"MULTICULTURAL HOLIDAYS: Songs, Poems, Skits, and Readers Theatre" - An Essential Resource for Classrooms and Assemblies - JK to Grade 6

Diwali Skit 

Props required: Box of various types of lights (candle, flashlight, fairy lights, light bulb, matches, lamp)

This grade 1 to 6 assembly explores the roots and meaning of the Hindu festival of Diwali. The importance of the festival is illustrated by a story about a child whose non-Hindu friends rally round to help her to prepare for Diwali. The story can be acted out as a short play with six actors. This assembly encourages pupils:

to learn that we live in a diverse world

to share their beliefs and value the views of others

to explore the roots and meaning of the festival of Diwali

to learn about some of the customs associated with this celebration and appreciate their importance to both Hindus and Sikhs


At this time of the year, Hindus and Sikhs celebrate Diwali. Today, we are going to find out about this important festival.

In this box, I have some objects that will give you a clue about one of the important themes of Diwali. (Show the children a box containing a light bulb, a candle, a torch, fairy lights etc. Take each object out, one by one.)

What do these objects have in common? (Encourage response from children. They are all types of lights.)

Another name for Diwali is the Festival of Lights. The name Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali ; Deepa means lights and Avali means a row.

Diwali is celebrated for five days and celebrates the victory of good over evil. Throughout this time, homes are decorated with lights or small clay lamps, known as divas .

The date of Diwali changes each year. It falls at the time of the new moon in late October or early November. Lamps are lit to welcome the spirits of ancestors, drive away evil and welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is said that Lakshmi will not enter a darkened house.

On festival days, people wear new clothes, worship Lakshmi with gold, silver, sweets and scented water, exchange gifts and have feasts.

Main presentation

Tell the children that you are going to tell them a story about one little girls Diwali and you are going to need 6 volunteers to help you. (Characters: Neelu, 3 friends, Mum, Dad.) Ask six children to mime the actions as the narrator tells the story.  The mimes must listen carefully to the story and react immediately to the story line. Mimes must not say any words, but are encouraged to make sounds when it is appropriate.

Narator 1: Neelu is the main character in this play and she is 10 years old.  One day, Neelus friends find her crying on the playground. 

Neelus friends ask her what is wrong and she says that her mum is still in hospital and it is nearly Diwali. She explains that this is one of the most important festivals of the year and that there is a lot of preparation to do before then.

Neelus friends ask when Diwali is and Neelu explains that she doesnt know yet. They are surprised. Surely, they say, that if it is such an important festival, she should know when it is. After all they know that Christmas is on December 25.

Neelu explains that Diwali starts when there is a new moon at the end of October or beginning of November. She thinks that this will be on Thursday or Friday, but must wait to know for sure.

Her friends are very sympathetic. They say that they dont know much about Diwali, but if Neelu will tell them what to do, they would be delighted to help her.

Neelu explains that Diwali is a five-day festival and that all the children in India have five days off school to spend with their families. Her friends are very envious. But Neelu explains that they have a lot of work to do before the celebrations begin.

Narator 2: Neelu and her friends clean her house from top to bottom. They make Rangoli patterns on the doorstep. (Rangoli patterns can be shown using an overhead or LCD  projector.)

Neelu is worried because she wants to decorate the house with tinsel and lights and does not know where her mother keeps these things. Her friends bring lights and tinsel from home. (Switch on a set of fairy lights.) Neelu is delighted - she can't wait for her mum to come home and see the house.

Neelu explains that Diwali is a time for feasting and eating special sweets. She and her friends find a cookery book and make some delicious sweets.

Finally, Neelu explains that she must wear new clothes, but she does not have any. Her friends say that they will see her at school in the morning and think about this problem.

Later that evening, there is a knock at the door. Neelu opens it and finds her friends standing on the doorstep with a big parcel. Inside is a new set of clothes (If traditional clothes are available, they could be put on here). Just then there is another knock at the door. It is Neelus dad with a great surprise: her mum has come home from hospital. Neelu is thrilled to see her and her mum is delighted with the preparations she and her friends have made

Neelus friends are invited to join the family celebrations, eating the sweets and watching fireworks.


During Diwali families like Neelus eat lovely food and watch wonderful firework displays, but one of the most pleasurable parts of Diwali is enjoying the company of family and friends.

As Diwali is celebrated across the world, lets take a minute to think about some of the things that we have learned about this colourful festival.

(Turn down the lights, so that just the fairy lights and candles are showing and take a minute for quiet thought. Music from the selection provided could be played in the background.)

Additional notes

This teacher led assembly could easily be adapted for use as a class assembly, with children reading out sections of the text and a performance of the story.


Black History Month Skit 

* Preparation: Ask five students to write their own "I have a dream" speech. Each speech should be no longer than 30 seconds.  Costumes and props could be used if available.   Students will need to rehearse their lines and use dramatic inflection.

Stage opens on Martin Luther King , standing on a platform. He is smartly dressed and earnest. Nelson Mandela is sitting on a chair to stage right. He is looking glum and wearing plain dark trousers and top. Sojourner Truth is stood up leaning on a hoe or other garden implement. She is wearing a long skirt and plain top. A paperboy in traditional flat cap is holding a newspaper to stage right.

MLK: I say to you today, my friends (stage hand holds up applause sign), so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. (Applause) I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. (Applause)

Paperboy: FREEZE! Ladies and gentlemen, read all about it, Martin Luther King fights for black rights, read all about it!

ST: (Ploughing action) I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me, and aren’t I a woman?

Paperboy: FREEZE! Come on up folks and get today’s news! Sojourner Truth gains freedom from slavery and now fights for the freedom of others!

NM: (Being pushed into the ‘cell’ by guards) You may imprison me now, but one day JUSTICE will win. I am not a man to be silenced, and black people shall have their day of freedom in South Africa.

Paperboy: FREEZE! Today’s news, hot off the press! You can only read it here! Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years of imprisonment. Some say he’ll be the next president of South Africa! Read it here first!

Narrator 1: Welcome to Class Six’s assembly on Black History Month, about the people who fought for black people’s freedom. We have a lot to thank them for.

Narrator 2: (Walking behind ST) Now, you probably haven’t heard of Sojourner Truth before today, but she fought so hard and so long for slaves to be freed that she actually met the president of America, Abraham Lincoln, in 1864.

Narrator 3: Sojourner Truth actually won her own freedom in 1827 but spent the rest of her life travelling around America, persuading others to let black women have the same rights as white men. Some people would just give up and relax after they were free- but not her.

Narrator 4: (Standing behind NM) Now meet Nelson Mandela. He was born in 1918 in a small African village, and formed a political party called the A.N.C. The ANC got thousands of black people together at a football stadium and drew up their ‘Freedom Charter’.

NM: (Holding large sheet of paper) Come on people, what freedoms do you want to have? Tell me and I’ll make them happen!

Spectator 1: I’d like to be able to go to university

Spectator 2: I’d like to sit in the front of the cinema, and eat at the same restaurants as white people.

NM: These shall be written down on our Freedom Charter, and believe me when I tell you- change will happen!

Narrator 5: Nelson Mandela is one of the most important black politicians, because he helped to get rid of apartheid in South Africa.

Narrator 6: This was a system where black and white people were separated.

Narrator 7: Nelson Mandela hated this separation and brought black and white people together when he became president of South Africa.

Narrator 8: (Walking behind MLK) But what about this man? Who knows who he was? (Ask the audience). Yes, that’s right- Martin Luther King.

Narrator 9: Martin Luther King wanted all poor people, not just black people, to be on an equal level with everyone else in the country. Because slaves worked for free, he said that the American government should pay them back some money. This would give them a good start in life. Who thinks that was a good idea? (Look for how many hands up, and make a comment e.g. “That’s a lot of people who think it was a good idea”)

Narrator 10: Martin Luther King did not say that anyone was better than anyone else. He believed that everyone was equal and that people of different races should be friends. Many people stopped being racist after they listened to his speeches.

Song- all performers to sing 

(This Old Man tune) 

This young man had a dream; In his eye there was a gleam.

We must love each other to survive Let us keep his dream alive.

He believed man was good; He had dreams of brotherhood.

We must love each other to survive Let us keep his dream alive.

All join hands, let us sing; Let the bells of freedom ring.

We must love each other to survive Let us keep his dream alive.

We can learn from the past; Then we’ll all be “free at last!”

We must love each other to survive Let us keep his dream alive. 

Narrator 11: We thought of our own dream speeches. Here are some of them.

Ask five children to read their own "I have a dream" speech.   Their speech should be no longer than 30 seconds.

Everyone:  Thank you for watching our assembly. We hope you have enjoyed it. 


  EASTER 1, 2, 3  (a finger play for JK to grade 2)

Ask students to repeat your actions.

"God's Son was alive and he rose to Heaven!"
Point to the sky.

"Day One"
Hold up one finger.
"The guards watched the tomb."
Put hand above eyes. Pretend to watch something intently.
"All was quiet."
Hold finger to lips.

"Day Two"
Hold up two fingers.
"The guards watched the tomb."
Put hand above eyes. Pretend to watch something intently.
"All was quiet."
Hold finger to lips.

"Day Three"
Hold up three fingers.
"The guards watched the tomb."
Put hand above eyes. Pretend to watch something intently.
"All was quiet."
Hold finger to lips.

Jump, as if in shock.
"The stone rolled from the door of the tomb."
Make a rolling motion with hands.
"Jesus stepped out!"
Walk fingers across palm.

"Then Jesus rose up to Heaven to be with God."    Point to the sky 

Repeat this activity and ask the students to repeat your words and actions.