Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Social Studies

Festivals around the World: Virtual Exchange

Explore different festivals that are celebrated around the world, and invite students to share about a holiday or festival that is important to them.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will learn about festivals that are celebrated around the world, and share about festivals that are celebrated in their own communities
  • Students will reflect on the similarities and differences between these festivals, and what they reveal about the celebrants’ community, culture, and values

This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, and social awareness.


Display the slideshow below to explore festivals that are celebrated by communities around the world. Students will learn about the history and important traditions of each festival, see photographs of people celebrating, and reflect on any personal connections they may have to these festivals.

After viewing the slideshow, engage students in a discussion by asking:

  • Do you celebrate any of these festivals in your family or community?
  • What is a festival that you celebrate? Is it similar to any of the festivals that were described in the slideshow?
  • What is something that many festivals have in common? For example, many festivals focus on a cultural or seasonal reason for celebrating, or include special food and decorations. Many festivals also bring people together to honor and celebrate shared values, culture, or customs.
  • Did you notice something interesting or unique about one of the festivals? What was it? Is there anything that you want to learn more about?

Ask students to create a list of festivals that are celebrated in their communities. Depending on students’ backgrounds, this list may include many different festivals!


Engage students in a conversation about meeting your Empatico partner class. You might explain: “We have an exciting opportunity to meet a class that is located in another part of the world. We may discover that we share some things in common, and there may also be some differences between us! To learn more about each other, we will share about some of the festivals that we celebrate in our communities.”

Ask students the following questions: 

  • What do you think our new friends will be like?
  • Do you know anything about the city/country where they are located? What do you want to learn about their community? 
  • Which festivals should we share about with our partner class? (Note: remind students to practice curiosity and kindness about others’ ideas, and encourage them to pick festivals which may be unique to their community.)
  • What questions do you have for our partner class? What festivals do you think they celebrate?
  • Do you think we will share anything in common with each other? 


Facilitate a live virtual exchange with your Empatico partner class, and invite students to share about their festivals with each other. For example, students might:

  • Prepare a presentation about their festival, its history or significance, and its important traditions
  • Share stories, photographs, or videos of how they celebrate this festival in their family, school, or community
  • Consider which festivals their partner class might celebrate, and prepare a list of questions to learn more about each other’s festivals and traditions
  • Design a new festival that incorporates elements from each community

After your live virtual exchange, invite students to share about their favorite holidays, and any new holidays that they’ve learned about, in this community Padlet board.


Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions:

  • What were some similarities and differences between the festivals that we celebrate? Were you surprised by anything?
  • What is something that you appreciate, or found interesting, about the festivals that are celebrated by our partner class?
  • What did you learn about our partner class’s community, culture, or values from the festivals that they shared about?

This activity was created in partnership with Educurious.

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