With the holidays approaching, it is a wonderful time to remind students about the wide array of celebrations around the world. Respecting the cultural differences of one another includes becoming informed of the celebrations of others. This lesson is designed for students to learn about the traditions of others and celebrate the similarities and differences. 

Character Education Objectives:

Students will:

  • learn about several holidays celebrated by other cultures.
  • share and learn about the traditions of other students


  • Paper with Venn diagram (two overlapping circles)

Lesson: Large Group

  1. Watch “Holidays Around the World” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sv0ac-W8Vc
  2. Have students share out things they saw in the video that looked similar to how they celebrate, things that looked different and things they would like to try at their next family celebration.
  3. Have students pair off and give each pair a Venn diagram. Explain that a Venn diagram is designed to show how two things are the same in some aspects and different in others. This Venn diagram is going to be about how your family celebrates. Each circle includes the things you do that the other person does not do, but the middle are things you both do. For example: My family wraps presents, but my partner’s family hides the presents. In my circle I would have wraps presents and my partner would put hides presents in his circle. My family makes a cake and my partner’s family makes a cake, so we would put that in the middle, overlapping part of our circles because we both celebrate by making cakes.
  4. Have students write their name above one circle and their partner do the same. Have students start to discuss celebrations in their families. You may need to help students along by asking some of these questions:
    • What do you eat when you celebrate?
    • Who celebrates with you?
    • When do you celebrate?
    • Do you travel or go somewhere else to celebrate?
    • Are there parades or festivals?
    • Are there presents? Who receives presents and who gives presents?
    • Do you make anything special to celebrate?
    • Do you wear a certain outfit to celebrate?
  5. Have the pairs share out to the large group some ways they are similar and some ways they are unique in celebrating. After each pair, ask the large group to raise their hand if they heard any similarities to their own celebrations.

After learning about different celebrations, encourage students to think about why it is important to learn about different holidays and reflect on how best to respect the celebrations that look different than your own.

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Respecting Cultural Differences (Grades K-5)
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