It’s getting to the most
wonderful stressful time of the year.
Yes, Christmas and all the excitement that goes with it in the classroom can be a special, yet stressful, time. However, one of the things I try to do with Christmas in the classroom is weave fun activities in with learning that is aligned to the curriculum. Listed below are some of my favourite products and how I use them in my Early Years classroom.
There are so many packs available to download for Christmas Around the World but most of them have no real cultural or historical knowledge listed in them.
This pack will take your students to 10 different countries and provides an information sheet on how each country celebrates Christmas. Also included in this pack is a very useful passport which can be used as a writing prompt by getting students to shade the country visited on the map, write the tradition and place a passport stamp in their booklet to say they have visited that country. This pack is versatile for K-6 because you can use the colouring sheets and full colour information slides with lower grades or extend students with the information sheets with higher grades. The Venn diagram also provides a useful comparison tool which can be used individually or as a whole class activity.
All of these products are also available individually (see links inside this listing) and are aligned to the Australian curriculum.
“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences” M. Scott Peck
If you’re studying Then and Now with your students this little pack is a MUST at Christmas time. In this pack you will find 6 pieces of text about the history of Christmas traditions in the past as compared to now. Each sheet also comes with two comprehension questions for students and are easy to complete independently in reading groups.
You will also find two differentiated activities with the cut and paste then and now images discussed in the reading comprehension sheets. These can be used with the Venn diagram or in the flip book which can be used to extend higher level students as a writing prompt.
A fun whole-class activity is Christmas cookie making. If you’re lucky enough to have access to an oven somewhere in your school you can make these with real ingredients or alternatively discuss and work through the method so students can make them at home.
The beauty of cooking activities is they involve so much real-world, hands-on, curriculum based learning experiences; English vocabulary (ingredient names and method terminology) and Maths (sequencing the method, measuring the ingredients) just to name a few.
The sequencing pictures are in colour and in black and white so they can be used to cut and paste/colour and on the whiteboard to model how to sequence for younger students. The flip book makes a handy writing prompt to lead students through the method process and make a nice take-home activity for students.
I’ve always found the part, part whole maths problem solving strategy the quickest for students in the early years to work through. Part, part whole is a simple way of exploring missing addends in word problems. Read through the maths word problem and highlight the key words, then complete the part, part, whole table and colour in the sheet. Putting a Christmas spin on maths problem solving is always a sure-fire winner for high student engagement!