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Kwanzaa is a unique African American celebration that focuses on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. It is celebrated daily from December 26 to January 1.
For more information read the fact file below or download the comprehensive worksheet pack which includes over 30 worksheets to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Kwanzaa is celebrated daily from December 26 to January 1.
- Kwanzaa (Swahili for “fresh fruits”) is based on an African harvest festival. The karamu, or feast, is held on December 31 and one of the high points of Kwanzaa.
- Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga, a professor of black studies at California State University at Long Beach, in 1966. It is a nonreligious, nonpolitical celebration of family and social values for African American families.
- Gifts are given during Kwanzaa. These gifts must always include a book, to emphasize the African tradition of learning stressed since ancient Egypt, and a heritage symbol, to reinforce and reaffirm the commitment to history and tradition.
- The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green. Also decorations should include traditional African items such as African baskets, cloth patterns, art objects, and harvest symbols.
- Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two alternative ones. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement.
- When establishing Kwanzaa in 1966, Dr. Karenga included an additional “a” to the end of the spelling to reflect the difference between the African American celebration (Kwanzaa) and the Motherland spelling (Kwanza).
- People celebrating Kwanzaa use glow-sticks, whistles and party-poppers to create a festive atmosphere. Loot bags and prizes are also part of the celebration along with many traditional foods, costumes and decorations.
- Kwanzaa follows the seven basic principles called Nguzo Saba. These include Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith). These principles all stand for virtues that African families and communities should possess in relation to commerce, responsibility and self-improvement.
- The seven day celebration is commemorated by lighting a candle on each day followed by a discussion of one of the seven principles.
- Candles are placed in a holder called a Kinara. A black candle is placed in the middle while three red and three green candles are placed on the right and left respectively.
- In addition to the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Africans also include seven symbols. These include mazao (harvest), mkeka (cloth), vibunzi (fertility), mishumaa saba (principles), kinara (candleholder/family), kikombe cha umoja (unity cup) and zawadi (gifts).
- Gifts, or Zawadi, are given on the seventh day of the celebration. These gifts are meant to represent encouragement, self-determination, success and growth for the person receiving them.
- Having been founded in 1966, Kwanzaa is now observed by more than 18 million people worldwide.
This bundle includes 30 ready-to-use Kwanzaa worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about this African American celebration that focuses on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement.
Worksheet Collection 1:
- Kwanzaa Facts
- Mapping African Populations
- Kwanzaa Principles
- Famous African Americans
- Seven Symbols
- African Influence in America
- In 7 Days
- Africa 101
- Kwanzaa Celebrations
- Poem Writing
Worksheet Collection 2:
- Kwanzaa Facts
- The Seven Principles Fill in the Blanks
- The Seven Symbols
- Mazao Family Picture Celebration
- Vibunzi Decoding an African Proverb
- Mishumaa Saba
- Coloring Activity
- Color Symbolism Research
- Candleholder Designing
- Menorah and Mishumaa Saba
- Kikombe Cha Umoja Identifying Family Traditions
- Zawadi Gift Box Design
- “Power of Seven” Activities
- Top Seven People
- Seven Personal Qualities
- Interpreting Seven Proverbs
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Link will appear as Kwanzaa Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 3, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.