Even though Easter and Passover are religious Judeo-Christian holidays, we can and should address family traditions holiday foods, celebrations, songs, games, and activities in the classroom, while we leave the religious aspects of the holidays at home with our families. I feel that if we skip over the holidays, we are compromising our teaching goals by ignoring what children are showing an interest in. And so, I will share with you, a few developmentally and politically appropriate activities and songs to enjoy with your boys and girls.
Science: Discuss where baby chicks come from.
Discuss which other animals lay eggs (birds, ducks, snakes, frogs, fish
Make sure to have models or pictures of the aforementioned animals
A picture of a farm, play farm or a visit from a farmer or to a working farm would be ideal.
Encourage each child to hold a real egg and discuss shape, texture, how
It moves, etc.
Have the children crack an egg and then watch as the teacher cooks it in order to make scrambled eggs. (Encourage the boys and girls to taste after checking for allergies).
Discuss cause and effect, consequences
Place different objects inside eggs, glue closed and then have the children match the different sounds that the eggs make when shaken.
Show the children a piece of bread and matzah.
Distribute, have the children compare shapes, texture, and taste of each.
Give the children plenty of flour and water to mix, provide spoons and rolling pins so that they can make their own pieces of matzah. Provide plastic forks so that the children are able to poke holes in their masterpieces .
Math: Display an egg and then discuss its shape. What other things are oval?
Have the children count sets of eggs and then make and follow patterns with colored eggs.
Display a piece of matzah and discuss its shape. What other things are square. Discuss lines and corners.
Challenge the kids to make squares using their bodies.
Count sets of squares, build with square blocks, make patterns
Art: Seal plastic eggs, you may glue old marker tops on to each egg so that they act as handles.
Have the children use the eggs as painting tools by dipping into shallow and colorful bowls of paint in order to create colorful eggs on oval shaped paper.
Provide the children with square pieces of white bread, multi colored bowls of milk (use food coloring), new brushes and have the kids decorate the squares. Toast when finished and enjoy.
Create square collages on square pieces of paper.
Create soft vs. hard collages, make mosaics, use plaster of Paris, and make a cooperative square quilt
Use writing without tears tools to introduce or to reinforce letters like E(Egg), M, (Matzah) H (Holiday)
Go on both a matzah and an egg hunt (either in or outdoors).
Have the children trace and cut ovals and squares
Have the children use tongs and egg holders to move eggs from one basket or another.
Have the children practice with both their bodies and paper how to go over and under.
Toss eggs into baskets, balance eggs on spoons, etc.
Favorite Books and Stories
Mrs. Wishy Washy, by Cowley
Little Red Hen by
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
Celebrations, by Berger
Ten Little Eggs, by Marzolla
The Little Rabbit who Wanted Red Wings, by Bailey
Hooray for Passover, byKimmelman
The Best Easter Ever, by Speirs
Shape and Farm books
Recite Humpty Dumpty
Please refer to Magical Moments Guide for original holiday stories
Language: Encourage the children to tell you stories about their families, their feelings, their eggs, pieces of matzah, etc.
Discuss opposites like hard vs. soft
Beginning and ending sounds
Reinforces holiday fingerplays and poems like:
Once there was a little egg, (kids roll up on floor)
That jumped down to the floor (Jump)
It started rolling all around (roll)
And then rolled out the door.
Make a matzah pat, pat, pat. (Tap hand with other hand like a hammer)
Do not make it fat, fat,fat. (Have hands stretch from each other)
Make a matzah flat, flat,flat. (Have palm of one hand tap palm of their hand)
Make a matzah just like that!!(Snap fingers)
It may be fun to invite families into the classroom so that they can prepare traditional foods for the children.
Please refer to the Magical Moments Curriculum Guide for additional holiday ideas.
Please remember, it is our responsibility to follow protocol, but, it is also our obligation as educators, to continually enrich our students’ lives by respecting and teaching about diversity, not, by ignoring it.
Happy Holidays and Happy Teaching, Donna