Habari Gani: The Last Four Principles

Grades: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Through the integration of the arts, the learners will develop an understanding of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Students are challenged to apply the principles to their everyday lives in a way that enhances the communities to which they belong.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintFour Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • identify the last four principles of Kwanzaa.
  • relate each principle to his or her own life.
  • demonstrate understanding of each principle through the arts.
Materials 
  • music from lesson one
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Kinara made in lesson one
  • Yellow construction paper or yellow crayons
  • Supplies for art projects—see lesson for details
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:Students talk with their families about the principles learned from the first three days of Kwanzaa. (See Attachment One: Kwanzaa Principles.)

Bibliography 
  • Ford, Juwanda. K is for Kwanzaa. Cartwheel Books, 1997. ISBN: 0590922009
  • Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane. Celebrating Kwanzaa. Holiday House, 1994. ISBN: 0823411303
  • Jay, Stephen. “Africa: Drum, Chant, and Instrumental Music.” Elektra Records 9720732
  • Johnson, Dolores. The Children’s Book of Kwanzaa: A Guide to Celebrate the Holiday. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1997. ISBN: 0689815565
  • Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Seven Candles of Kwanzaa. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1993. ISBN: 0803712928
  • Robertson, Linda. Kwanzaa Fun. Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003. ISBN: 0753456850
  • Sistah Space. Order of events for Karamu. January 12, 2004  No longer available.
  • Various Artists. “All the Best from Africa: 20 Tribal Songs.” Madacy Records. ASIN: B000000K45


 

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Write “opportunity cost” on the board. Tell the students that being part of a community sometimes requires selflessness and giving up an opportunity for oneself for the common good. Ask the students to recall times when they felt they had been selfless and given up something for the good of a larger group. Discuss how that feels and what good comes of it for the group and the individual. Remind the students that one of the goals of Kwanzaa is to enrich the African American community. The principles of Kwanzaa remind people to be selfless and make choices for the good of the whole community.

  2. Review the three principles from lesson two.

  3. Write the word “Ujamaa” on the board. Tell the students that today’s principle is ujamaa (oo-JA-mah - “cooperative economics”). Tell the students that you will say Habari Gani (What is the news?) and you want them to respond by saying “ujamaa.”

  4. Tell students that they may “light” the black candle of the kinara. This is the candle representing ujamaa.

  5. Read aloud to students about ujamaa in one or more of the books about Kwanzaa, such as Kwanzaa Fun or Seven Candles of Kwanzaa (see Bibliography). Ask the students to tell what ujamaa means (cooperative economics—working together to meet financial needs).

  6. Talk sensitively about the fact that sometimes it is difficult for families in our community to have enough money to buy food. Share information about organizations that help them get food. Discuss ways that people contribute with their time, talent, and treasure to help their friends.

  7. Discuss the opportunity cost of doing something to help the organization. If I volunteer time, for example, I give up the opportunity to play with friends. If I donate money, I give up the opportunity to buy something for myself. 

  8. Session Two

    Write the word “Nia” on the board. Tell the students that today’s principle is ujamaa (NEE-ah – “purpose”). Tell the students that you will say Habari Gani (What is the news?) and you want them to respond by saying “nia.”

  9. Tell students that they may “light” the first red candle of the kinara. This is the candle representing nia.

  10. Read aloud to students about nia in one or more of the books about Kwanzaa, such as Kwanzaa Fun or Seven Candles of Kwanzaa (see Bibliography). Ask the students to tell what nia means (purpose—having personal goals that are beneficial to others).

  11. Each student will develop a written purpose and put it on a scroll. A purpose isn’t a private goal such as keeping my room clean. Rather it is something that benefits others. A purpose may be something like the following statement: I will be kind to everyone and invite a different person to play at least once a week. Demonstrate how to make a scroll by rolling parchment paper.

  12. Session Three

    Write the word “Kuumba” on the board. Tell the students that today’s principle is kuumba (koo-OOM-bah – “creativity”). Tell the students that you will say Habari Gani (What is the news?) and you want them to respond by saying “kuumba.”

  13. Tell students that they may “light” the second red candle of the kinara. This is the candle representing kuumba.

  14. Read aloud to students about kuumba in one or more of the books about Kwanzaa, such as Kwanzaa Fun or Seven Candles of Kwanzaa (see Bibliography). Ask the students to tell what kuumba means (creativity).

  15. Discuss what art and creativity do for a community. Choose an art project for the students to complete using their creativity and knowledge of Kwanzaa. Suggestions: Make a traditional woven mat for the feast table in red, green and black. Or make African trade bead bracelets. Or cook and decorate some traditional Kwanzaa foods.

  16. Session Four

    Write the word “Imani” on the board. Tell the students that today’s principle is imani (ee-MAH-nee – “faith”). Tell the students that you will say Habari Gani (What is the news?) and you want them to respond by saying “imani.”

  17. Tell students that they may “light” the third red candle of the kinara. This is the candle representing imani.

  18. Read aloud to students about imani in one or more of the books about Kwanzaa, such as Kwanzaa Fun or Seven Candles of Kwanzaa (see Bibliography). Ask the students to tell what imani means (faith).

  19. Divide the class into groups of two students. Give each group a blindfold. While one student of the pair is blindfolded, the other student will guide him or her to a designated destination using words such as right, left, straight and backward. After they reach their destination, the partners switch roles. Give them a new destination. Discuss how well the activity worked. What was difficult and what was easy? Talk about the principle of trust or faith that your partner will keep you safe and help you succeed.

  20. Discuss why trust is an important part of working in a group. How does trust build unity? Why would trust, or faith, be an important principle in the Kwanzaa celebration? Is trust an important part of helping others? Why?

Assessment 

Students will fill in the information that was learned on the chart from lesson one (handout: What We Learned). They may use pictures, symbols or temporary spelling to complete their individual charts. Add to the class chart started in Lesson One. They may add to the chart every day as they learn the principles or at the end of the unit as a review.

Cross Curriculum 

Starting on Day One, students choose to help a local food bank or organization that feeds the poor in the community. The students make a plan for helping and carry out their plan. Optional Culmination: Display the seven principles of Kwanzaa along with explanations and examples on a school bulletin board. The goal of the bulletin board would be to encourage the other school community members to apply the principles. Or hold a Karamu feast and invite another class, parents or senior citizens. At the feast, students will demonstrate their projects and music, and teach what they have learned.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Define and give examples of selfishness and selflessness.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify ways that trust is important in all communities.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define the word <em>trust</em> and its role in all communities.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.3 Give examples of <i>opportunity cost</i> in philanthropic giving.
    3. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.