Suitable for: Grade 4, Grade 5, and Grade 6
In this lesson, students learn about Day of the Little Candles. They will engage in activities that help them understand the significance of Day of the Little Candles for Colombians. *Please watch the videos beforehand to make sure the content is appropriate for your students. If you consider the video is not appropriate for your class, skip the activity and continue with the next one.
On the Eve of December 7th, Colombia celebrates Día de las Velitas , or Day of the Little Candles. This festivity is centered on the idea of hope and gratitude towards life. During this celebration, families start decorating and turning on Christmas lights, they gather around fireplaces or start lighting candles in the streets and in front of their own houses. Día de Velitas sets the beginning of Christmas time, therefore Colombians take advantage of it to share a meal with close relatives and friends and get ready for the holiday season.
Watch the videos and use the discussion questions below.
  1. In your community/country which tradition marks the start of Christmas or the festivity season?
  2. What do you usually do in December?
  3. During Christmas, candles, paper lanterns and lights are very common decorations in Colombia. Which type of decorations do you use for this holiday?
Christmas around the world is celebrated in different ways. For instance, Colombians have Novenas (nine days), these are gatherings with friends or relatives that take place from December 16th to 24th; people get together to cook, eat, dance, listen to music and sing Christmas carols. Discuss with your classmates about family traditions or community traditions that take place during your Holiday season. Compare these traditions and find commonalities and differences.
  1. Annex 1 illustrates the actions performed by Colombians in order to prepare for the holiday season and Christmas. Go through it with the entire class and then ask students to use the template to create their own timeline of preparation for the holiday season; ask them to include actions such as: buying gifts and clothes, writing Santa’s letter, decorating the house, cooking, etc. Then, get in groups and share their creations.
  2. Listen to the following Villancico, read the lyrics with the class and encourage them to practice their Spanish skills by singing along. If possible, you can record students’ performance and share it online with our school community and with us: Twitter and Facebook - @MegGlobalEd
HM Villancico: Feliz Navidad
Click here for 'Feliz Navidad' Lyrics
Developed by the team at Meg to be used for the Meg Language & Culture Program
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