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New Year's Celebrations in Cambodia and the United States  

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2010 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Cambodian New Year


Essential Questions

  1. What does celebrating Cambodian New Year have to do with me?
  2. Why do people celebrate a New Year?
  3. What examples do we have in Lowell and in our families of how cultures assimilate traditions from other cultures?
  4. What do New Year's Celebrations have in common?
  5. How is New Year's different in Cambodia and the United States?


In preparation for a school-wide celebration of Cambodian New Year, middle school students (Grade 5-8) will identify and record the big idea behind New Year's celebrations in Cambodia as well as in the United States. Students will compile facts about both celebrations.

In the first lesson, entitled, "Research: Internet and Note Taking," students will begin their investigations by activating prior knowledge about New Year's Celebrations in general, researching and note taking. For the second lesson, 'Research: Interviewing Peers and Family," students will interview family members as well as friends. In the final lesson, "Comparing and Contrasting, and Assimilation," students will compile their information with the aid of graphic organizers. Besides using computer technology to research, students will focus on teacher-prepared materials to help them in their investigations. By comparing and contrasting the ways in which the two groups celebrate this holiday, both will come together to better connect the ways in which they are alike. They will also discover the changes to the celebrations brought about by the assimilation of the newcomer group with the native population.

Teachers from different disciplines may collaborate on this project. The lessons would work well in not only a social studies class, but in an English language arts class. Music and art teachers could also collaborate; however, their contributions are not in the scope of this project at this time.


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