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Christmas Theme

Compiled By: Editor

Classroom activities and lesson plan ideas for a unit celebrating the Christmas holiday

Christmas Activities
Posted by: Krissy

These are the activities that I plan to do this week, and for the most part on the final day. I plan to keep them busy, busy, busy.

Christmas word scramble: Students will work in pairs to unscramble words like "sleigh," "reindeer," "Santa" etc.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Mad Libs: I am going to read Twas the Night Before Christmas to my class. Then, they will work together to choose new nouns, etc. to make a funny version of the tale. We will take turns reading them aloud.

Tree Comparison: I will put two different Christmas tree pictures on the overhead, and students will create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the trees. I will make a game out of it by encouraging students to find the most differences.

Santa Map Skills: I will give students questions like "Santa flys his sleigh north of Missouri. What state is he in?"

Christmas Shopping: I have been saving sale ads and picking them up from stores for weeks. I am going to give each student a balance of $500 to spend on whatever they would like. I am going to allow them to cut out pictures and paste to their "Santa's Bag" construction-paper cut-out. I am going to have them, estimate, do the math on paper, then trade with a partner and check it with a calculator.

Christmas Around the World: My students have spent the past week researching Christmas traditions around the world. We are going to take turns presenting what we found to the class.

Pass the Ornament: A version of hot potato played with an ornament.

Snowman soup: I found a really cute poem called "Snowman Soup" that involves giving someone a packet of hot chocolate, candy cane, and a hershey's kiss. Students are going to work together to copy the poem on snowman paper, create the packages and then have fun delivering them to various school staff.

Division fun: Since we are working on our facts, I will cut out little green trees and write a different number on each one (1-9) each student will get one tree. I will call out a fact and the student with that answer on their tree will hold it up. If they hold up their answer first, they earn a point for their team.

Christmas Charades: Students will act out various Christmas words.

At the end of the day, we will enjoy juice and cookies.

Christmas Around the World Unit
Posted by: Debbie

My collegue and I are currently teaching a Christmas Around the World Unit togehter to grades 1-3. We've talked about doing this for atleast two years, and this year just decided to go for it!

We decided we had enough information to cover 10 different countries (Mexico, Sweden, England, Poland, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, and the United States). We typed up a fact sheet for each country with basic facts about their Christmas traditions. Then copied coloring pages, map outlines, flags to color in, etc. for each country and bound them together into a book for each student. We had a Christmas tree pattern that had "Merry Christmas" written in several different languages on it that the students colored and then glued to construction paper for the cover. We plan to spend 2 days on countries like England, Italy, and Mexico that have more information and 1 day on the others. We tried to plan a craft for each country, snacks for some countries, tradebooks to read aloud, etc. Here's a rough breakdown of our plans....

Day 1-2 Mexico
Read over fact sheet together...Read aloud Night of Las Posadas...color in flag, international children pages...enjoy fruit salad snack.

Read Legend of the Poinsettia...make poinsettia craft.

Day 3 Sweden
Read over fact sheet, color in flag and international children Tomten...make St. Lucia "S" shaped Swedish sweet rolls

Day 4-5 England
Read over fact sheet, color in flag, talk about how the Christmas Card tradition started in England...make and send Christmas cards to my fiance who lives in England

Talk about the tradition of Christmas Crackers, which are little toliet paper rolls wrapped up in Christmas paper. You pull them apart and they make a popping noise. Inside is a silly hate, toy, and joke. British families do this before eating their Christmas dinner. My fiance sent enough over for each student to have the 12 Days of Christmas...drink Wassail (warm apple/cranberry cider)

Day 6 Poland
Read over fact sheet, color in flag...Make an angel craft project

Day 7 Holland
Read over fact sheet, color in flag and international children pages...Make a windmill craft project

Day 8 France
Read over fact sheet, color in flag....Make Noel Sign Craft...enjoy a Swiss Roll (Little Debbie Snack)..they looke like the Yul logs (Buche de Noel) the the French enjoy at Christmas.

Day 9 Germany
This will fall on St. Nick's Day. We are having the children leave out their gym shoes for "St. Nick" to leave a treat in.
Read over Germany fact sheet, color in flag...since the Christmas tree originated in Germany, we'll make a mini-tree craft...enjoy snickerdoodle cookies

Day 10-11 Italy
Read over fact sheet, color in flag and international children pages...Read Merry Christmas Strega a "hidden letter" activity

Read La about the legend...complete a La Befana writing activity...enjoy macaroons

Day 12 Ireland
Read over fact sheet...color in flag and international children pages...make a holy wreath craft

Day 13 United States
Read over fact sheet...color in flag...Read Twas the Night Before Christmas...make a Christmas stocking craft...enjoy a candy cane

This is just a rough outline of what we are doing. If something doesn't make sense or you'd like me to elaborate, just let me know. I can also tell you what books we got a lot of our ideas from if you'd like. They are at school or I would've posted the names and authors as well.

As a cummulative closing project, we plan to divide our students into 10 groups (3 kids per group). We bought small fake Christmas trees at Big Lots. Each group will get to decorate a small tree with symbols of the country they are assigned. We've printed off clip art for them to make into ornaments (flags, country symbols, etc.) They can make paper chain link garland with the countries colors to go around the trees as well. Our trees will be on display at our Christmas Musical concert. We had each student donate $2.50 to cover the costs of the materials for this project as well, if you were wondering.

I hope this helps!

Christmas in Oz
Posted by: Suzie

Hi there from an Aussie girl,

I don't seem to sing Aussie songs, even though I live in the heart of Oz. Weird.
This is the song that I hope to do with my Kinders/ Yr Ones this Christmas. Hope you like it. If you need to know what a ute is etc. let me know.

P.S. This Xmas scene described here is EXACTLY the way it all happens!! Grandpa DOES have a doze and so do the rest of us at sometime on Xmas day. It's soooo hot and we're full after our huge meal.
Good luck.

Australian Jingle Bells

Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust,
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side,
singing Christmas songs,
It's Summer time and I am in
my singlet, shorts and thongs

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut !,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Engine's getting hot;
we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard,
he is welcome too.
All the family's there,
sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way,
by the barbecue.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Come the afternoon,
Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce,
are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes 'round to go,
we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through,
before the washing up.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute!

Christmas songs
Posted by: Chris

Last year my third graders did German Christmas caroling. It was so fun! They learned first how to say the words, then the tune. When we had it all put together (after LOTS of practice) we did some German Christmas caroling around the school. I did a unit on tradional German Christmas in my room. You'd be surprised at how many traditions began in Germany (Christmas tree, glass ornament balls, tinsel, advent calendars, lights on the tree, etc.) We didn't really celebrate Christmas and the only reason my school allowed me to do it was because we also did some sharing about Kwanze and Hanakah (for those that celebrated those holidays). I can certainly send you the songs if you like. One is "Silent Night" (Stille Nacht), "O' Christmas Tree" (O' Tannenbaum), "Rudolph" (Rudolf Mit Rotem Naschen", and a purely German one "Kling Glochen". You can also search online for carols in foreign languages and they pop up (if you're not comfortable w/German).

Christmas celebrations
Posted by: Newbie

I teach at a private school that is not affiliated with a specific religion, but we are still allowed to decorate for Christmas and talk about it. I have students from many different backgrounds, but most of them are Christian, and this coming week we are going to do a lesson about how Christmas is celebrated around the world. I teach 6th grade history, which is world history at my school, and I think it's important for them to realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas in the same way.

I thought it was interesting how someone mentioned that the Druids started some of the first celebrations that are now part of our Christmas. Even though Christians recognize the birth of Jesus at this time, there has been some proof that Christ was not even born during this time of year. Not that Christians shouldn't celebrate the way they want, but Christmas represents a time of giving and goodwill, even for those who aren't Christian.

Christmas Around the World
Posted by: Carrie

It sounds like you need to do Christmas Around the World. The best way is to ask other teachers in your grade level to participate too. Each teacher can pick a country (France, England, Germany, etc.)to present the history of Christmas in that country. Children really love to compare Christmas traditions we have with other students. We make a pocket book to take from class to class before our students rotate. Students make a small craft in each country and place it along with any informational material in their pockets. Before they enter another country, the students must present a passport for the teacher to stamp with a Christmas stamp. This is also okay to do in only your classroom. But, I would really suggest asking around. For your first year, it can really be overwhelming.

We also have a Polar Express day in 2nd grade. Each student wears their pajamas, does activities that revolve around the book, and drink hot chocolate. A real success!

German Christmas Activity
Posted by: vana

I have done this with K-5th grade. Every class has loved it. I read The Cobweb Christmas. I believe it is by Shriley Climo. Then we make Christmas spiders. I have done this differently each year depending on what materials I can find. Last year I got the cheapest gold glitter styrofoam Christmas balls I could find. I popped off the hanger and hot glued a cyrstal bead on where the hanger had been. This made the two parts of the spider's body. I had fourth grade students and four glue guns. They did this for themselves. For little ones you may want to do that part yourself. Then I gave students each two gold pipecleaners. which they cut in half (now four parts). Then they twistede them around the "neck" of the spider. Now you have eight legs to bend in position. If you would like to add a special touch tie a bow around to cover up where the pipe cleaners cross. But this might be a challenge for little hands. Looks jusst fine without the bow though. We did this with our first grade friends. All the kids loved them.

Christmas around the World
Posted by: Lauren

Our first grade teachers have done Christmas Around the World for years. This is how we do it. We each take a country. We then have a story, an art activity and food for that country. My country is Germany so I read "A Cobweb Christmas". It is a German folktale. Then we make a Christmas tree with diecut trees and rolled up tissue paper for ornaments. Then I give everyone a gingerbread cookie for a treat. We "travel" from room to room visiting each country. We make the kids a "passport" so they can keep track of where they have been. The teacher will give the student a stamp from their country as they walk into their room.It is then glued on their passport. The countries we have represented are:Germany, England, Mexico, Sweden, France, Italy, and Brazil. Of course we also feature the North Pole.The kids learn from all of the teachers. We take 45 minutes per session with 5 minute travel time. We take 2 full days to complete. Of course they attend 'specials' and recess too. Email me for more info if needed. Have fun!!

Christmas art projects
Posted by: Paula

This is my first year in a private school and the first year I can actually do Christmas projects! Here are some I am doing (I found some on the Web): --Handprint wreaths-kids trace and cut out 8 or 10 handprints on green construction paper (I had my kids do 2 handprints a day until we had enough). Then fasten the hands together and kids can decorate with red construction paper bows and berries
--Gingerbread ornaments--I can't remember the exact proportions but you mix together white glue, cinnamon and apple sauce to make a dough that will harden overnight--they smell great!
--For presents for the parents we are taking large baby food jars and using a mixture of glue and water to cover the jar with colored tissue paper. The you add a votive candle--it makes the tissue paper glow!
--Shape Christmas trees-A triangle for the tree, a rectangle for the trunk, squares for the gifts underneath the tree, and a star on top. They then decorated the tree with markers and some really cool snowflake sequins I found at a craft store.
Sorry for the long response but these activites worked well in my class! The shape trees they can pretty much do themselves (I traced a triangle for them and they cut it out), the ornaments and baby food jar activity I do in small groups with a parent helper. Hope this helps!

christmas crafts
Posted by: michele--or

One of my favorite that I did when teaching 1st grade was making a calendar, but it is a pretty involved process. I took pictures, using props, for May I had the kids bring in umbrellas (or caught them on a rainy day), another teacher had a HUGE santa for Dec. etc. I had some pictures of the kids by themselves, others with their friends. For other months, I had the kids draw pictures, use their heads and put them on another body, and cut out everyone's head, and had a talented student draw a christmas scene using everyone in a picture (it is actually REALLY cute!) I tried to use no more than 6 digital pictures to keep down the cost!

We have made teddy bear ornaments with the students picture in the middle.

Last year, I had my husband cut up a small (3 inch diameter) log into 1 1/2 inch thick circles, and drill a hole in the top. We pasted the kids pictures in the middle with modge-podge. Then on the other side, the kids stamped a christmas picture and colored it, then we modge-podged this side too. We put some raffia in the hole and tied it to hand it, and had a quick/easy ornament.

Hope this helps somewhat!


Christmas Around the World
Posted by: Rosie

I do a Christmas Around the World Unit. I teach in a Catholic school so many of the activities are geared toward the religious celebration of the holidays. We read books about Christmas in other countries
Tree of Cranes by Allen Say (Japan)We have a woman come in to teach us how to do origami.
The Legend of Old Befana (Italy)
The Legend of the Poinsetta (Mexico)
The Night of Las Pasadas (Mexico)
(all three by Tomie DePaola)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (USA) - Robinson

My class mothers buy and stuff a pinata and we hang it in the gym and the children whack it with a stick. We read about the legend of the candy cane and then I would have the children write an acrostic poem on the name Jesus using a candy cane as the J.

I don't know if any of these ideas are helpful to you, I know that most of these ideas are geared toward Catholic schools.

Christmas b board
Posted by: mary

We are using lined paper cut in a tree shape. We are going to write stories about Christmas trees. My life as a Christmas tree. We're reading THE YEAR OF THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE and COBWEB CHRISTMAS first. Then we are going to sandwich the story between 2 pieces of green tree shaped construction paper. Then the students will decorate their trees with various craft materials, glitter, tiny ornaments they are making from construction paper, etc. I think I'll title the bulletin board HAVE A TREE-MENDOUS HOLIDAY!

Another idea I saw was titled DEAR SANTA, I CAN EXPLAIN. The students wrote letters explaining to Santa why although they had not been perfect, they should still deserve some Christmas gifts. Or they could explain their way out of some misadventure.

The Christmas Cup
Posted by: Rhonda

The author's name is Nancy Ruth Patterson. I came across the book through a fellow teacher. She had ordered a class set from Scholastic. It is about a girl named Megan who buys an antique milkshake cup at an auction. Megan and her grandmother secretly call it the Christmas cup. They put money in it to buy a gift for someone who had been good to them during the past year. It was a secret between the two of them. Megan gets into some trouble involving a Mennonite (similar to Amish) and realizes people are different and is ashamed of what she has done. She also spends some time with an elderly lady. Finally at the end of the book, Nannie and Megan decide who to buy a gift for and leave it at their doorstep in the middle of the night. It has a great Christmas lesson behind it--giving is better than receiving. I know you can buy it on Amazon. You can search by typing in the author's last name. Hope you enjoy it!

Christmas in Italy
Posted by: Ms

I compare the holiday in Italy to the holiday in the U.S. In Italy they begin the holiday season with a cannon being fired from a castle and here one thing that happens is the tree being lit in Rockefeller Center. We use Christmas trees and they use ceppos with is a tripod like object which holds gifts and angel and a nativity scene. The children write a letter to their father and place it under his napkin to be read aloud at the Christmas meal. We have Santa Claus who brings gifts and they believe Old Befana brings their gifts. We create stars because the star of Bethlehem is what woke Befana from her sleep. Try to read the Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola and you will get an idea of what she stands for.
The stars are made from popsicle sticks because I present this lesson to 9 kinder classes and I need a quick craft to go with the lesson. Make an x with them and then one across its middle. I have them color both sides of the sticks with markers and then decorate on of those sides with glitter to use as an ornament.
Best of luck!

Christmas bulletin board
Posted by: Cat

I'm going to do "A Fairy Tale Christmas" Each student is going to write a note telling a certain character from a fairy tale what their gift is to them this Christmaa. Last year, these were really cute. For an example:

Dear Baby Bear,

I was sorry to hear about what Goldilocks did to your favorite chair. This year for Christmas, my gift to you is a new rocking chair. Hope you like it. If Goldilocks happens to visit again, I hope she doesn't sit in this chair. Merry Christmas!

The students did these notes on paper in shape of a Christmas present. Or you could have them each bring in a colorful gift bag and put the note in the bag along with a picture of the present.

REAL Christmas spirit
Posted by: teachingranny

How nice, Mary. I am sure the kids will be excited to help when you explain how it works. Since they still get to give their beloved teacher s gift, it sounds great. I just feel like reaching out should be a part of Christmas.

Our children bring canned goods to me and I ooooh an Ahhhhh over them and thank the student profusely. As we go to lunch, we take our bag of canned goods to the lobby of our school and place them in a huge box designated for canned food donations. At the end of the day, local business men come and get the box. The items are divided and sent to needy families who are not yet recieving food stamps. Local merchants pitch in with turkeys, sweet potatoes ,bread and several other perishable items.

After lunch, each of my students makes me a Christmas card to decorate my dining room arched door at home.(ADORABLE) Everyone is happy(even our poorest child can bring a can of food....) and I am not stuck with yet another waterball or scarf!

Pioneer Christmas Crafts
Posted by: Alison

Log Ornaments - Collect twigs to bring to class. The students break the twigs into 2-3 inch pieces. Bundle into a pile and tie in the middle with raffia or twine. Tie the extra string into a loop to hang the ornament.

Dipped Candles - On top of a hot plate,melt beeswax into medium size coffee can which is sitting inside a larger coffee can partly filled with water to create a double-boiler style pot.
The students suspend a 12 inch length of wick over a narrow strip of cardboard. The card board length is wider than the mouth of the coffee can.
Create a "drying rack" by laying 2 yardsticks across two tables. Hang the cardboard with candles over the two yardsticks between dippings. It will take several dippings to create 2 small candles. When finished, they may cut the wick to create 2 candles, or leave the wicks together to hang on a peg shelf at home.

Tin Punch Ornaments - Have the students save the metal lids from frozen juice cans. Create a punch template the same circumference as the lid. Designs are made of dots which become guides for the nails. I choose pioneer quilt designs. The student will need a hammer, and a long thin nail with a broad head, and a block of wood to hammer upon. Tape the template to the lid. Next, hammer a nail through the lid into the wooden block to stablize the lid. Using a hammer and long nail, the student will pierce each dot, thereby reproducing the design onto the lid. When finished, remove the paper, and add ribbon to hang the ornament.

I had several stations and parent volunteers to made this more managable!

What is Christmas?
Posted by: Stephanie

I am currently working in a Christian school, so I am able to incorporate Christmas. But really what is Christmas anyway. In many public schools and around the country, Christmas has gone from being a religious holiday to a commercialized greed for material things. I am fortunate to be able to instruct on the true meaning of Christmas, however many public schools do not approve of religious teaching. I personally believe that all holidays should be taught. It is important for students to know about holidays from Valentines to All Saints Day and even to why students have summer off.

Christmas centers
Posted by: 3rd grade teacher

I have old Christmas cards in my writing center. On the back of each there are several words. They have to write a story using the words and to go along with the picture. They really enjoy this.

Maybe you could have a craft in one center.

Also someone on another board had a neat idea on symmetry (symme"tree"). You might could incorporate that into your math center. My students were given half a Christmas tree with various ornaments on them (on construction paper) . They had to create the other half of the tree making it symmetrical. Maybe you could have ornaments in a basket for them to sort.

You could choose a picture book to use for writing. They could continue the book, change one of the characters, etc. and rewrite their own.

Hope these help a little.

Holiday/Christmas Bulletin Board
Posted by: Tracy

I just put up a Christmas Bulletin Board with my class yesterday. I gathered two large pieces of yellow sheet paper. Then I drew a large tree on white sheet paper. The kids colored it green with crayons only. I cut it out. Then I asked the kids to make three things from the various squares of consruction paper i had available; an ornament, a present and a snowflake. Use small pieces of construction paper. It turned out great and we received so many compliments on it already. For a border, the kids traced their hands with red and green paper and cut them out. I added the phrase "We wish you a merry Christmas" too. You can also make hand wreaths to decorate. Good luck in whatever you decide.

"Old-fashioned Christmas"
Posted by: sonshine

I do an "Old Fashioned Christmas" unit every other year with my third and fourth graders. (The alternate year we do "Christmas Around the World.")
We make an old-fashioned tree with NO lights. (I string them elsewhere around the room.) We have done gingerbread cookies, popcorn/cranberry strings, pinecones (cones with glitter on them make awesome ornaments), tin foil ornaments, Christmas card balls..can't think what all else right now.

We also do "stained glass" paintings--which is just an overhead transparency picture colored with permanent markers. Fairly easy to do, but they look awesome hanging in the window!

If you google "old-fashioned Christmas" you will come up with more ideas than you could possibly use!!

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Christmas door decorations
Posted by: Christine

Hello--regarding door decorations, I used our die cuts at school to punch out gingerbread men that are about five inches tall. The students used various colors of glitter glue sticks to decorate. They look so darling. Then I'm going to put a gingerbread man border around the inside of the door where all the student's gingerbread men will go. A gingerbread house will go in the middle of the door. This is a great way to decorate your door especially if you have someone who can't celebrate Christmas. It's also a great theme to use during this season if you feel uncomfortable doing a lot of Christmas things due to children who can't participate.

Teaching the meaning of Christmas
Posted by: Kathy

I teach in a low income school district with many single parent families. Our 5th grade teaching team realized that several of our students would not be able to purchase a gift for the gift exchange. So this year we had a Christmas card exchange, the students drew random names & made a special holiday card for their "Secret Friend". Several made handmade cards, some computer cards & some purchased cards. But each card included a "warm fuzzy" message from the heart for their friend. Some of the girls complained to me privately because they were embarrassed to write to a boy but they were able to come up with a nice message & learned to be better friends. They were also invited to bring in a jar of Peanut Butter for the local food bank or a good clean toy for the Toys for Tots drive. Of course, some of our poorest students were the ones who contributed to these programs.
As far as my gifts to the students, I made a small goodie bag with a candy cane, Free Homework Pass & Free Test Question coupon. The majority of my students thanked me or expressed excitement with the Homework pass.

Christmas Ornaments
Posted by: Cathy-Dee

One really simple idea I do with my kids is to buy the cupcake holders that are metallic (silver). The students spread them open and flatten them and then glue pieces of tissue paper in the middle for colour. You could use red, white and blue for your theme. They do not take long, but look very pretty on a tree because they reflect the light so nicely.

Another one that can be fun is to make reindeers out of Candy Canes. Just use chenille wire to make the antlers, glue on googly eyes and a felt nose and you have a cute reindeer to hang on the tree.

You can also usually buy wooden ornament shapes at your local craft store - they are usually not too expensive and they can be painted with regular tempera paint.

I have a number of Christmas craft sites bookmarked, if you would like them just send me an email.

German Christmas Tradition
Posted by: teacha47

My first grade class just completed our decoration based on the legend of the pickel ornament. It is said that a pickle was the last thing placed on the Christmas tree and the adult that finds it has good luck the next year and the child that finds it gets an extra gift from St. Nick. It was also a way to encourage children to look at the beautifully decorated tree before diving into their gifts. We made ours from construction paper and added google eyes and a santa type hat using cotton balls to add a festive feeling. They are hanging throughout our halls with an explanation posted at different areas so visitors and other classes can understand why pickles are hanging from the ceilings. Each one is just as cute and different as can be.

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Christmas Rat
Posted by: Elaine


I liked the Christmas Rat because it was so surprising. I certainly didn't expect it to turn out the way it did when I began reading it. I am simply reading it aloud to my 4th graders for the sheer enjoyment. I am anxious to see if they are able to put the clues together and guess that Anje is really an angel.

Off the top of my head, if I were using it for instruction, I think I'd have my students reread the book and keep track of all the clues Avi gave the reader about Anje/Angela Gabrail being an angel. Next year when my students are 5th graders, I think I'll do an author's study on Avi.

Happy reading,

Christmas Legends and Ornaments
Posted by: Lynne

Last year my class read Christmas legends and made ornaments that went with those. We used them to decorate our class tree after we made them and then they took them for their trees. We read about why reindeer were chosen to lead Santa's sleigh and then made reindeer out of popsicle sticks (body), brown pipe cleaner (antlers), googly eyes, and a red pom-pom for the nose. We also read a story about how tinsel came to be. It is said that a spider spun a web in a tree and it looked so beautiful. We then made spiders out of a large pom pom body, pipe cleaner legs, and googly eyes. There are lots of fun stories out there. These are just a few ideas! Enjoy!

christmas bulletin board
Posted by: elizabeth

I make a Christmas tree made out of the children's hands traced on green paper. Have the children make many. Curl up the fingers and overlap them in a tree shape.
Under the tree we make "Peek a Boo" presents. Bring in the ads from the weekend paper. Have the children shop for an item, cut it out, and glue it on a piece of tagboard. They then write three clues on an index card gift tag that describes the item. Next they wrap another piece of tagboard in holiday paper, attach a bow and the tag, and staple the top to the picture.
Have the students make paper snowflakes to finish the scene.

old Christmas cards
Posted by: ddd

Hi! Here's one more idea for those old cards! I cut out the major scene in each one. Students choose a card and glue it down on a piece of white construction paper. They then have to "complete" the scene with crayons, colored pencils, or markers. I tell them to draw whatever they think is around it. Are these ever cute! My 4th graders absolutely love it, and it's a great keepsake for parents. I've been doing this about 6 years now. They make a great bulletin board at Christmas time! Try it next year!

Here they are!!!
Posted by: Emily

Maryellen, I hope you don't mind that I am posting these, but it seems that there is an overwhelming desire for them on this board!! I found them very useful and I'm sure others will as well!

Christmas Centres
We run our centres for ½ hour a day, followed by ½ hour of sharing the writing. The centres continue this way for 5 days, till everyone gets a chance at each centre. We invite parents to join us if possible, as having an adult at a centre sure makes it run more smoothly. Before starting centres we brainstorm and illustrate a Christmas Word Wall. We do some activities to familiarize the children with those words – sorting them (can be green, not green, food/decorations, other, senses, etc) and by alphabetizing them.
Here are our Christmas Centres;

Christmas Counting book; They use the Christmas Word Wall to complete a counting book that goes; I knew it was Christmas
Because I saw
Three________________ etc
Each sentence has its own page, they illustrate as well. Most get up to #5 or so.

Christmas card Writing; They choose a card from our collection of recycled Christmas cards. We mount it to the top half of a colored sheet of copier paper, with lines copied on the bottom half. They write sentences to describe the picture or to tell what is happening.

Reindeer story; We brainstorm a KWL chart about reindeer. The children write sentences, making up answers to questions like “What do they eat?” “Where do they sleep?” What do they do for fun?” “What sound do they make?”. This is written on a lined sheet cut exactly to fit a precut brown construction paper triangle. We make the triangle into a reindeer face by folding two corners down for ears, tracing our hands on tan paper for antlers, and cutting eyes. The nose is a large circle sticker. In the week after centres are over we usually have time to add a simple body, legs and tail from brown construction paper rectangles.

Listening Centre; Listen to a Christmas Listening Centre then order 6 pictures from the story. In the week after Centres are finished we’ll print sequencing vocabulary under each picture as an introduction for future story writing. (first, next, then, soon, later, finally)

Christmas Computer Clues; On the computer (we use KidPix) the children will draw and color a Christmas item. Our Word Wall gives them ideas. We print it in color (a rare thing) and they cut out the picture and glue it inside a folded cardboard card that has been covered on the front with Christmas Wrap. Then they compose 3 clues so classmates can guess what they’ve drawn. (for example; its red and white, it hangs on a tree, you eat it) One of the adults will copy their clues onto a tag which we attach to the folded card like a to-from tag on a gift. They read it to the class, some classmates guess, then we display them in the hall for others to read.

Another 5 day book we like to do involves illustrating a poem about using their 5 senses at Christmas. I don’t have the poem here, but it was a pretty simple one. Each day we brainstorm one sense (things you can feel, or hear, or taste, etc, around Christmas time.) Again, the Christmas Word Wall is used for ideas. We illustrate one idea a day. At the end of the week we have a bulky 5 page book about 5 Senses at Christmas. There is often a Christmas Story book that goes with each page well, so we’ll read it then. Some examples are;
Smell; cut out and decorate a gingerbread man on brown paper, cover with glue and sprinkle with cinnamon or ginger.
Sight; cut a tree out of green, glue into the booklet and decorate with stickers, glitter, beads, sequins. Use glitter glue for a garland and add a shiny gold star on top.
Touch; color and cut out a Santa face (from a coloring book master) and add cotton balls or quilt batting for beard and hat trim
Hearing; color and cut out a reindeer (same coloring book) glue it into the book and add a small gold jingle bell on a ribbon round his neck
Taste (last) decorate a drawing of a candy cane using a pattern of stripes in red, then tape on a mini candy cane. They get to eat the candy cane after they’ve read the story to a parent.

Well, that’s what we do for Christmas Centres, each small group of children will do one a day til they rotate thru all 5 in a week. If there is a Jehovah’s Witness child, their parents are informed and the child can either stay home til 10:30 (centres and sharing activities are over) or join us for the same centres adapted to be signs of winter. Two teachers worded together to create them and we have saved the adapted pages year to year, so we have them when needed, and don’t have to re invent the wheel.

Hope these ideas help
Mary Ellen