Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Asia Knowledge Ministry of Education

Home navigation

Celebrate good times

Approximate duration: 2 lessons

Key competencies:

  • Thinking
  • Relating to others

Effective teaching:

  • Creating a supportive learning environment
  • Making connections to prior learning and experience

Links to social inquiry processes:

  • Finding out information
  • Exploring values and perspectives

Conceptual understandings/learning intentions: today we are learning that...

  • (Level 1) There are similarities and differences in the cultural expressions of Chinese New Zealanders and other New Zealand cultural groups.

What is a celebration and how do we celebrate?

The teacher talks with their students about the thumbs up and thumbs down signs and what they mean. The students decide on some facial gestures to go with each sign – like huge smiles or big sad faces. The teacher calls out “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” to the students while they sit in pairs and mirror their partner’s sign and expression.

The teacher calls out the celebrations and activities below. The children decide whether each one should get a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” sign. The teacher displays the words on flashcards as they read them out.


Easter eggs

Frosty fingers

Christmas Eve

Guy Fawkes

Christmas morning

Summer holidays


New Years Eve

The day after your birthday

First day of school

First swim for the summer

Wrapping up presents

Unwrapping presents

Blowing out candles

Decorating the Christmas tree

Going to church

Going to the movies

Eating birthday cake

Party games

Blowing up balloons

The class discusses what a celebration is. Together they decide which of the things from the list are celebrations or a part of a celebration. The class discusses whether all of the celebrations were awarded a “thumbs up” sign.

The students pick a celebration that they love and draw the part that they think is the best part. The students cut and glue the celebration pictures onto a celebration mural. The teacher and students build up a bank of celebration words to display with the pictures. Words could include: games, family, whanau, presents, singing, dancing, happy, laughter, fun, love, treats, special clothes, food, traditions.

The teacher explains that a custom or tradition is the usual way of doing things and sometimes these things have been done by people for many years.

The students identify some of the customs and traditions that are communicated in their pictures on the mural, for example: blowing out birthday candles, decorating Christmas trees, giving gifts. They write a short sentence to describe the custom or tradition and stick it underneath their picture or they write a simple poem using this suggested format. Students could also work in small groups to dramatize a popular custom or tradition which the rest of the class has to guess. Freeze frames or mime could be used for this activity.

The students focus on a celebration that they all know well, for example: Christmas, birthdays or Guy Fawkes. In small groups children can complete a chart like "Christmas Traditions". Talk about the charts as a class and look closely at how different children do different things. They still celebrate Christmas but have different traditions.

Students complete the following summary sentences:

I celebrate Christmas (or another well known celebration/festival) the same way as (classmate’s name) because we both ______________________________

I celebrate Christmas (or another well known celebration/festival) in a different way than (classmate’s name) because I ______________________________

Return to top

Site map