Meets the learning standards for grades 4-5 (can be adapted)  
Media Type:  Writing and Drawing
Subject Integration: Fine Arts, English Language Arts, Social Studies 

Materials: writing materials, color pencils/crayons/markers

Description of the Activities/Workshop: Using English Language Arts and Social Studies lenses to create a visual representation from verbal/literary descriptions; Using fine motor skills, observation, form, and shape to depict the Seven Symbols of Kwanzaa. 

Why am I teaching this: Arts Integration Thread (to catalyze the learning of content outside of art), Art Skills Development Thread (to deepen the development of art-making skills)  

Special Equipment: none 

Focus Question: How can we use our drawing and interpretation skills to better understand the holiday of Kwanzaa? 

Activity 1 

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States that honors African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26th to January 1st, and culminates in gift giving and a big feast. Read this article about Kwanzaa with the learners. Kwanzaa – HISTORY   

Answer these questions: 

  • List at least one example of a time in your life when you have practiced one of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.  
  • How can the Seven Principles presented by Dr Maulana Karenga build African American Community? 

Activity 2 

Create a drawing featuring all 7 symbols of Kwanzaa as described by the above article. Pay attention to what colors each symbol is and how many should be represented, as well as any specific directions for placement and arrangement of the symbols. 

Share and reflect on your drawing interpretation of the information. Make observations about similarities and differences. 

Activity 3 

Watch this video depicting two young people discussing Kwanzaa: 

Practice teaching each other about the celebration of Kwanzaa.

Reflect!