Category Archives: Holidays

Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month – In the (Virtual & In-Person) Classroom

October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month! Whether your class is in-person or virtual this month, there are many ways to celebrate language learners in both settings. This is also a great opportunity to celebrate the parents who promote bilingualism at home, and increase parental involvement in school. 

Here are 5 ways teachers can incorporate Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month into in-person and virtual learning activities like reading, music and art sessions, and even PE time. Share this information with families too – they will have lots of fun celebrating their language learners at home! And be sure to check out our inspiration handout for more ideas.

The Many Benefits of Being Bilingual

There are so many reasons why it’s great to speak more than one language in childhood. Science has found that bilingual kids enjoy cognitive, social, and emotional benefits. These advantages begin in infancy and continue throughout the school years into adulthood.

Processing words and thoughts in multiple languages leads to beneficial brain changes. These modifications promote neuroplasticity and enhanced “executive function,” which means a greater ability to focus and to switch between tasks.

1. Play a Game Using Bilingual Books

Illustration of grandpa and child and a book

Even when we can’t travel from home, books allow us to travel in mind and spirit. Check out our post about playing games based on bilingual children’s books for a book-inspired scavenger hunt, charades, puppet show, and more!

Interested in a chance to win free bilingual books? Our 15th Anniversary Bilingual Book Giveaway is still going strong! (If you previously entered, you are automatically part of every drawing.)

The lucky winner chosen during Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month will receive a set of bilingual books in many languages and a copy of our popular teaching manual, Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources. (Books will be sent to US or Canada addresses only.)

2. Play a Game From Another Part of the World

Playing games is a great way to get kids moving and playing together. You can search online for games that are played in other parts of the world. (Physical games may need to be adapted to suit your school’s social distancing guidelines.) Here are a couple of our favorites.

1, 2, 3 DRAGON! (China)

This is an active family game where players form a line with each person’s hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them (like a conga line). The first in line is the Head, and the last person is the Tail. The Tail yells, “1, 2, 3, dragon!” and the Head starts moving to try and catch the Tail. The rest of the players must follow the Head’s movements exactly while trying to stay connected to one another. If the line disconnects, then the dragon has died. But if the Head catches the Tail, the Dragon survives! The person playing the Head moves to the back of the line and becomes the Tail, so everyone gets a chance to be the Head.

PALM BALL (Italy)

Similar to Dodge Ball in the US, you’ll need a ball and a piece of chalk to play this game. Mark off a big, chalk rectangle on the ground, with a line through the center. Each player stands in their side of the box. One player starts by serving the ball into the other person’s box, and that player must send the ball back by hitting it. You can’t hold the ball – you can only hit it back into the other person’s box. The challenge is to only let the ball bounce in your box once or twice before returning it to the other side.

3. Make Some Music

multicultural bilingual activities for kids

Music is a wonderful way to introduce kids to different cultures. Look up musical instruments from around the world, and use craft supplies to recreate them. They don’t have to be perfect replicas! It can be pretty amusing to try and craft unique instruments like a Korean haegeum, or an Indian taūs (which looks like a peacock) using what you have at hand. Kids will be learning about other cultures and making music in no time!

4. Explore New Cultural Cuisine

cover of multicultural children's book about food

Different cultures around the world have their own favorite foods. Search online for a gazpacho recipe, and enjoy the classic cold soup of Spain and Portugal. Or, have the kids help make rolls of spam musubi, a popular snack in Hawaii. Filipino halo-halo would be so refreshing, or maybe you’re adventurous enough to try some durian fruit? It’s a fun (and delicious!) way to learn about another culture.

5. Work on Literacy Skills in a New Way

Want to help kids strengthen their literacy skills? Search online for virtual reading programs through schools, libraries, and other community organizations. Bilingual children, in particular, can significantly improve their literacy by reading bilingual books in both of their languages. You can also find interactive learning sets that make use of new tap-and-listen technology to make learning lots of fun.

Comment and tell us how you will be celebrating the awesome bilingual children in your life!

Support Global Literacy on #GivingTuesdayNow

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow. Language Lizard, a Pledge 1% member, is pleased to continue our support of children’s education initiatives during this challenging time. Learn more about Pledge 1%, Room to Read, and other non-profits that you can support to help children worldwide.

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Using Folktales & Fables to Build Literacy Skills (Free Lesson Plan)

As always, World Folktales and Fables Week arrives the third week of March. What a great opportunity to work on literacy skills with these classic stories! Folktales and fables have near-universal appeal, thanks to their simple story lines, talking animals, and magical scenarios. Here, we offer some ideas for students to improve their reading and writing skills with the use of folktales and fables

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Why We Need More Multicultural Children’s Books

Language Lizard is a Platinum Sponsor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) on January 31, 2020. We are big supporters of their mission to raise awareness about the need for more children’s books that celebrate diversity. To date, MCBD has donated over 7,000 diverse children’s books to schools, libraries and families.

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3 Ways to Celebrate Diversity This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here… and it offers a perfect opportunity to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Here, we offer 3 ideas that will inspire kids to celebrate the wonderful diversity and traditions in our communities and our world.

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10 Ideas For Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month

Child reads bilingual book about Egyptian mythology

We love October because it’s Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month! What a wonderful opportunity to recognize the children in our lives who speak more than one language, and who also understand multiple cultures. 

Now is the perfect time to start planning ways to encourage literacy and parental involvement, and celebrate the children who work so hard to learn a new language.

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DIA! DIVERSITY IN ACTION

Library building with "Dia! Diversity In Action" text

April 30th of each year is the culmination of Dia! Diversity in Action.

Dia! Diversity In Action

Also known as El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Dia! is a nationwide initiative from the American Library Association that helps libraries connect their patrons to more bilingual and multicultural resources.

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April’s Reading Holidays are Perfect for Diverse Children’s Books

April is a great month for book lovers! Not only do we have Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Day, there’s also National Library Week and a whole host of reading-related holidays that celebrate books, poems and libraries.

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