Posts Tagged ‘traditions’

India’s Festival of Holi

March 22nd, 2013

Hi! It’s Thursday, March 22, 2013 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Pitara Kids Network: Holi

Age Range: 5-13 (approximately, with parental preview and supervision)

This ad-supported website was developed by entrepreneurs, journalists, curriculum developers, and educators in India and “was born out of the recognition that education is not an end in itself. That it has a higher goal – of helping our children become intelligent human beings. Intelligent and sensitive to their immediate social-political-cultural-ecological surroundings.”

The website offers all kinds of free games and activities to encourage learning, including terrific information on the spring festival in India called, “Holi.”  In 2013, Holi will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 27th.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the culture, customs and traditions of India. 

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction. The information is slightly outdated as it says that Holi is on March 9-10. The festival changes dates annually. As mentioned previously, in 2013 it will be celebrated on March 27th. Explore the menu below the welcome message that includes:

*Holi: The Colours of Spring – Read about the history and meaning of the festival.

*Where Holi is the Talk of the Town – Find out why Holi is “the day when the world turns upside down.”

*The Song of Hori or Happiness – Read about the Hindu myths and legends about Holi. (Note: There is a game on this page that I couldn’t open and review. I’m not certain if it’s part of the page, or an ad.  If you can open it, preview to determine suitability of content.)

*Holi is for Children – Read a woman’s recollection of Holi and how her family celebrated when she was a child.

*Holi’s Here – If you’ve read all of the articles above, take the quiz to test your knowledge of Holi. Taking the quiz is education all by itself. Whether you answer correctly or incorrectly you receive an informative explanation.

This site offers a peek into Hindu beliefs, traditions, and legends associated with the festival of Holi in India. Some of the customs and beliefs may seem strange and puzzling, but they present a good opportunity for discussion and greater understanding of the people and countries of our world.

The site also offers many games and activities that I did not review. Plus, random ads are generated on each page of the website. Therefore, as always, parents should preview to determin suitability of content and supervise all Internet activity.

Free Game & Curriculum on History of Detroit!

January 10th, 2013

It’s Thursday, January 10, 2013 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Building Detroit

Age Range: 8 and up (with parental supervision, non-readers will need assistance)

The Detroit Historical Society sponsors this website that provides free curriculum, an interactive timeline, and a fun interactive game focused on the geographic, economic, historic, and cultural events in Detroit from 1600 to 1901. The presentation highlights the history of Native Americans, military occupation, fur trading, economic and population growth, industrialization, and the Underground Railroad, as well as the influence of French, British, Spanish, and Dutch explorers and immigrants.

When you get to the site, you can select from three items on the menu that include:

*Building Detroit: The Game – Play a game that allows you to help build the city of Detroit over five generations. As you progress through the game, you’ll learn about people and events of historical importance.

*Detroit History – Explore an interactive timeline that covers events from 1600-1901.

*Curriculum – Get free lessons plans in social studies and English language arts. Designed with third grade classroom students in mind, it can be enjoyed by a wider age/grade range and tweaked for homeschool use. The lessons are divided into six sections as follows:

  1. Before 1701 – Learn about the Native Americans who inhabited the area and explore Anishinabeg culture and oral traditions.
  2. 1701-1760 French Detroit – Meet French explorers and learn about the French fur trade.
  3. 1761-1796 British Detroit – Find out about Pontiac’s Rebellion, life in British Detroit, and the American Revolution.
  4. 1796-1825 Early American Detroit – Meet people of historical importance to Detroit, and learn about the great fire of 1805.
  5. 1825-1865 Boomtown Detroit – Discover how Detroit became a city, and its role in the Underground Railroad.
  6. 1866-1901 Industrial Detroit – Learn how Detroits natural resources led to its industrialization.

History of Holidays!

December 13th, 2012

Hi! It’s Thursday, December 13, 2012 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Websites: See Below

Age Range: Varies (with parental supervision)

The holidays are here and I thought you might enjoy learning about their origin and history, as well as some of the customs associated with them.

The History of Christmas offers several videos you can watch on the history of Christmas from the religious story to the traditional icons in popular culture. Discover the origins of Santa Claus, explore Christmas celebrations around the world, and learn about ancient rituals and Winter Solstice celebrations too.

The History of the Christmas Tree

This site provides a lesson plan on the history of the Christmas Tree. Use the discussion questions to stimulate conversation or prompt a writing exercise.

The History of Christmas Carols
This website provides information on the history of Christmas carols! When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction and a menu of songs. Click on any one and a new page opens that explains the origin of the song, along with the lyrics. (If you want to hear the music to these songs, click here.

The History of Hanukkah

Get a terrific overview of the history of the Jewish Festival of Lights called Hanukkah. Watch a 4-minute video, explore traditions like lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and discover why potato pancakes (latkes) are a popular food at Hanukkah celebrations.

The History of the Dreidel

The dreidel is a traditional Hanukah toy. At this website you can get an overview of its history and its various meanings in theology, psychology, philosophy, numerology and more!

The History of Kwanzaa
At this site, you can watch a video that provides a good explanation and overview of Kwanzaa, a non-religious African American holiday that celebrates family, community, and culture for 7 days from December 26 – January 1.

Colonial History Games, Videos, Podcasts, & More!

December 6th, 2012

Hi! It’s Thursday, December 6, 2012 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Colonial Willamsburg

Age Range: All (with parental supervision)

Did you ever wonder what life was really like in colonial days? Wonder no longer! At this Colonial Williamsburg Foundation website, students of all ages can enjoy games, interactives, and podcasts designed to help them learn about colonial history.

When you get to this massive site, you’ll see some highlighted features that change with the seasons. Currently, you’ll see fascinating podcasts about the history of fruitcakes, sugar cakes, and other holiday traditions. Use the horizontal menu at the top of the screen to explore:

*History – Read educational bios, essays, and articles on the everyday lives of extraordinary colonial Americans. Learn about the people, places, life, revolution, trades, clothing, and more.

*Multi-Media – Enjoy slideshows, videos, podcasts, audios, games and more on every aspect of colonial life.

*Kids – Play fun games themed around colonial America.

This site is a great way to introduce the history of colonial America and enhance any study of it.

Native American Science Lessons & Activities

November 6th, 2012

Hi! It’s Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Websites: See Below

Age Range: Varies

It’s November and in the U.S. learning activities are often themed around the contributions of Native Americans to American history. Here are some science lessons and activities inspired by the same:

ThinkQuest: Native Americans in Science

At this website you’ll find a simple and very brief overview of the ways Native Americans have contributed to Astronomy, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics that is suitable for all ages/grades. Be sure to click on the image of the “Back Button” to find find similar lists of Native American contributions to Medicine, Invention, Art, the Military, and more.

After reading the above overview, try this activity:

Lesson: Can-Do Canoe

This free classroom lesson and activity (for ages 8-17 or grades 3-12) can be tweaked for homeschoolers. As explained at the website, “Explore the engineering design process by building model canoes from everyday materials and testing their design. The canoes must be able to float for three minutes and, for older students, support a load.” Students then evaluate the effectiveness of their canoes and discuss their findings.

And for those who are looking for content for more advanced learners…

Native American Science

This website, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and several universities, provides a free university-level curriculum (that high school students and accelerated learners may also enjoy) that shows how Indigenous traditions are based on a solid understanding and description of natural phenomena. Topics include: Native and Western Views of Nature, Indigenous Research Methods, Environmental Justice, Indigenous Perspective, and more.

As explained at the website, “Our goal is to avoid romantic cliches and characterizations of Indian people and their traditional knowledge and to present this knowledge as well documented but different in approach from ‘Western science.’ These traditions are based on connection to the natural world, rather than separation from nature–in other words we are working with a science based on relationships, reciprocity and respect rather than solely on exploitation and economic concerns.”

Latin/Greek Root Word Holiday Puzzles!

December 7th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website: Holiday Tradition Puzzles

Age Range: 6 and up (grades 1-12 approximately, with adult supervision)

This website offers a variety of language arts activities for elementary, middle, and high school students to improve vocabulary, writing, and conversation including holiday-themed Latin/Greek root-word puzzles, trivia, crosswords, and scavenger hunts.

When you get to the site, you’ll see the first vocabulary puzzle for “Christmas/Holiday Traditions” that you must solve using the Latin/Greek root words and vocabulary words. Full instructions are included. Then, scroll down the page to find similar puzzles for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan.

Don’t miss these other holiday vocabulary activities:

*Christmas Crossword Puzzle

*Christmas Trivia Lists There are 9 fun trivia lists that you can print out and play offline. (Great for long holiday road trips too!) Topics include naming:

  • 14 objects that the Grinch stole at Christmas
  • Holiday Songs with the word “Christmas” in the title
  • Songs that were #1 on the Billboard Charts on Christmas Day
  • Santa’s 8 reindeer from the poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
  • 12 gifts of Christmas (from the Christmas carol)

*Christmas Traditions: 24 Scavenger Hunt Ideas – On this page you’ll find a Christmas/Holiday word list from A to Z.  Scroll down the page to find a list of 24 objects you might look for on a Scavenger Hunt using the vocabulary from the word list.