Lesson Plan K – 3rd Grade
-Students will learn where Mardi Gras comes from and how it is celebrated.
-Students will understand the different aspects and traditions of Mardi Gras.
-Students will be able to produce Mardi Gras Floats, Masks, and Doubloons and participate in Mardi Gras Celebrations.
Approximately 5 (1 hour) class periods. 10 (1 hour) classes if more involved!!!!
Mardi Gras Beads (one for each student)
2 King Cakes (ordered)
Shoeboxes (1 Per Student)
Tissue paper, construction paper, glue, glitter, pipe cleaners… Yarn and Mask Cutout
Two crowns or cool hats for the King and Queen of Mardi Gras
For more information and to order Mardi Gras items, Games, King cakes, Masks,
Please visit MardiGrasDay.com
Before Week long lesson begins
Two weeks before lesson is to begin, have all students acquire one shoebox. This will become their Mardi Gras Float. The Friday before lesson is to begin, start introducing Mardi Gras: what it is, where it is celebrated and pique the children’s interest for the up and coming week. (Food, Fun, and a Parade)
Mardi Gras Introduction:
Greet all children with Mardi beads and wearing a homemade mask. Give overview on Mardi Gras, why people celebrate it, where it is celebrated, and how people celebrate it. Make sure to emphasize Lent, Beads, King Cakes, Doubloons, Krewes, Masks, and Parades.
Krewe Introduction and Doubloons
Hand out beads and Doubloons to all students. Explain what the significance is of each Mardi Gras Krewe, the history, why they were masks, and why they throw beads, toys, and candy. Also explain the rest of the week; what will be happening, and how to become Mardi Gras Queen and King. Split your students up so you have five-six students in each Krewe. Have each group come up with a Krewe name, a topic for their Krewe and a Doubloon representing all of them.
Day 3-4 Start of Parade Floats/Masks
Get all of the Krewes together and have them start on their Floats and Masks. Explain where there are parades (New Orleans, Venice, Brazil), why they are still used, and what happens at parades. Each student gets a shoebox and will use their shoebox as a float. Use anything to decorate but each float should represent something, a final theme. (Spring, summer, harvest, food, candy, animals, history, anything…) Note: Reference Mardi Gras Day to learn how to make a shoebox float. Also, help kids pick out themes and work on. Also have masks cut out and ready for the kids to draw on and decorate. Make big noses, eyelashes, feathers, anything to help hide their identity. Use Yarn to tie the mask on. Students will have the following day to finish up Floats and Masks because the Parade is on Friday.
Parade, King Cake, Assessment
Put students into Krewes and have a parade by each Krewe. Play Mardi Gras Music (Mardi Gras Mambo is a Classic). You can do this for the school, for parents, for other classes, or just for your students.
Following the parade have an election (quick vote) and elect a King and Queen of Carnival (Best Float/ Mask). The King and Queen will get to where their Crown all day long (maybe even a certificate to entice more elaborate Mask/Floats). Have the King and Queen cut the King Cake. Explain the meaning of finding the baby. While eating king cake discuss with the students what they have learned about Mardi Gras and Carnival: how it got started, some of the traditions, and when and where it occurs. Ask each student to answer any of three questions for a homework paper over the weekend.
Verbal assessment (questions)