Valuing our Differences: Celebrating Holidays, from the University of Kansas, lists holidays by month as well as by type-ethnic, national, religious, other-and provides short descriptions for some holidays.
The Library of Congress' Looking Into Holidays Past through Primary Sources site links users to documents, sound, images and movies about holidays, and includes a graphic organizer to start students thinking about what they can learn from these primary sources.
Students wrote the articles for Holidays and Celebrations from Around the World. This site is from Topics, an online magazine for English language learners.
Holidays in the U.S.A. is a summary of the official holidays celebrated in the U.S. provided by the U.S. Department of State. In addition to the official holidays, the Department of State also provides a list of Celebratory Days that are commonly recognized in schools and communities across the nation.
In You are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving from Plimoth Plantation. students will use the skills of historians to peel away the layers of myth and misconception surrounding "The First Thanksgiving" and discover what might really have happened during the fall of 1621. Use of photographs and audio to illustrate two different sides of the story make the historical process come alive. The site is designed for 3-5th grade learners, but can be used by other grade levels; an extensive teachers' guide is included.
The Plimoth Plantation historical site also features Thanksgiving History Articles including As American as Pumpkin Pie, Native Traditions of Giving Thanks, Partakers of Our Plenty, and Fast and Thanksgiving Days of Plymouth Colony.
American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving from the National Museum of the American Indian features a great teacher poster and other resources for teachers of grades 4-8.
Scholastic's The First Thanksgiving presents a multimedia look at the pilgrims voyage, a compare and contrast activity featuring pilgrim and Wampanoag lifestyles, and a slide show about the first Thanksgiving.
After the Mayflower, a video from the PBS series We Shall Remain, includes narration and dramatic recreations of events surrounding the first Thanksgiving that can help students understand more about the history of the Wampanoag, the Pilgrims and subsequent events.
Boston Children's Museum and Wampanoag Indian Advisors jointly offer The Wampanoag: People of the First Light to help educators present the history of Wampanoag people with accuracy and respect. The resources on this site include in-depth dialogue about critical issues in Wampanoag history, activities, suggested readings and examples from the Museum's collections.
Thanksgiving Exhibits from Pilgrim Hall includes primary source materials on the "first thanksgiving", an exhibit on the evolution of modern Thanksgiving celebrations, and materials on the Native American National Day of Mourning.
The Library of Congress provides resources on Thanksgiving in American History. The site includes a Thanksgiving timeline and links to Thanksgiving-related resources in the Library's collections.
Teaching About Thanksgiving from the Center for World Indigenous Studies presents information on balanced teaching from Native American educators.
The History of the Holidays, from the History Channel, treats the December holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. The Christmas section is the most extensive, with information on the Christmas story, world traditions, evolution of Santa, and Christmas trees.
Christmas Traditions in France and Canada discusses religious, communal, and family traditions of Christmas celebrations in the francophone world. Offered in both French and English, the site could be used by advanced French-language classes.
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site offers history and a detailed description of Kwanzaa principles, symbols, and celebration practices from Dr. Maulana Karenga, who founded this African-American and Pan-African holiday.
How We Celebrate from the Jewish Outreach Institute provides information on Jewish holidays, including Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Passover, and more.
The Council on Islamic Education offers this Introduction to Ramadan for teachers, as well as information on Important Dates in the Islamic Lunar Calendar.
The government of Taiwan provides information on Holidays and Festivals in Taiwan. These include an illustrated description of Chinese New Year foods, dances, and activities. It also describes other Chinese holidays, including the Lantern Festival, Farmer's Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Ghost Festival, and others. Also available in Chinese.
Britain's Chinatown Online includes lots of information about Chinese New Year.
The Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco describes Chinese Festivals and Holidays, including the Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival.
Lions, Dragons, and Nian: Animals of the Chinese New Year is a lesson plan for K-2 students involving social studies, language arts and visual art from the National Endowment for the Humanities EdSitement Web site.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has information on the various holidays in Vietnam, including Tet Nguyen Dan (festival of lunar new year).
The Embassy of India offers descriptions of Indian holidays and festivals including Dewali, Holi and many others.
The student-created Southern Native American Powwows reviews Southern Circle history and activities and describes powwows as one of the main Native American cultural activities.
The History of Cinco de Mayo comes from the VIVA! Cinco de Mayo site sponsored by LULAC Council #654 in San Marcos, Texas.
This site, from the Northmont Area Community Network, provides short descriptions of the Cinco de Mayo holiday in both English and Spanish.
The History of Juneteenth is presented by the Juneteenth.com Web site.
The Origin of April Fools Day traces some theories about the roots of this observance. Check out the list of the top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time on this Museum of Hoaxes Web site.
The History of Groundhog Day comes from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
Lesson PlansThe EdSitement Calendar, from the National Endowment for the Humanities, links to lesson plans that connect to historic or cultural events for each month.
The Read Write Think Web site, from the International Reading Association, provides lesson plans and Web links related to events or holidays each month.
Last updated 4/26/2011