Kids Create Calendars for Kids

A story about a sick child motivates students to create holiday calendars for hospitalized kids. Learning to use appropriate software, researching holidays, and working with a visiting artist make this project an authentic experience in community service learning

For more about this special from Community Portraits in Pictures and Words, e-mail Lambros Alex Pappas, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Learn to respect and value diverse cultures and recognize the diversity of human experience.
  • Employ arts to communicate beliefs, experiences, ideas and imagination.
  • Employ various formats and technologies to complete and enhance work.
  • Understand and use the writing process effectively.
  • Classroom Activities
    After reading Carousel, a book about a sick child who is cheered by a beautiful gift, students canvass their peers to determine which holidays they celebrate. Through Internet research and oral interviews, they create lists of holidays and festivals for

    their calendars. Software helps collaborative groups design, caption, and produce calendars illustrated with their own art. A visiting artist shares skills and techniques during the illustration process.
    Community Activities
    By exploring cultural diversity and creating calendars for children who are sick, students lessen their own isolation and learn to value human interaction and compassion.
    Children understand the importance of portfolios when a visiting artist shares work from his own portfolio.
    Carousel by Brian Wildsmith, 1998: Oxford University Press; Carnival from World of Holidays series by Catherine Chambers, 1998: Raintree/Steck Vaughn; calendar examples, writing and drawing material
    Students research holidays on the Internet, use Calendar Creator for their calendars, and scan their own illustrations with Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
    Students save their work in a portfolio that is regularly checked. Teacher and students evaluate calendars for accuracy and holiday inclusion.

    Web Sites
    Students research holidays and observances
    at a Society and Cultures Holiday web site.