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Kwanzaa, an African-American and Pan-African holiday that is a celebration of family, community and culture is celebrated from 12/26 – 1/1, find out more at www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org.

A book that you can read to the class is, The Kwanzaa Contest by Miriam Moore and Penny Taylor (Hyperion, 1996). In this story kids compete for a prize by sharing African stories and crafts.

Happy Kwanzaa
Poetry/Math Check with your librarian for a Kwanzaa picture book to read to your class before doing the following counting rhyme. Read the poem to the class, and then read it again, having students act it out. They may also create pictures of the actions to hold up.

Kwanzaa Guests

by Jacqueline Schiff

1 Kwanzaa Guest
Kindling a light,
2 Kwanzaa guests
Drumming at night.
3 Kwanzaa guests
Eating some fruit,
4 Kwanzaa guests
Playing the flute.
5 Kwanzaa guests
Stringing their beads,
6 Kwanzaa guests
Planting some seeds.
7 Kwanzaa guests
Dancing away,
8 Kwanzaa guests
Painting their clay.
9 Kwanzaa guests
Singing out loud,
10 Kwanzaa guests,
Smiling and proud.

On the last line, all join hands, raise them say "Harambee!" (hah-rahm-BAY-ay), which means "Let's all pull together!"

Habari Gani? (What's the News)?
Learn about Kwanzaa, the world's fastest growing holiday, with these activities and Internet links.

What Is Kwanzaa?
Students are introduced to the origin and purpose of Kwanzaa and make a kinara, or candle holder, to use for the rest of the unit as they learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa Mini-Unit
Students will learn how to identify the similarities and differences between the celebrations: Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. They will also learn how to identify African art, music and language. This lesson also includes an African game your students can play.

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