The School Holiday Calendar
Lesson Plan Sections
0 Ratings
Add to Favorite  

The School Holiday Calendar

Lesson Summary:

This lesson from asks students to think about how school districts can address the needs of increasingly diverse populations. It takes as its starting point a debate in New York City’s public schools. It is not designed exclusively for Jewish students, so educators can adapt the lesson to fit their community s needs. The lesson provides variations for different age groups. 


Activities for the early grades (3-5) meet the following objectives:

  • analyze a complex social problem, and
  • identify solutions to such a problem.

Activities for the middle grades (6-8) and high school (9-12) meet the following objectives: 
  • read and understand a newspaper article;
  • gather, organize and evaluate the relevance of data;
  • analyze a complex social problem;
  • identify and evaluate solutions to such a problem, and
  • differentiate between fact and opinion.

Essential Questions:

  • What holidays do people of different religions celebrate? 
  • Should religious holidays be school days off?
  • What factors should school and government leaders consider when deciding?
  • How do we balance the needs of students to participate in their religious traditions with laws that require students to attend school enough days a year to get a quality education?
  • What is the difference between fact and opinion?

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore



Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore


Lesson Contributors
a Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center