Updated: May 10
Harmony Day is celebrated in Australia on March 21. It is about celebrating the cultural diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness of all Australians.
The main message of Harmony Day is, everyone belongs in our Australian society. The message of Harmony Day is such an important one to teach the next generation, and it is no surprise that teachers all over Australia are looking for ways to implement lessons about this message in their classrooms.
To help Aussie teachers plan some relevant and meaningful learning experiences in relation to Harmony Day we have listed a few age-appropriate ways to integrate the core themes of Harmony Day into your lessons (plus we have included a freebie at the end):
· Introduce the idea of Harmony Day and the colour orange as a representation of Harmony Day in Australia.
· Ask students to trace their hand and decorate it in any way they wish. Once they are finished put them altogether and discuss how everyone’s hand is different but they all are special in their own way.
· Discuss the idea of ‘Everyone belongs’ – what does this mean in your classroom? School? Community?
· Give students a heart with the word harmony on it. Ask them to decorate it in any way. Then come together to discuss how each heart is different and has its own special features. These hearts are just like us, even though we all have differences it doesn’t mean we can’t live in harmony together (read on to grab a free copy of this resource).
· Explore diversity within your own class. Discuss where students’ families originate from, what languages they speak, what foods they eat etc.
· Complete a Y chart about Harmony: What does it look like, sound like and feel like?
· You could also complete a Harmony Day flipbook for as independent research activity
· Define the word, Harmony. What does it mean?
· Ask students to write a recipe for Harmony. Encourage them to consider what is needed to create a harmonious society and how they as individuals can contribute.
· You could also complete a class project such as 'The Harmony Project' if you wanted a research/student guided approach.
Books you could read:
I'm Australian Too by Mem Fox
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
The Hueys in the New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers
We are All Equal by P Crumble and Jonathan Bentley
This Love, A Celebration of Harmony Around the World By Isabel Otter
For more Harmony Day read aloud inspo, check out this blog post where we have gone into more detail.
At the end of the day, we as teachers, have an obligation to encourage students to think about the core values of Harmony Day and how our students can contribute to a happier and peaceful Australia. Consider extending your celebrations beyond your classroom by pinning up posters to educate parents, visitors and other students in your school. Alternatively, ask your students to write something for the school newsletter to spread the message wider.
Are you celebrating Harmony Day at your school? Grab a copy of our Free Harmony Heart resource HERE:
Love these ideas? They are all included in our no prep Harmony Day Packs + loads more!