Christmas Around the World
We learn about holiday traditions around the world by making crafts that pertain to various countries. To represent Mexico, we make paper poinsettias. For Germany, we make 3D Christmas trees; for Holland, wooden shoes out of recyclable materials; for France, Noel banners; for Austria, glass ornaments; and for Israel, painted menorahs. We decorate the classroom with what we've made!
–Pat Roth, Morresville, NC
Doves of Peace
Each December, my students make white paper doves to symbolize peace. To make the dove, have students trace the body of a dove and two wings on a paper plate and cut them out. Glue the wings to each side of the dove and add feathers. As a finishing touch, slide a pipe-cleaner olive branch through a hole in the beak, then glue on green construction-paper leaves. Attach yarn or string to the doves and hang.
–Sharon Zarka, via e-mail
We read the book What Do Snowmen Do at Night?, then the students write a story about what they would do at night if they were snow boys or snow girls. They invent fabulous ideas like ice skating in Central Park under the moonlight while drinking cold cocoa. Then the students design their own snow people by covering empty glass baby-food jars in white cotton balls, felt clothes, pipe-cleaner arms, buttons, and glitter. We invite the parents in and have a snowmen party!
–Elizabeth Kennedy, New York, NY
My kindergartners create leaf characters every winter. We go outside and collect leaves, glue them to construction paper, then use googly eyes, markers, and fabric scraps to dress and decorate the leaves. Then, we name the leaves and write a class story featuring all of our leaf characters.
–Meredith Burton, Greenville, SC
My class loves this winter-themed craft and writing exercise. The students write a winter poem about something that they love around the holidays, like family traditions and holiday treats, in the center of a large piece of paper. Then, in red and white paint, they make candy peppermint swirls and add handprints on either side. To finish, the students present their "sweet" crafts to their "sweet" peers and read their poems aloud.
–Katie McCann, Appomattox, VA