Get Inspired by Wintertime Celebrations Around the World

The International Baccalaureate curriculum is an international renowned program known for focusing on global perspectives. Due to the challenging nature of IB classes, many students work with an IB English tutor. Tutors are a great way to dig even deeper into the material, and to get extra practice with your writing and text analysis. But it can be hard sometimes to find inspiration for writing prompts or discover new and relevant content to read together. Lucky for you, the changing of seasons this Winter is full of exciting and inspiring wintery stories to get you writing passionately. Below are some writing prompt ideas, story recommendations, and conversational topics to engage with alongside your IB English tutor this winter. 

Broaden Your Perspective at Thanksgiving

Each year at the end of November, families in the United States gather with family to share a meal on a day known as Thanksgiving. The original tale of Thanksgiving goes as follows: a group of English colonizers newly arrived to New England came together peacefully with locals from the Wampanoag tribe to share a three day long feast. While some stories still tell a tale of joy and peace, Native American accounts of the event tell a very different, much darker side of the interaction. Reading different versions of the Thanksgiving story is an excellent way to learn about perspective in writing while also learning about US history! 

Dive into the Stories of Diwali

Diwali, also called the Festival of Lights, is a Hindu holiday that takes place in November and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. There are many beautiful stories and histories around Diwali to dive into with your IB English tutor. Try discussing how translations of texts over time might lead to changes in stories, or try writing about what darkness and light represent in your own life.

Learn History at Hanukkah

Hanukkah is an 8 day Jewish holiday typically celebrated in December. Similar to Diwali, it is also called the Festival of Lights. The holiday centers around lighting 1 candle on a menorah each night for 8 nights with one’s family. For many, Hanukkah celebrates the fight to end religious oppression, as it centers around the historic fight of the Jewish Maccabees for freedom. Ask your IB English tutor to work with you to learn more about Jewish history, and together you can come up with writing prompts to practice writing from a new perspective. For example, try writing from the perspective of Judas, a Maccabee leader who returned home from fighting to find his temple destroyed. Write how you might feel in that situation, and have your IB English tutor edit your work!

Cozy up with a Christmas Tale

Christmas is a holiday celebrated by Christians around the world, and for many people in the Global North generates an image of pine trees and fresh snow. It is a time where many people read stories together as a family, and there are many famous Christmas tales that could be fun to read and analyze with your IB English tutor. For example, for a short story try The Gift of the Magi by the American author O Henry, or for a longer classic, dive into A Christmas Carol by British author Charles Dickens. Whichever story you choose, pay attention to character development as well as the life lessons that the authors present. 

Consider Your Values at Kawanzaa

Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday which began in the African American community in the United States. Celebrated at the end of December, the holiday centers around 7 values: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Take a minute to consider your own values, and write about 7 of your own values that you might base a holiday around. You and your IB English tutor can also create a writing exercise in which you compare and contrast the values of Kawanzaa with other holidays celebrated around the same time. After reading about the origins of Kawanzaa, consider what holiday you might start and why! 

Call in Spring with the Chinese New Year

At the end of winter, billions of people worldwide celebrate the Chinese New Year. It is a time of celebration, festival, gift-giving, and sharing of food. And as it is celebrated in many counties around the world, it is a great time to explore the diverse ways people welcome spring! 
Regardless of the subject you are studying, Aegis Advisors has a team of experienced and engaging IB English tutors who are here to help you make English fun and engaging. Contact us today to see how we can help on your IB journey.