4 ways to highlight traditions this holiday season

Traditions provide a sense of belonging within families, friend groups, and communities. No matter what holidays you do or don’t celebrate, many families have traditions that they enjoy this time of year. From elaborate holiday decorating to weekly movie nights with popcorn, there are so many ways to honor our rituals. Whether your students’ family traditions are silly or sentimental, they help to create a sense of continuity in an unpredictable world. 

At Along, we know that discussions around traditions offer opportunities to create connections between teachers and their students. So, we’ve provided resources and reflection questions that  you can share this holiday season and beyond:

  1. Reflect with students: One of the best ways to get to know students is to use the reflection question “What traditions matter to you? Why are they important?.” Start your reflection by defining the word tradition and describing one of your own to help students to feel comfortable sharing. Traditions can help us feel more connected to family, friends, or other members of our communities. By understanding students’ traditions, we gain better insights into the things that are important to them.
  2. Circles of Identity Activity: Try this Circles of Identity classroom activity with students. The Circle of Identity tool helps students understand one another and themselves in meaningful ways, and can be used when you would like to initiate engaging conversations about identity, diversity, beliefs, or values with your students. Initiating these conversations will encourage students to build a sense of belonging and nurtures community in the classroom.
  3. Consider others’ traditions: Try the reflection question “Do you have a favorite food to eat with your family or community? What makes it special?” Food is central in many traditions and can be a fun conversation starter between teacher and student. From there, you could consider highlighting a few students’ favorite foods by tasting with the entire class. Or, ask students to share their answers with their peers.
  4. Make your own: Create a class tradition! Ask your students for ideas and vote on their favorite. Simple traditions, like starting the week with an activity or sharing what they learned on Fridays, can give students something to look forward to.

Traditions fulfill four key criteria for achieving our senses of being, belonging, believing and benevolence. We hope these activities and reflection questions are helpful this time of year. Visit our content library for more fun ideas and inspiration.