My Favorite Holiday
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
- Unit Plan:
- Recall the months of the year.
- Learn the components of a calendar.
- Apply their learning about holiday customs to consider their own favorite holiday and family traditions.
- Draw a variety of symbols that represent their favorite holiday.
- Learn the term "tradition."
- Share their calendar page with the class.
- An 8x11 blank calendar page for each student (grid only--no month, year, numbers, etc.), created through a computer program or another resource
- Drawing materials for each student - markers, colored pencils, crayons
- Large 12-month calendar
- Chart paper
- My Favorite Holiday (PDF)
- Symbols representing your own favorite holiday tradition
- Transparencies/overhead projector (optional)
- Laminating machine (optional)
- Mounting paper (optional)
Set Up and Prepare
- Copy the calendar sheet and the My Favorite Holiday printable for each student.
- Prepare a piece of chart paper entitled "Our Favorite Holiday Traditions." Write the definition of the term "tradition: The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication"
- If you wish to share the My Favorite Holiday printable and the blank calendar page with an overhead projector, make transparencies of each.
- Think of your own favorite holiday tradition and bring in some symbols of that tradition to share with the students. Examples include:
- Making Christmas cookies with your children (a photo or the cookie recipe)
- Playing/watching football on Thanksgiving Day (a football)
- Writing down your New Year's resolutions with your family (your writing journal)
- If you decide to laminate each calendar page, mount each on strong tag board, card stock, or other mounting paper before doing so.
Step 1: In a whole group setting, introduce the lesson by sharing your favorite holiday tradition and a symbol, if possible. Talk about why you like this holiday tradition and the fact that you and your family do this year after year. Take questions from the students.
Step 2: Define the term "tradition." Discuss how families teach their children and other family members how to do things a certain way and how to celebrate certain events. Refer back to your favorite tradition and share where you learned it.
Step 3: Using the chart paper entitled "Our Favorite Holiday Traditions," ask students to share their favorite holidays and the traditions they enjoy. Ask questions that will help them think about their responses to the My Favorite Holiday printable, such as: When is your favorite holiday? What traditions do you participate in on that holiday? Why is it your favorite holiday? You may want to compare their responses with the different holiday customs they learned about in Lesson One. Write their responses on the chart paper. Also include the names of all the months of the year, if they're not already posted in your classroom.
Step 4: Introduce the My Favorite Holiday printable and review each sentence. Allow students to complete the assignment and keep it handy for the next activity. Monitor the class as they complete the page, assisting when necessary.
If you have "calendar time," with your students, you may want to do this activity during that time.
Step 1: Show the students the large 12-month calendar. Ask them to chorally name the 12 months of the year. Ask them to tell you everything they know about it, e.g. what a calendar is, how we use it, why we use it, its components. Refer to your classroom calendar and its purpose. Tell them that they will create their own My Favorite Holiday Calendar Page for the month when their favorite holiday occurs. Review some of the students' favorite holidays and ask them in which month they occur.
Step 2: Distribute the blank calendar page and drawing materials to the students. Using the transparency, model how to write the numbers in each box in the upper corner, the name of the month on the page, and the days of the week across the top. Ask students to circle the day of their holiday on their calendars or to mark them with stars. You may need to remind them.
Step 3: After all the components are included on the page, instruct students to decorate their pages with symbols from their favorite holiday and pictures of themselves involved in their holiday's family tradition.
Step 4: When complete, allow students to share their calendar page with the class, explaining their responses to the My Favorite Holiday printable and how they decorated their calendar page.
Step 5: Laminate each page and post throughout your classroom or another school display board.
Supporting All Learners
Students will need assistance with transferring the information from their My Favorite Holiday page to the calendar page.
Have students write a short paragraph about the holiday they selected.
Allow students the opportunity to complete the My Favorite Holiday page at home. Parents can help students discuss their family traditions.
- Complete the My Favorite Holiday printable.
- Complete the My Favorite Holiday Calendar Page
- Were students able to complete their calendars?
- Could students easily transfer the information from the chart paper to their My Favorite Holiday page and to their Calendar page? What could be done differently to support this process?
Written Outcome: Evaluate the My Favorite Holiday page and the Calendar page.