Kindergartners Discover the Spirit of Diwali

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Throughout the school year, kindergarten students in Kim Fitzsimmons and Michelle Reagan’s class at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center are embracing the cultures of their peers. Leading up to the Hindu holiday Diwali, students learned about Diwali through literature and the traditions it entails. The class created diyas (festive candle holders) which are lit on Diwali to signify goodness and created Rangoli designs to bring good luck upon the classes of the Kindergarten Center on Nov. 5.  

With the guidance of Fitzsimmons, each student received two different colored pieces of air dry clay and molded it into their own diya. The activity was not only a hands-on celebration of Diwali, but also a lesson on the five senses. The students spoke about how the clay felt as they transformed it into a diya and placed a fake candle in the center. The students put their creativity to the test as they incorporated different colored beads and foil confetti into their diya. 

With Diwali music playing in the background, the class showcased their Diwali dance at their tables and continued their celebration with Rangoli designs. Students worked together on a black piece of paper to color in the different Rangoli designs with chalk. The class then placed their designs outside each classroom in the building, just as Rangoli designs are placed at the entrances of homes to bring prosperity and good luck during Diwali. 

In addition to activities, Fitzsimmons’ class incorporates the different cultures and holidays into the math curriculum with word problems and into the students’ writing and reading workshops, fitting into the theme of learning around the world. The Diwali celebration also furthered the students’ understanding of the word respect, the Kindergarten Center’s October character trait of the month. 

“They are excited to learn about each other’s cultures,” said Fitzsimmons. “Together, we are making world connections.”