Celebrations Programs Chapter

By Kim Lehman

Texas Libraries, Texas People, Texas Cultures

A multicultural program based on the cultures of the people living in Texas.

Books to Share

Houses and Homes by Ann Morris.

Tale of Rabbit and Coyote by Tony Johnston.

The Six Fools collected by Zora Neale Hurston and adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas.

This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch by Edith Baer.

Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong.

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.


Cut out the shape of Texas using a die-cut, using the outline map on the Texas A & M web site http://copyservices.tamu.edu/clipart/clip01/dac10004.gif, or the pattern in this program.

Rhymes and Poetry

My Aunt Came Back from the County Fair

(Traditional. Adapted by Kim Lehman.)

My aunt came back from the county fair,

And brought with her a rocking chair.

My aunt came back from Mexico,

And brought with her dancers folklórico.

My aunt came back from Germany,

And brought with her a music box key.

My aunt came back from the vast Great Plains,

And brought with her horses and their manes.

My aunt came back from old Japan,

And brought with her a lovely fan. (Slap your thighs to make a rhythm as you say the rhyme. Have the children join in.)

Juba This and Juba That


Juba this and juba that,

Juba caught a yellow cat,

Juba up and juba down,

Juba runnin’ all around.


Clapping Land

(Traditional song from Scandinavia. Let the children do the movements as you sing. Add other movements such as jumping, laughing, stretching, sneezing... You can find a version of this song on Hap Palmer's Folk Song Carnival and you may listen and/or download the song at Songs for Teaching at http://songsforteaching.com/store/product.php?productid=4457&cat=0&page=1 .)

I traveled over land and sea, I met a man and old was he.

I said to him “Where do you live?” and this is what he told me.

“Come with me to Clapping Land, Clapping Land, Clapping Land.

If you want to live with me, come with me to Clapping Land.”

Michael Finnigan

(Traditional song from Ireland. You can listen to this song at http://www.itunes.com/.)

There was a boy called Michael Finnigan,

He grew whiskers on his chin-igan.

The wind came out and blew them in again.

Poor old Michael Finnigan, begin again.

There was an old man named Michael Finnigan,

Who went off fishing with a pinnigan.

He caught a fish, but it fell in again.

Poor old Michael Finnigan.

There was an old man named Michael Finnigan,

Who caught a cold and couldn't get well again.

Then he died, and had to begin again.

Poor old Michael Finnigan.

Mushi, Mushi (Telephone Song)

(Traditional song from Japan. Sing to the tune of “London Bridges.” “Mushi” means “hello.” “Ah no ne” is nonsense, similar to “uh-huh. As you sing this song, hold your hand to your ear as if you are talking on the telephone.)

Mushi, mushi

Ah no ne,

Ah no ne

Ah no ne,

Mushi Mushi a no ne

Ah so des ka!

My Hat

(Traditional German Song. Make the following actions as you sing the words. Repeat the song and leave a word out but continue to do the movements until almost the entire song is actions only. Hat - both hands on head. Three - hold three fingers up. Corners - make a triangle shape with both arms.) My hat, it has three corners, Three corners has my hat And had it not three corners, It would not be my hat. In German: Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken, Drei Ecken hat mein Hut. Und hätt' er nicht drei Ecken, So wär's auch nicht mein Hut.

Princess Pat

(Traditional. Sing each line and make the motions, and let the children repeat it. Princess Patricia of Cannaught was the daughter of a Governor General of Canada 1911-1914 and a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It is the song of the Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry. The Regimental Camp Colour is known by the Princess Pats as “The Ric-a-dam-doo.” To see a version of the song with actions go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ6G-kUHUqE.)

The Princess Pat, (Egyptian pose)
Lives in a tree. (make the motion for a tree truck)
She sailed across, (wave motion in front of body with one hand)
The seven seas. (make a number 7 with your finger, then make a "C" with one hand)
She sailed across, (wave motion)
The channel two. (two hands tracing a channel, then number 2 on one hand)
And took with them, (throw a sack over your shoulder)
A rick-a-bamboo! (trace a wavy figure in front of you going down, bend knees as you go)


A rick-a-bamboo, (trace a wavy figure in front of you going down, bend knees as you go)
Now what is that? (shrug shoulders, hold out hands)
It's something made, (tap one fist on top of the other)
For the Princess Pat. (Egyptian pose)
It's red and gold, (do a backward swimming motion)
And purple too. (flip hands as if you were saying "Oh my gosh!")
That's why it's called, (cup hands in front of mouth, shout)
A rick-a-bamboo! (same as before)
Now Captain Dan (salute)
And his loyal crew. (salute several times)
They sailed across, (wave action)
The channel two. (same as before)
But their ship sank, (clap hands)
And yours will too. (point to others and the number 2 on one hand)
If you forget, (point to head)
A rick-a-bamboo! (same as before)


Reader’s Theater

Read “One-Eye! Two-Eyes! Three-Eyes!: A Very Grimm Fairy Tale” by Aaron Shepard, a German folktale about being different, skillfully written for nine readers. The script is about 12 minutes in length and is on Author Online! Aaron Shepard’s Home Page at http://www.aaronshep.com./rt/RTE40.html.

Read “Thi Lien’s Page: A Vietnamese Folk Tale for Reader’s Theatre” about a boy who outwits a money collector. The script is on the Institute of Texan Cultures web site at http://www.texancultures.utsa.edu/education/crossroads/handouts/ThiLien_ReadersTheatre.pdf.


Why Opossum is Gray: A Story from Mexico by Palazzo-Craig.


Dragon Stick Puppet

  • Red paper
  • Craft sticks
  • Cardstock
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Crayons or markers (optional)

In advance, cut pieces of red paper in half. Go to Microsoft Office Online at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx and search “dragon.” Download one of the many dragonheads, and copy it to cardstock for a pattern. Alternatively, let the children color on the dragon’s face with crayons or markers. Give each child a strip of red paper, two craft sticks, and one dragonhead. To make this Asian puppet, the children fold strips of red paper accordion style, or tape two together to make it longer. They tape a craft stick to each end of the red paper, and glue a dragonhead over one of the craft sticks.

Dragon Stick Puppet

Fortune Cookies (Asian)

  • Play dough
  • Rolling pins
  • Plastic drinking glasses
  • Paper
  • Pens

Flatten play dough and cut a circle with a glass. Write a fortune on a slip of paper and place it on the circle of dough. Fold the circle in half, then in half again. Let it dry.

Shekeres (pronounced SHAY-ker-rays)

This African percussive instrument is recommended for smaller groups of elementary age children. For directions, visit Family Fun.com at http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=10690.

Tin Designs (Mexico)

  • Aluminum foil
  • Foam board
  • Tape
  • Pencil or wooden skewer

Tin Design

Lay a small piece of aluminum foil over a foam board and tape them together. With a sharp pencil, punch holes in the foil to make a pattern or a picture. Carefully remove from the foam board. Hang the tin design in a window to see the pattern. See the pattern at the end of this program.

Games and Activities


On cardstock write different “hello” in various languages. On the back of each card write the name of the country, or Xerox a world map on the back of each card and color in the countries where that language is spoken. Supply the children with paper and pencils to write their own “hello” dictionary. To find a list of world greeting go www.adl.org/education/kids_hello.asp. For maps go to http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/reference/outlineworld/world02.

Chopstick Pick-Up

Let the children pick up as many objects as they can in one minute using chopsticks. In advance, gather a variety of objects for them to pick up, and write a point value on each. The harder the items are to pick up, the higher the point value. Or, if you prefer not to count points, have the children move as many objects as possible in one minute into a container placed on a table, and count the number of objects. Begin by instructing the children on how to use chopsticks and letting them practice. Instructions are available on K. Tok’s Home Page at http://east.portland.ne.jp/~k_tok/life01.htm.

Take Home Word Games

Print the activity sheets on the Institute of Texan Cultures at www.texancultures.utsa.edu/education/crossroads/Crossroads_of_Culture.htm. Let children do the word games in the library or take them home.

We Are the World

Post a map of the world. Have families put a sticker dot on the country from which their ancestors came. A downloadable world map is available at Discover Canada Through National Maps and Facts at http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/reference/outlineworld/world02.

Books to Display or Booktalk

We Are a Rainbow by Nancy Maria Grande Tabor.

What’s the Hurry, Fox?: And Other Animal Stories collected by Zora Neale Hurston and adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas.

Children of the Dragon: Selected Stories from Vietnam by Sherry Garland.

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom by Tim Tingle.

Bulletin Boards

Travel Around the World in Texas

For this interactive bulletin board, post pictures of traditional clothing from various cultures, or pictures of dolls dressed in traditional clothing. See patterns (there are four pages of patterns) at the end of this program. Only attach the picture at the top, to create a flap. Attach another sheet of paper underneath the flap with the name of the country in which the clothing is worn. Add the directions, "Can you guess what country these traditional clothes are from? Lift the flap to find out." Go to any clip art program and search for clothing for images to include, or copy images from books in your library.


Invite cultural organizations, staff members, or world travelers to bring items to display such as hats, instruments, fabric, dolls or photos.


Order metal globe key chains from Oriental Trading Company at http://www.orientaltrading.com/.


Either purchase foods, have community members donate items or host a cooking class and let children and teens prepare the treats. Some ideas include the Czech kolaches recipe at http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/texasczech/kolaches/Kolache recipe.htm; the fortune cookie recipe at www.parentinghumor.com/activityecenter/cookingkids/fortunecookies.htm; the Mexican cookies at http://www.parentinghumor.com/activityecenter/cookingkids/mexicancookies.htm; and nori rolls at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/102219.

Guest Speakers

Contact cultural groups or individual members of your community to come and share traditional clothing, language, songs, stories and dances. Invite a storyteller to come and tell tales from around the world.


Order educational Tex-Kits from the Institute of Texan Cultures at http://www.texancultures.utsa.edu/PDF/Tex-KitBrochure6_6_05.pdf. If your library is more than 100 miles from San Antonio, you can have an interactive presentation through video conferencing. There is a fee. For more information on programs, go to http://www.texancultures.com/education/videoprog.htm.

Audio Recordings

Asian Dreamland by Putmayo. “Hello to All the Children of the World” on Wee Sing Around the World by Wee Sing.

“Lila Downs” on Latin Playground by Putumayo.

“Paddy on the Railroad/Dance Your Way to Texas” on All Wound Up! - A Family Music Party by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer with Brave Combo.

“Chocolate” on Movimiento Popular by Grupo Fantasma.

Web Sites

Culture and Kids


Excellent, easy to use web site to learn about other countries around the world.

Professional Resources

Hands-on Latin America: Art Activities for All Ages by Yvonne Merrill.

Animated Tales of the World


These fifteen-minute videos offer stories from over 40 countries.

Anti-Defamation League


This site has a good chart of greetings from other languages.

Author Online! Aaron Shepherd’s Home Page


A wealth of stories and resources make this site a storyteller’s dream.

Discover Canada Through National Maps and Facts


This site has a great downloadable world map.



This site has a collection of international recipes, searchable by countries.

Family Fun


This is a great resource for games, activities and art projects for parents and teachers.



This is a place to find downloadable music.

Institute of Texas Cultures


This site has extensive resource for different cultures in Texas.

K. Tok’s Home Page


This personal site has great instructions for using chopsticks.

Mama Lisa’s World


Learn songs and rhymes from around the world.

Microsoft Office Online


This is a great place to go for clip art to make the flannel boards and displays.

Multicultural, Cross-cultural & Intercultural Games & Activities


Here you will find many different games and activities to develop multicultural awareness. Most of the activities are for elementary and older.

Songs for Teaching


This site offers a wealth of musical resources especially for teacher, parents and librarians.

Parenting Humor


This valuable resource for parents and teachers including activities, cooking, art, and literature for children and families.

The World Factbook


Facts of all kinds from countries around the world.



This site provides videos from people all around the world. Warming: Videos may not be PG.

Craft Materials

Texas Nametags

Texas Nametags Sheet - Six Texas Outlines

Tin Designs

Tin Design Template

Travel Around the World in Texas - Traditional Clothing from Various Cultures (Pattern 1 of 4)

Clothing of type Afghan, Argentine, Bolivian, Chinese

Travel Around the World in Texas - Traditional Clothing from Various Cultures (Pattern 2 of 4)

Clothing of type Czech, Danish, Eskimo, French

Travel Around the World in Texas - Traditional Clothing from Various Cultures (Pattern 3 of 4)

Clothing of type German, Greek, Indian, Irish

Travel Around the World in Texas - Traditional Clothing from Various Cultures (Pattern 4 of 4)

Clothing of type Korean, Mexican, Russian, Vietnamese

Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011