Each social studies lesson I would discuss family celebrations with my students. One year I had an Indian student who told me about Diwali. She was so excited and explained how this celebration was just like Christmas for her family with gift-giving, special foods and traditions. Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival is usually held sometime between October and November, with the date changing each year.
That year I decided to bring the celebration of Diwali into my social studies unit within the context of family celebrations. The students who celebrate Diwali were stunned, to say the least, and their eyes lit up! In the past, nobody had really acknowledged their family celebration.
I love bringing new cultural celebrations into the classroom because it not only makes it so inclusive but also introduces children to other traditions that might be similar to theirs.
Here are some super easy craft ideas you can use to bring Diwali into your classroom this year.
Easy Rangoli Rice Flower
Rangoli is an art form in which patterns are created on the floor using materials such as coloured rice, coloured sand or flower petals.
I used coloured rice to make mine and if you don't know how to make coloured rice see my previous blog post about it here.
What you need:
- coloured rice (3-4 colours or more)
- template (you can download a free template for this design at the end of this blog post)
Print the template and then apply the glue. Any glue works fine but thick paste works best to hold the rice to the paper.
Then apply the rice in sections.
Diyas Candle Decorations
Diya candles are small clay candles containing oil that are placed on rooftops and near entrances and symbolise light over darkness.
These candles are very easy to make and you can freehand draw the template.
What you need:
- red card
- yellow tissue paper
- extra tissue paper in different colours and other items to decorate the bases with
Draw the shape for the base on the card and cut it out.
Decorate the base with whatever you have to hand. I had these gem stickers from the dollar store handy.
Then draw the flame shape on the spare card, cut and attach to the base.
Apply glue to the flame and used scrunched up yellow tissue paper for the middle of the flame.
When finished place them on windows in the classroom or on the wall.
What you need:
- elephant and flowers template (you can download a free template for this design at the end of this blog post)
- pencils or paints
- decorative items
Elephants are sacred in Indian culture and you'll often see decorated elephant images during Diwali.
Print the template, cut and colour.
Attach the ear with glue and draw in an eye.
Attach the flowers, beads or other decorative items. Hang from the ceiling or display on windows or doors.
Simple Folding Diwali Card
These folding cards are easy to make and come in full colour or black and white. You can find these crafts, word searches, information packs, teacher slides, colour by number and many more activities in the Diwali Celebration pack here.
If you'd like to download the free Diwali template for the Rangoli and Elephant craft subscribers can access these and many more freebies in the freebie library.
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