Date Posted

December is Universal Human Rights Month. Human rights are fundamental rights that a person is entitled to simply because they are a human being. This is an acknowledgement that fundamentally should be without controversy in our society. We saw December start off with the recognition of National Special Education Day on December 2nd which commemorates the signing of the first special ed law,  IDEA, that granted a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment to students with disabilities. December 15th is actually Bill of Rights Day, where we celebrate the freedoms given to us in the first 10 amendments of the US Constitution. This month we also recognize the celebration of Hanukkah/Chanukah beginning on December 16th. There have been so many recent verbal and physical anti-semitic incidents. Whether tropes by entertainment and political figures or  violent attacks it is essential to counter these insidious hate-filled narratives by sharing the meaning of Hanukkah and educating people on the history and diversity within the Jewish faith.  On December 18th the world celebrates International Migrants Day. Regardless of the reason a person needs to migrate somewhere else we know that they are often exposed to abuse and exploitation. Migrants also have limited access to essential services including healthcare, and are faced with xenophobic attacks. Christmas and Kwanzaa are also honored at the end of December and we know bring with them specific religious and cultural traditions that include celebratory gift exchanges, parties, and family gatherings. We honor all the celebrations this December!!

At all times but especially this month, we should remember to have culturally responsive instruction for holiday and religious celebrations. Not everyone is aware of what Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and other celebrations mean. This is a great opportunity to highlight the cultures that celebrate differently and ask students who don’t celebrate now in December about what they do during this holiday season and New Years as well. Students will get to see how much they have in common. This will not only enrich your classroom connections but will also give students a bigger view of the world. Presentations could be done, or approved guest speakers could be invited. Always source any information you are sharing to make sure that it is credible.

Seasons Greetings from the FFT CHR Committee!!!

Lesson Plans & Other Resources

Human Rights Month

Share My Lesson- Human Rights Are For Everyone

Teaching Resources for the Holidays (Grades 2-12)

Winter Holiday Writing Prompts (Grades 3-5)

Supporting Students through Grief over the Holidays

Hanukkah History & Traditions (Grades K-2)

Sesame Street Kwanzaa

Sesame Street: Kwanzaa