Here’s an example of how the beautiful rangoli sponge paintings turned out!
By the way, if you are in need of resources to teach about any of the holidays mentioned thus far, you’ll want to check out my Holidays Around the World for Older Kids Unit. Conveniently, this comprehensive unit includes:
- 20 Holiday Passages
- Paired Holiday Questions
- Engaging Social Studies & Geography Activities
- Keepsake Scrapbook Pages (Makes a great bulletin board!)
- An Enriching Research Project
Moon and Star Mobile to Celebrate Ramadan in Saudi Arabia
This Wassily Kandinsky-inspired mobile incorporates warm and cool watercolors to create abstract art.
These mobiles turn out beautifully and teach students about Kandinsky’s very famous concentric circles in squares art.
In my opinion, Watercolors are a great choice to use in the classroom because they’re significantly less messy than other alternatives.
Here’s an image of how they might turn out!
Lanterns to Celebrate Lunar New Year in China
These lanterns are a nice and simple project that incorporates watercolors, crayons, and tissue paper.
Additionally, it’s also fun to teach the meaning of different colors in traditional Chinese culture.
- Red = Happiness, Success, Good luck – the most common lantern color
- Pink = Good Luck, Joy – a shade of red
- Green = Wealth, Health, Nature, Growth, Hope
- Blue = Harmony, Long Life
- Purple = Love, Romance
- Orange = Change, Adaptability
- Gold = Wealth
Students can choose to incorporate these colors into their lanterns to make each project special and unique.
Here’s a photo of the finished project!
HOW TO TIE-IN LITERACY & SOCIAL STUDIES SKILLS WITH THESE SPECIAL PROJECTS
If you teach 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade, the no-prep Print & Digital Holidays Around the World for Older Kids Unit has everything you need (and then some) to cover 20 holidays celebrated globally.
In addition to these beautiful art projects, students will learn about cultures and traditions through plenty of engaging, hands-on activities to promote an appreciation of the beauty and traditions celebrated globally.
Don’t miss adding this special resource to your teaching plans this year!
Looking for more? Here are some additional holiday-based posts that you’ll love:
Celebrate Diwali! Mentor Texts for Holidays Around the World
Celebrate Hanukkah! Book Ideas for Holidays Around the World
Jenn – The Teacher Next Door