Music is a big part of holiday traditions and I love how each culture has unique songs that connect to the season. There’s nothing wrong with Jingle Bells, but I like to expose students to music that is really original to the target culture (not just a translation). What songs should our students recognize or be able to sing if they were immersed in the target culture? What do the lyrics tell us about the culture? It’s the idea of cultural competence, and we can help our students see a bigger picture of how others celebrate… starting with the music!
Let’s start with a few related daily “I can” statements that could be used with a target culture song.
Morgen, Kinder, wird’s was geben (recommended by Thomas Sauer)
There’s a line toward the end that shows us an interesting cultural perspective. It translates roughly to…
Concerning the gifts let us not look at each other with envy, but think concerning the things:
“How can we preserve them nicely, so that their cuteness will make us happy for a long time after?
Mi Burrito Sabanero (Recommended by Joanny Billings)
Dominican Republic/Spanish-speaking countries
Love the tropical feel to this version with the drums, güiro, and other instruments!
What kid wouldn’t want to learn “tuquituquituqui” in class?
The group singing here, Los Papis RA7, is Mexican.
Petit Papa Noël (Recommended by Laure Kruger)
Here’s popular Jazz singer Zaz with her version of the song.
There you have it! Hope this (or Kara’s ideas on treats or characters) gives someone out there a lesson idea for tomorrow. Feel free to share with a colleague – it’s one of the few times of year all language teachers can plan together! Who knows… maybe one of your students will even have a cultural “ah-ha” moment like this guy!