Professional Development

December 6, 2013

Kwanzaa Activities for the Classroom [+Christmas Freebies!]

As we approach the holidays, one unit we always get to do is Holidays Around the World. To get started, we’re going to dive into all about Kwanzaa. I love getting to expose my students to holidays that they may not be familiar with. Plus, it helps build a strong, solid classroom community with empathy and understanding. Celebrating differences is so important with our young learners.

Today I’m sharing some Kwanzaa activities for the classroom that are educational and engaging. Then I have some Christmas freebies for you!

Kwanzaa in the Classroom

This week we have been busy learning about Kwanzaa. I don’t have one student who celebrates Kwanzaa and I never have, but it is still important that they know about other holidays, cultures, and traditions.  

We started by reading a book about Kwanzaa. Books are a fabulous way to introduce a new topic. You can read more about why interactive read alouds are so powerful HERE.

We then talked about the 7 principles with our own candle holder.

Next, we talked about traditions associated with Kwanzaa, such as the mat, or mkeke. We got busy making our own! It did take some time, but it was great fine motor practice for them and most of them had to do it over and over.  It was great seeing them keep trying and keep trying! A few of them I had to get started, then I would tell them, “Now make your green and red look like my green and red.” But they finished it!

I was very proud of their hard work!

Kwanzaa Activities for the Classroom Mini-Unit

If you want to check out some other engaging things to help you teach about Kwanzaa in your classroom, check out my mini-unit HERE. It’s jam-packed with enough activities to effectively teach like vocabulary cards, graphic organizers to compare/contrast it with Christmas and Hanukkah, fact sorting, an emergent reader, and a purposeful craft!

Christmas Freebies!

In other fun news, the Holiday eBook is out and it is FILLED with freebies for Pre-K and K! Several teacher-authors got together to create a big list of tips and freebies. While it is from 2013, it still has great value. Check it out and see what you can find!

Click the image above to download the file. Once you download the file, you click on each page to grab the freebies you want!

Below is the freebie I included (you can also get it in my shop!) It’s a subitizing activity that you can use in math stations or as morning work.

Happy Teaching,


Free Guided Reading Resource Cards

Free Guided Reading Resource Cards to help you plan your time and teach each group on their instructional level.

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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