About This Book
If you are a teacher, director, or supervisor in an early childhood program
and are considering changing your approach to holidays, this book was
written for you. It will also be useful to you if you are a teacher-trainer in-
terested in helping teachers think about holidays in new ways. Holidays
in the classroom are an area of much debate and struggle. Many teachers
are grappling with this curriculum component. How to make holiday ac-
tivities meaningful for children, how to relate them to their families, and
how to implement activities accurately and respectfully are some of the
many hurdles teachers face. Addressing diversity, avoiding stereotypes,
handling the religious aspects of holidays, and meeting the needs of fam-
ilies who do not celebrate are others.
This book is organized into three sections. The first section, “Rethinking
Holidays,” will help you understand the important issues involved in hol-
idays themselves (chapter 1) and in implementing them in early child-
hood classrooms (chapter 2). Chapter 2 also describes in broad terms
what a good, anti-bias approach to holidays should include.
The second section, “Planning for Change,” guides you through the
steps of changing your approach to holidays. Chapter 3, “Assess Your
Situation,” will help you examine your own feelings, your position, and
your relationships with the families you work with. It also discusses how
to collaborate with families and colleagues, a necessary part of the
process. Chapter 4, “Develop a Holiday Policy,” suggests ways to formal-
ize your approach into a written policy as you make choices and imple-
ment changes. Chapters 5 and 6 will guide you through making
important decisions about your goals for holiday activities (chapter 5) and
which holidays to include in your classroom to help you meet those goals
(chapter 6). Evaluating is an important part of the process of change.
Chapter 7 offers tools to help you review and plan to improve your ac-
tivities as you move forward.
The third section, “Holidays in Your Classroom,” is full of steps and
strategies that will help you successfully implement holiday activities in
your classroom. There are many issues to address. Chapter 8 offers in-