Lesson Plans 4th – 8th Grade
-Students will understand where Mardi Gras comes from and how Carnival came to be.
-Students will understand the different aspects and traditions of Mardi Gras and be able to reproduce them
-Students will be able to make a five-minute presentation on various carnival topics and answer questions about other types of Carnivals throughout the world.
Approximately 5 (1 hour) class periods plus homework.
Mardi Gras Beads (one for each student)
2 King Cakes (ordered)
For information and to order Mardi Gras items please visit MardiGrasDay.com.
Before Day 1
Have all students ask 5-10 people (family and friends) about Mardi Gras, why it is celebrated? Where it comes from? What people to do celebrate it? What places celebrate Mardi Gras?
Discussion and overview day on all of the student’s previous homework assignments. Make list on the chalkboard on why Mardi Gras is celebrated, when Mardi Gras takes place, in what countries does it take place, and what methods are used to celebrate Mardi Gras Note: Do not add too much input or correct students ideas. Allow the students to form their own opinions from each other. Lead students to certain topics, Fasching, Religion, traditions…
Draw three headings on the chalkboard 1. Eat junk food and soda all day, 2. Eat normal amount of junk food, 3. Eat less than normal amounts of food. Tell the kids that after today, they will have to stop eating all forms of junk food, pizza, fast food, and soda, for the next month. Also tell them that they can do whichever they want to do today. Have all students walk up and put their name under each heading, which corresponds to what they would like to do on their last day. Have select kids talk about their selection and this will lead into the foundation of Mardi Gras. This will lead you into the lecture.
Talk about the basic concept of Mardi Gras. “Eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow we all die.” Explain the other basic concepts and the history of Mardi Gras and where it is celebrated. Also introduce Mardi Gras Krewes and what role they play in Mardi gras.
Krewe Introduction and Doubloons
Hand out beads and Doubloons to all students. Split your students up so you have five-six students in each group. Have each group come up with a Krewe name, a topic for their Krewe and a Doubloon representing all of them.
Give each student in the group a different topic related to Mardi Gras and carnivals. You may choose to use topics such as: Carnival (entire period of balls and parades), Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), Krewes (ex. Comus and Rex), masks (history of them and purpose in the festivities), Lent and Strove Tuesday, Doubloons and other throws. To gather information regarding these topics, refer to the Information at Mardi Gras Day. If computer access is not easy, just print out a Mardi Gras package for each group. Let the students study their topic overnight and in class.
Before they present the information to their group let them get in expert groups (every one with the same topic from different Krewe) and discuss what they learned from the information. Then they go back to their original groups and each take 5 minutes to present their information to the group.
Open Discussion, King Cake, Assessment
Put students into Krewes and cut the King Cake.
Explain the meaning of the finding the baby.While eating 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)
Written paper on three facts about Mardi Gras and Carnivals.