Diamond Favourites: Every Star Is Different

Hey friends! I thought I’d start a new feature, maybe once a month or so, of makers and materials I love, that I trust to use in my classroom, and in my home, and I thought the best way to kick this off would be with my good friend Renae, her company Every Star Is Different, and their newest printable bundle about holidays around the world.

Renae is an amazing human. And while her and I live completely different lives, with completely different faiths and experiences and traditions- our core values are the same. Renae is unbelievably kind, loving, accepting and wants to teach her children about cultures and traditions that don’t just include her own religion. I can’t tell y’all how much I respect and love Renae, and why I was so excited when she said she was making this set.

Like I’ve said (ad nauseam, I’m sure) - representation matters. And it’s true not just of books. It matters in the lessons we teach, the information we impart to our students, and the ways we discuss things like holidays. Things like three part cards, and booklets, and other classroom materials matter. So I’m totally thrilled to have this massive bundle to share with y’all.

Renae’s Holidays Around The World Bundle is amazing. It’s nearly 500- yup, you read that right- pages of materials to use with your children or students covering Christmas (and not only North American Christmas), winter solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Ramadan. I have just spent the better part of two days printing and prepping some things to show y’all some previews of the amazingness in this bundle.

 Just some of the Diwali materials included!

Just some of the Diwali materials included!

We’ll start with Diwali (which goes until Friday, so you could, if you act now, get all this stuff and have some relevant materials out!!)- which I printed as soon as I got my copy so that I could have some stuff out for this week in class. My students loved the diya printable to decorate with stickers and glitter. I made some of the cards into a booklet to tell the story of Diwali. There are cards talking about symbols of Diwali, the days of Diwali, and my personal favourite, which just makes me hungry- some nomenclature cards of Indian desserts. Delicious.

 Only some of the Hanukkah materials. This pack is full of awesomeness.

Only some of the Hanukkah materials. This pack is full of awesomeness.

There’s a pack for Hanukkah- (Dec 2nd-10th this year) which is wonderful. Lots of nomenclature cards, including things like sufganiyot, oil, gelt, etc. The booklet for the story of the first Hanukkah is accurate and lovely and I’ll definitely be using it with Noora.

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There are materials to talk about the winter solstice, including descriptions of different celebrations all over the world.

 Christmas figures from around the world.

Christmas figures from around the world.

 A lot of these materials make me hungry.

A lot of these materials make me hungry.

Materials for Christmas around the world include some lovely cards of different Christmas figures- Sinterklaas, Befana, etc. I really love these cards. And there’s a fabulous set of Christmas desserts and country flag matching. I’m surprised at how many materials in this bundle make me hungry, but there ya go.

There’s a religious Christmas pack, and while I’m not religious, as we all know, even I found things to love in this pack. There’s a lovely art sorting work of different styles of paintings that have to do with the nativity, the baby Jesus and the Madonna. It’s a great set, and as much of traditional European art has had inspiration from Christianity, it’s totally usable in even secular settings. This pack also includes cards of animals at the manger, the story of Christ’s birth- which I’ll be making into a booklet for my nephew, whose parents are religious- and a set of cards to go along with Handel’s Messiah.

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The Christmas language bundle is great and has cards split into pink, blue and green categories to go with a common Montessori language program. There are cards that you can use to have the student find the beginning sound; matching cards to images; tracing words; and more. It’s super comprehensive and I know my students will enjoy these language materials in December.

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The Christmas botany pack has lovely cards, and blackline masters, for various plants associated with Christmas. This set will get a lot of use in my class, I’m sure.

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This is the set I’m super excited about- because I get to learn too. I have never, here in Vancouver, met anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa, and I don’t know much about the holiday. The Kwanzaa pack (Kwanzaa starts on Dec. 26th) is amazing and has cards to explain the symbols and themes of each of the seven days; cards featuring important people in African-American history; patterns and fabric from Africa; and so much more. I love all the sets in this bundle but wow, is the Kwanzaa one amazing.

 The Ramadan set is fabulous.

The Ramadan set is fabulous.

The set for Ramadan (which starts May 5th in 2019) is wonderful. There’s really comprehensive cards of symbols and things to do with Islam; a lovely easy sorting set (who fasts and who doesn’t); and a phases of the moon booklet. I’m really excited for this set. I also really appreciated that the depictions of Muslims in this pack are diverse- so many times we only see Muslims being shown as Arab folks, when Muslims are found all over the world and of all skin tones. It was a nice touch to an already lovely set- representation matters, friends!

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Finally, the bundle comes with two bonus packs- one on gingerbread activities, and one on the Nutcracker. The gingerbread one has one of the cutest sequencing materials I’ve ever seen (and again- what’s with the materials in this bundle making me hungry??) and the Nutcracker pack has materials i could keep on my shelves year round. The ballerina cards I’m going to put on my movement shelf this week, and the nut nomenclature cards are great, especially for a classroom where you aren’t allowed nuts!

Seriously, friends. I’ve never done a blog post like this. You know I don’t recommend things like this unless I mean it. Renae and her husband have done their research. This bundle is respectful, embracing of difference, well thought out, and all can be used in Montessori environments. I’ll be using so much in my own classroom and with Noora. Remember that those of us who are tasked with teaching and raising the next generation have so much fear and hate to undo and fight. This bundle is great- and teaching children about cultures outside of their own is, in today’s climate, definitely a revolutionary act.

And for now, until Tuesday at 11:59PM, this bundle is 75% off. For just the next few days, it’s available for $19.99. That’s a ridiculous deal, for nearly 500 pages of amazing materials to use with your students and children. Get yours HERE (using my delightful affiliate link) and let me know what you think of this bundle. I love mine.