Cultural learning is a key component of the Montessori curriculum. Students begin learning about the histories, cultures, religions, and geographic features of different parts of the world at a very young age. Learning about cultures or religions beyond your own is especially rewarding when your classmates and their families can help you learn from their own experience!
This year, one of our preschool classes hosted a special celebration for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. In the northern hemisphere, Diwali is celebrated each Autumn, and is one of the most popular festivals of the year throughout Hindu culture. Lights, decorations, and high spirits abound as people celebrate the victory of light and goodness over the likes of darkness and evil. A perfect way to celebrate as the nights get longer and darker.
This year, we were lucky enough to be joined by three classroom parents who celebrate Diwali. They were happy to lend their knowledge and experiences on the topic, and share in the celebrations! It's always exciting to have parents lend their first-hand knowledge on a classroom topic, and the students were, of course, thrilled to have them.
Hands On Crafts
The children listened to a book about the history and traditions of Diwali, appreciating the brightness and positivity of the holiday. Next, they made their very own rangoli on paper. Rangoli are beautiful designs, traditionally made on the ground using colored powders or sand. These designs are a typical part of the Diwali celebration and are thought to bring good luck. Families pass down designs and techniques through the generations to create beautiful and intricate rangoli. Students colored and decorated paper rangoli designs (with their own, glittery version of colored sand), and also received diyas, a type of lantern used to decorate the home during Diwali, to take home and use for celebrations with their families.
Learning about Diwali enhanced the cultural learning of our students, strengthened our community by creating another opportunity for parent involvement, and added depth to our study of Asian countries and cultures.
Learn more about Kingsley's Early Childhood Program here!