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Kwanzaa. Laura Gilmore ED 417-01. Holidays. Grade 2 Kwanzaa. Objectives. The students will be able to explain what the Kwanzaa celebration is and why it is celebrated. The students will recognize the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

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Laura Gilmore

ED 417-01

  • Grade 2
  • Kwanzaa
  • The students will be able to explain what the Kwanzaa celebration is and why it is celebrated.
  • The students will recognize the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
  • The students will be able to name the three colors of Kwanzaa and what they stand for.
  • The students will be able to describe what is done during the Kwanzaa celebration.
  • Empty Toilet Paper Roll
  • Construction Paper (in the colors you want for your candles)

Tissue Paper (yellow and orange)


Tape (or glue)


  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Spoon
  • Treats (candy, little toys, crayons)
materials continued
Materials Continued
  • Paper for pictures about gifts
  • Kwanzaa crossword copies
  • Candleholder
  • Kids Domain

Kwanzaa, quanza, quansa, kinera, what is, seven principles of

Kids Zone

Kulture Kidz

kwanzaa crossword
Kwanzaa Crossword
  • The students will complete the Kwanzaa crossword in order to practice using the different words used to describe the Kwanzaa celebration.
kwanzaa candleholder
Kwanzaa Candleholder
  • The teacher will discuss with the students what each of the candles in the Kwanzaa candleholder mean. The students will work together to set up the Kwanzaa candleholder in groups at their tables and talk about the order in which the candles would be lit.
making benne cakes
Making Benne Cakes

You will need:

  • oil to grease a cookie sheet
  • 1 cup finely packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
making benne cakes cont
Making Benne Cakes Cont.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly oil a
  • cookie sheet. Mix together the brown
  • sugar and butter, and beat until they are
  • creamy. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and
  • lemon juice. Add flour, baking powder,
  • salt, and sesame seeds. Drop by rounded
  • teaspoons onto the cookie sheet 2 inches
  • apart. Bake for 15 mintues or until the
  • edges are browned. Enjoy!
candle treats
Candle Treats
  • Take your toilet paper roll and lay it down on your

construction paper. Use a ruler to draw a line on the

paper for the width of the paper roll. Use your scissors to cut along the line that you drew, Lay the Paper Roll down on the edge of the construction paper. Tape one of the ends of the construction paper to the Paper Roll, then carefully roll the Paper Roll until you get to the end of the construction paper. When the construction paper is all the way around the Paper Roll, put a piece of tape to hold the paper together. You can also glue the paper down


the Paper Roll, put a piece of tape to hold the paper together.

You can also glue the paper down instead of using tape. If you

do this, put a rubber band around the Paper Roll, and allow time

for this step to dry. Cut two squares of of the yellow

color and one of the orange tissue paper. I use a nice sized square

here so my candle flame is nice and large. Also remember when

making this part of the candle, most of the tissue will be inside

of the paper roll…so be generous with it's size. Lay the tissue

down, one piece on top of the other. If you angle it like the

sample here to your left, both colors of the tissue will show

nicely in your finished project. Use a spoon to gently push the

tissue into the Paper Roll. Don't push too hard or the tissue may

rip. Once the tissue is in the Paper Roll... add your treats. This

can be little toys, candy, or

anything you would like to give the children for treats.

Once your treats have been added... tie off the end. Here we've used green

string... but that is only so you can see where we added the tie. With your fingers... work

up the tissue to form a tip to make it look like a candle flame.

Make as many candles as there are for your celebration...

at least one candle per child. These can be set up to be part

of your decorations.

kwanzaa gifts
Kwanzaa Gifts
  • The teacher will discuss the ritual of giving children gifts on the last day of Kwanzaa.
  • The teacher will instruct the children to write about and draw a picture of what kind of homemade gifts they would like to receive if they celebrated Kwanzaa.
  • They should think about the nature of Kwanzaa gifts and also what they would like. Kwanzaa gifts are traditionally homemade and creative.
  • Kwanzaa means “first fruit” in Swahili.
  • Kwanzaa is an African harvest celebration.
  • Kwanzaa is a time of harvest, reverence, and celebration.
when is kwanzaa
When is Kwanzaa?
  • December 26th-January 1st
  • Kwanza was started in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University.
colors of kwanzaa
Colors of Kwanzaa
  • Black for the race of our people
  • Red for the blood our people shed
  • Green for the hope and color of the Motherland
principles of kwanzaa

Principles of Kwanzaa

There is one principle for each of the seven days of Kwanzaa.

kwanzaa celebration
Kwanzaa Celebration
  • The Kinara is placed atop the Mkeka.
  • Each candle represents a distinct principle beginning with Umoja.
  • Candles are then lit each day alternately from left to right.
  • Three red candles should be placed on the left and three green candles should be placed on the right.
  • On the last day of Kwanzaa the children are given homemade gifts.