Adult Ed
Holidays and Observances: Looking at Diversity and Culture



Holidays all over the world provide a meaningful theme for student reading, writing, and researching. Students can share their own experiences and knowledge, and learn about other people, places, and customs. This unit is also an opportunity to address diversity and culture.

Subject Matter

  • Reading, writing (pre-writing, composing, revision, and editing), researching

Learning objectives:

Students will be able to:
  • Write a personal narrative
  • Use art as a pre-writing activity
  • Research a topic of their choice
  • Write a report on their research


National Standards:
National Reporting System of Adult Education standards are applicable here. These are the standards required by the 1998 Workforce Investment Act. See
for details.


Media Components

Although this unit can be very low tech, you can use media to enrich the lessons. Some of these Web sites provide very detailed lists of holidays from many cultures, including some obscure holidays. Here are some Web sites for the research parts of the unit. feature=holidays&page=html/holidays.htm&direct=yes


Foam core, poster board, or bulletin boards are needed for the displays the students make in the “Culminating Activity.” The displays and the artwork in Activity 1 will be more creative with construction paper, markers, crayons, and colored pens.

Prep for Teachers

Complete all the writing assignments yourself before asking students to do them. Review Web sites before sending students to the links. If you want to use books or other print materials for the research part of this, that requires some preparation. If your program has its own library, you need to gather some books about holidays, customs, and traditions. If you don’t have a library of your own, check out the local public library. Some libraries allow programs to take out deposit collections for your program’s use.