Sixth-graders celebrate a world of holidays

A student and an administrator stand before a project board while the student describes her work

Talk about all-around learning.

Sixth graders in Victoria DeGouff’s and Erin Speed’s classes at O’Neal Middle School on Thursday showed the connections among their core subjects at a celebration of world holidays. 

With information they learned in English language arts and social studies, students learned about 12 holidays and identified six countries that celebrate each. They used their geography know-how to shade in the six countries on a world map, and used math and science skills created a clay model to symbolize each holiday.

The world holidays included:
•    Holi
•    Mardi Gras
•    Diwali
•    The Festival of Light
•    Christmas
•    Hanukkah
•    Day of the Dead
•    All Saints Day
•    Coptic Christmas
•    The Feast of St. Basil
•    Chinese New Year
•    New Year’s Day

The students presented their knowledge in a science fair-like format as practice for the upcoming science fair.

Students previewed and read articles about those holidays and the countries that celebrate them, found their central ideas, and compared and contrasted them. Each student wrote a short first-person account of a holiday as if he or she were a person celebrating it. They used the vocabulary term “primary source” from Social Studies and the words “mood,” “tone” and “point of view” from ELA. They used their geography skills to shade in six countries that celebrate each holiday on a world map. Finally, they created a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) model out of clay that symbolizes one of the holidays. 
Students presented their projects to administrators and other district officials in a science fair setting as practice for the upcoming school science fair. 

The travelers will receive award certificates for their work.

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