34. How do you incorporate cultural holidays into the curriculum without offending religious groups?

What is a "cultural holiday"? To me is a day when we can celebrate a particular culture in any one of its many possible manifestations. For example, the 4th of July, Independence Day for the USA, may be celebrated in many different ways:

  1. Fireworks
  2. Picnic – Any other type of event involving food for the occasion
  3. Attending a concert where patriotic American music is played by a band or orchestra
  4. Reading and discussing a historical document or event
  5. Reciting poetry relating to the events commemorated in the holiday
  6. Reading about the important people or ideas pertaining to the holiday
  7. Re-enacting or dramatizing an important occasion pertaining to the holiday
  8. Making arts and crafts commemorating the holiday; painting, sculpturing, etc.
  9. Writing about the event, either fiction or non-fiction
  10. Running, racing, competing for a cause relating to the event to raise awareness or funds.

These and many other ways of celebrating a cultural holiday help integrate the curriculum with the celebration without offending groups of people--religious, minority or majority groups--that may object to one type of celebration or another. There should be a wide variety of possible activities, linked to curricular objectives, that allow students to choose the best suited activity for their needs, interests, or preferences.

Personally, for example, I object to fireworks displays: Fireworks are incredibly noisy, cause much harm to human ear drums, scare many domestic animals—dogs and cats—that may run away in terror, get lost, or get killed by cars, cause accidents that are totally preventable by simply forbidding fireworks sales, and result in some cases in horrific death or injury to people, especially young children. I would prefer to celebrate the 4th or July, Independence Day, in any other way except with fireworks!!!!!




For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net