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Kwanzaa Reading Passage (Grade 5)

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Kwanzaa Reading Passage

Kwanzaa celebrates African heritage. The holiday spans the seven days between Christmas and New Years. Each of the seven days focuses on one of the different principles or Nuguzo Saba. They include:

Umoja, which stands for unity
Kujichagulia, which stands for self-determination
Ujima, which stands for collective work and responsibility
Ujamaa, which stands for cooperative economics
Nia, which stands for purpose
Kuumba, which stands for creativity
Imani, which stands for faith

The seven days are also represented by seven symbols. On the first night, people lay down a mat (Mkeka) on which they place the other items. They include corn (Muhindi), a candle holder and seven candles (Kinara and Mishumaa Saba), crops (mazao), a unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja), gifts (Zawadi). The African Flag (Bendera) is also often included as a symbol. All of these symbols help enforce the main principles of Kwanzaa and the African heritage of those who celebrate. For example, the Kinara helps represent their roots, the Mazao helps celebrate cooperative work, and the Muhindi helps represent the children and their future.
Which of the seven principles is most likely represented by the picture below?
Fall - Harvest - Small
  1. Umoja
  2. Ujima
  3. Nia
  4. Kujichagulia
Which word is used to represent the Kwanzaa symbol pictured below?

Fall - Corn - Small
  1. Mazao
  2. Bendara
  3. Muhindi
  4. Kinara
Which word is used to represent the Kwanzaa symbol pictured below?

Kwanzaa - Flag - Small
  1. Mazao
  2. Bendara
  3. Muhindi
  4. Kinara
Why does Kwanzaa have seven principles and symbols?

Write what each principle stands for.

Which symbol of Kwanzaa is used on the first night?
  1. Muhindi
  2. Bendara
  3. Mkeka
  4. Zawadi
After reading the passage, what does it mean to celebrate African heritage?

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