Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Kwanzaa

Writing Prompt

Description:

Kwanzaa is a time when families of African descent celebrate their heritage with special traditions and ceremonies. Have students write descriptions of special traditions or ceremonies they celebrate with their families.

Activities

Grades K–2: Art
Coloring Pages

Have your students color Kwanzaa pictures to decorate the classroom for the holiday.

  • Kinara
  • http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/kwanzaa/color/kinara90.gif
  • At the Table
  • http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/kwanzaa/color/attable90.gif
  • Symbols
  • http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/kwanzaa/color/symbols90.gif
Grades K–3: Social Studies
Kwanzaa Matching Game

Challenge your students to match the Kwanzaa symbols and colors.

Grades K–8: Social Studies
Bookmarks

Books are often given as gifts at Kwanzaa. Print some colorful bookmarks for your students to use or give.

Grades 1–2
Pasta Unity Cup Decorations

Have your students create Kwanzaa wall decorations.

Grades 1–3: Art
Holiday Scrapbook

Have your students look through these “snapshots” of Kwanzaa in an online scrapbook that belongs to Sue Ellen from the “Arthur” series. Then have each of them draw a picture illustrating a family holiday moment. Hang the pictures around the room to create a class Holiday Scrapbook.

Grades 1–5: Social Studies
Holiday Stamps

The U.S. Post Office designs stamps for most holidays. Keep one step ahead of the post office and have students design their own holiday stamps.

Grades 1–5: Social Studies
Kwanzaa Place Mats

Have each child create an mkeka (em-kay-kah), a special place mat used during Kwanzaa ceremonies. An mkeka can be made from straw, ribbon, cloth, or paper, and it has three colors: black, red, and green. The stripes represent tradition, history, and the future.

Grades 1–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
Holiday Cards

Have children celebrate Kwanzaa by creating their own greeting cards. You might want to send children's greetings to a local senior center, nursing home, or shelter.

Grades 2–5: Art
Candle Surprise

Candles play a major role in the celebration of Kwanzaa. Students will have fun creating these candles that hold a surprise.

  • Candle Treats
  • http://www.billybear4kids.com/holidays/kwanzaa/candle/treats.html
Grades 2–8: Language Arts/Social Studies
Word Finds

Have students find Kwanzaa-related words hidden in a puzzle.

  • Kwanzaa (grades 2–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/december/pdf/kwanzaa_easy_wf.pdf
  • Kwanzaa Answer Key (grades 2–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/december/pdf/kwanzaa_easy_wf_key.pdf
  • Kwanzaa (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/december/pdf/kwanzaa_hard_wf.pdf
  • Kwanzaa Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/december/pdf/kwanzaa_hard_wf_key.pdf
Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Holiday Recipes

Have students bring home a booklet of traditional recipes.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
The Meaning of Kwanzaa Matchup

Do your students know the seven principles of Kwanzaa? Challenge them with this matchup.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
Crossword Puzzle

Have students test their knowledge of Kwanzaa.

  • Kwanzaa (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/december/pdf/kwanzaa_xword.pdf
  • Kwanzaa Answer Key (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/december/pdf/kwanzaa_xword_key.pdf
Grades 5–8: Social Studies
Everything About Kwanzaa

This is a great unit that teaches everything about Kwanzaa. Choose to do the entire 15-lesson unit or choose individual lessons.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
A Season for Giving

Help students learn the true meaning of giving by organizing a bake sale to benefit a local charity. Students can create posters announcing the sale and bring in baked goods from home. Have the class vote on where to send the proceeds from the sale.


Houghton Mifflin