Celebrating Holidays in the Classroom
Explore the origins, symbols, decorations, and foods of winter holidays observed around the world with these ready-to-use lesson plans and unit plans.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
Holidays are a topic occupying the thoughts of children — and teachers — during much of the year, but especially during November and December. This theme can provide a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to customs and cultures that may be unfamiliar to them and to help them recognize festivals as communal celebrations of culture.
Through the following resources, students will be able to increase their awareness of the ways in which different cultures celebrate the holidays through the use of the Internet and teacher-recommended book lists, as well as express themselves creatively by making crafts and gifts..
These websites offer information on the origins, symbols, music, and food of different holidays, including Chanukah, Christmas, Diwali, and Kwanzaa.
Apply students'geometry skills with do-it-yourself patchwork gifts that incorporate tessellations, symmetry, and pattern-forming.
Bring families together with these easy projects that they can do together. Construct a dinner plate bar graph marking favorite holiday foods and decorate your classroom with a star-studded holiday global wish list.
Share these holiday read-alouds and storytelling techniques to pull your reluctant readers into a tale.
Second-grade teacher Jackie Howes and her students always host a multicultural celebration in December. Here are some of her favorite activities.
Build a classroom library for the December holidays beginning with this list of titles. Compare the December holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa with these exercises in Social Studies, Language Arts, and Art.
Connect world geography with celebrations by exposing your students to the seven principals of Kwanzaa and Las Posadas as it's celebrated in Mexico and Central America.
This unit lesson plan shows kids that they don't have to spend money to give a thoughtful gift for the winter holidays.