Today is the Halloween celebration at school. The various student councils have planned activities for Halloween. First, the students were asked to dress in black and orange. This afternoon the middle and high school students will be allowed to change into costumes. Then the middle schoolers will watch a movie – something Goosebumps. Then a costume contest and finally food. The high schoolers have planned many traditional games – bobbing for apples, pass the orange etc. The elementary students are watching a production made by grade 4/5.
I find this very interesting. In Lithuania, holidays were a touchy subject. Many people objected to Halloween, considering it a Satanic holiday, therefore it was changed to Masquerade Day. Christmas became “Winter Holiday.” There was tension between the parents and teachers about how to celebrate holidays. As international teachers, many believed that the school needed to be more sensitive to our international population. Not all of our students were white-Christian. And even if they were, celebrating Christian holidays to the exclusion of others did not support our mission statement that stated “The school enthusiastically encourages the study and understanding of different cultures so that AISV students will develop into constructive world citizens.”
Well, I jumped on the bandwagon and right now my 6th and 7th grade language arts students are completing a web sampler on Halloween. They read a page about the origins and celebrations of Halloween around the world, then completed a MadLibs. Plus I included other games.