Celebrations
Special Birthdays

Find out about the special birthdays we celebrate in our communities. Learn about Guru Nanak’s birthday and how Sikhs celebrate; discover Wesak, the most important of the Buddhist festivals, that marks the Buddha’s birthday; reflect on Christmas, the birthday of Jesus, and special Christmas customs. Create a birthday event with party hats, decorations, food and entertainment.

Session 1 Guru Nanak's Birthday - A Sikh Festival

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events, and respond to what is heard with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Know about similarities and differences between others, and among families, communities and traditions.
  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
  • Speak confidently in a familiar group, and talk about ideas.

Teaching and Activities

Children will open the story sack to discover what they are learning about. Read `A Birthday to Celebrate´ and learn about Guru Nanak and why he is special. Jump into a Gurdwara and learn about what happens there.

Children will:

  • Retell the story of Guru Nanak by making picture books & participating in role-play.
  • Consolidate their learning by taking part in child-initiated activities.
  • Understand the importance of Guru Nanak and why his birthday is a Sikh festival.
  • Find out about and respect the practices of Sikhism.

You Will Need

  • Story sack
  • Book: A Story of Guru Nanak
  • Picture of Guru Nanak
  • Props for role play

Session 2 Wesak - A Buddhist Festival

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Try new activities confidently, and say why some activities are liked more than others.
  • Speak confidently in a familiar group, and talk about ideas.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events, and respond to what is heard with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Know about similarities and differences between others, and among families, communities and traditions.

Teaching and Activities

Children will take part in a meditation activity. They will listen to the story of the Bodhi tree, make mandala art, lanterns and lotus lamps!

Children will:

  • Consolidate their learning by taking part in child-initiated activities.
  • Understand the importance of Buddha and why his birthday is a Buddhist festiva.l
  • Acknowledge the practices of Buddhism and respond respectfully to them.
  • Accept that people have different faiths/beliefs and that should be respected.

You Will Need

  • Under the Bodhi Tree, A Story of the Buddha book
  • Models of Buddha
  • Non-fiction books about Buddha
  • Modelling clay
  • Resources for mandalas

Session 3 Christmas - A Christian Festival

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events, and respond to what is heard with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Know about similarities and differences between others, and among families, communities and traditions.
  • Speak confidently in a familiar group, and talk about ideas.

Teaching and Activities

Children will listen to the Christmas Story and talk about the birth of Jesus. They will make their own Nativity scenes, St Nicholas glass biscuits and sing Christmas songs around Santa´s sleigh.

Children will:

  • Know the Christmas story and understand why it´s an important Christmas celebration.
  • Consolidate their learning by taking part in child-initiated activities.
  • Acknowledge and respect the practices of Christianity.
  • Accept that people have different faiths/beliefs and that should be respected.

You Will Need

  • Christmas cards
  • Nativity sequence sheets
  • Collage materials
  • Role-play masks
  • Large cardboard boxes
  • Bells
  • Reindeer headbands
  • Soft mats, blankets, pillows, teddies, pyjamas, bedtime stories, costumes, stockings and pretend presents

Session 4 Special birthdays in the community

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
  • Try new activities confidently, and say why some activities are liked more than others.
  • Speak confidently in a familiar group, and talk about ideas.
  • Choose the resources needed for th chosen activities.
  • Talk about past and present events in own lives and in the lives of family members.
  • Know about similarities and differences between others, and among families, communities and traditions.

Teaching and Activities

Host a very special birthday celebration for the oldest person in the community. Showcase past work and prepare for a special birthday party!

Children will:

  • Appreciate personal & other people’s abilities and characteristics.
  • Develop tolerance and respect for people that make positive contributions in our community.
  • Recognise the diversity of people in school/the local community.
  • Represent their own ideas in creative ways.
  • Consolidate learning about Wesak, Christmas and Guru Nanak.

You Will Need

  • Photograph of the special guest
  • Party items
  • Art resources for portraits