Christmas in Ethiopia Unit Study
In this free unit, your child will learn how Christmas is celebrated in Ethiopia. In addition, they’ll learn about the geography of Ethiopia, as well as a little related history and language arts. Unlike other “free” unit studies, you won’t have to buy or search for a bunch of required books. Everything you need, except the ingredients for a recipe, is available for free online.
This unit study is designed to last five days and can be used with a wide range of ages, making it a fun activity for the entire family to do together. With younger children, read the assignments aloud to them, and skip the written work if they aren’t ready for it. Older students can read their assignments independently. If you have teenagers, you may want to have them research Ethiopia and its Christmas traditions further, either at the library or online. Then they could present what they’ve learned to the rest of the family.
Please note: Ethiopia uses two different spellings for their word for Christmas- Ganna and Genna. Some of the resources included in this unit study will use one spelling, and some will use the other. However, both words refer to Christmas Day.
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Day 1: Introduction to Ethiopia and its Geography
Watch Geography Now! Ethiopia.
Watch Ethiopia’s Chapel in the Sky.
Have your children find Ethiopia on a map or globe. Have your older children label Ethiopia and the countries that border it (Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya) on this map. Here’s an answer key.
Day 2: Christmas in Ethiopia Part 1
Read about Christmas in Ethiopia at WhyChristmas.com. Note that Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, not December 25th.
Watch an Ethiopian Christmas (Genna). There aren’t English subtitles, but it’s a short video, and your family will likely still enjoy watching some of the ceremony.
Day 3: Christmas in Ethiopia Part 2
Watch Genna: Ancient Ethiopian Sport. This is a popular sport often played on Genna (Christmas). The name of this sport is the same word they use for Christmas.
Have your older children create a Venn Diagram comparing Ethiopia’s Christmas traditions to your family’s Christmas traditions or the traditions of another country your family has studied. Younger children can draw a picture of people playing Genna.
Day 4: Christmas in Ethiopia Part 3
Watch Timkat | National Geographic. Timkat occurs twelve days after Genna. It commemorates the baptism of Jesus.
Watch Timkat-the Most Important Festival in Ethiopia. An older child or parent may need to read the subtitles to younger children.
Day 5: Christmas in Ethiopia Recipes
Prepare authentic injera (flatbread) or quick injera. The authentic injera recipe will likely taste better and be closer to what people in Ethiopia make, but it is much more involved and includes ingredients that may be hard to find.
More Christmas Around the World Unit Studies
If you enjoyed this unit study, don’t miss our other Christmas Around the World units. We have several countries to choose from!
Note: This post was originally published on October 17, 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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