Diwali Doorway

Diwali Doorway lesson plan

Work together to create a traditional decorated doorway in the spirit of Diwali, the Hindu year-end holiday.

  • 1.

    Before Diwali begins in India and other countries, households prepare their homes to celebrate this Hindu year-end holiday. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. Special foods are cooked. (Sweets are a favorite.) New clothes are bought and readied for the occasion. Homes and businesses are decorated to greet the 5-day Festival of Lights. Ask students what they think are some of the reasons for this preparation?

  • 2.

    Stories of Hindu gods and goddesses are told at Diwali. Lakshmi, the goddess who symbolizes good fortune and wealth, is honored because it is believed that Lakshmi only blesses clean houses. Lots of lights and colors are used to decorate homes. Doorways of Hindu homes are adorned with draped, printed fabric called Toran, which may have pictures of peacocks or elephants. Many Toran have sacred symbols like Oum, which is the sound that begins and ends a prayer.

  • 3.

    Measure the upper outside width of the classroom doorway. Cut white fabric with Crayola® Scissors to fit around the top, with pieces hanging down on either side of the door. For a more finished look, hem all sides.

  • 4.

    Students research Diwali symbols and select one or more that they want to print on the door hanging. Cut the sides off of one or more foam produce trays. Students etch designs in each tray with Crayola Colored Pencils to make printing blocks. The designs will print in reverse.

  • 5.

    Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Lay the fabric flat on recycled newspaper.

  • 6.

    Students paint a printing block with Crayola Tempera Paint then press the printing block down on the fabric repeatedly to fill the space. Add more paint as needed. Repeat with different colors or designs. Wash the printing block and brush when changing colors. Dry.

  • 7.

    Add more embellishments to the Diwali Doorway designs with Crayola Washable Glitter Glue. Dry.

  • 8.

    Yarn tassels may be hung from the fabric ends. Welcome to all who pass through this decorated entrance!

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Diwali - Hindu Festival of Lights by Dianne M. MacMillan; Indian Children's Favourite Stories by Rosemarie Somaiah; Amma, Tell Me About Diwali! by Bhakti Mathur
  • In small groups, students investigate other Indian holiday practices. Students prepare a presentation for their classmates.
  • Students write Diwali greeting cards to exchange with classmates. Place these greeting cards on display in the classroom.