Learning about new holidays not only expands your students’ view of the world, it inspires them to reflect on the similarities they share with their classmates as well as students from across the globe. And with so many festive holidays on the calendar, now is the perfect time to integrate these holidays into your lessons.

    Reading and discussion is one of the most effective ways to help students learn about and identify the characteristics that make these holidays so meaningful to the cultures that celebrate them. The holidays are also a wonderful time to promote tolerance and inspire kindness in the classroom as characters show their generosity by helping friends and others in need.

    Horrible Harry and the Holidaze
    In Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, Horrible Harry just can’t seem to get in the holiday spirit. Of course, you wouldn’t know it from his name, but Horrible Harry has some important lessons to teach about tolerance and kindness during the holidays. By reading and discussing this book, you and your students can get to the heart of what Harry is feeling and why he doesn’t seem to care about the holidays. Here are a few questions to spark a class discussion:  

  • What holidays do Horrible Harry and his classmates learn about?
  • Why isn’t Harry excited about the holidays?
  • What would you do to help Harry get in the holiday spirit?
  • December Secrets
    In December Secrets, every student in Ms. Rooney’s class chooses a special friend they’re going to be kind to. But one student, Emily, is forced to choose the class crybaby and isn’t happy about it. Through reading and discussion, your students will learn about acceptance and the true meaning of friendship. These prompts may help inspire deeper reflection:

  • Why is Emily upset about her secret friend?
  • What does Emily learn about Jill? How do Emily’s feelings change?
  • Describe what it means to be a special friend to someone.
  • These are just a few books and prompts to help teach students about tolerance and kindness in the classroom this holiday season. Fun and engaging, they’re perfect additions to any classroom library and a great way for young readers to learn about the different holidays celebrated by students just like them from all over the world!

    Winter According to Humphrey
    In Winter According to Humphrey, class pet Humphrey the hamster is excited about the winter holidays. He gets to go home with different students from Room 26 and learn how their families celebrate during the season! And with a Winter Wonderland pageant coming up, Humphrey finds ways to help the students practice for the pageant, make costumes, and even helps a student make the whole class a special holiday gift. Engage your students in a class discussion about this fun book with these prompts:

  • What makes Humphrey view the world differently than the other students in Room 26?

  • What did Humphrey learn about different holiday celebrations when he went home with students from Room 26?

  • How did Humphrey help Do-It-Now-Daniel and Helpful-Holly?

    These are just a few books and prompts to help teach students about tolerance and kindness in the classroom this holiday season. Fun and engaging, they’re perfect additions to any classroom library and a great way for young readers to learn about the different holidays celebrated by students just like them from all over the world!

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