December is a wondrous time of year. The seasons are changing, there is a nip in the air, and the excitement of winter break is around the corner. December is also a great month to include a variety of fun and engaging lessons around the themes of winter and the holidays. These lessons tie right into standards-based lessons that can integrate the core curriculum in a creative way. Here are some great websites to find holiday lesson plans and activity ideas.
HotChalk Lesson Plans Pages – Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza
HotChalk Christmas & Holiday Lesson Plans Page has links to many online lesson plans and resources that tie in core-curriculum classes with holiday themed lessons. The top of the page includes information about the history of the holiday. Below there are links to craft ideas and lessons that involve language arts, math, science, PE, art, music, reading, and computers. The Christmas page not only included Christmas lesson ideas, but also winter themed activities. All of the lessons have grade ranges for which levels they would be appropriate. This is great for teachers to use and find “at-a-glance lessons” that tie into what they are already teaching. However, many of the lessons can be adapted for different grade levels or level abilities. Most of the lessons on this page also include either modifications or extensions for special needs and gifted students.
Under the additional resources section, this site lists various items like holiday themed worksheets, SMART Board templates, coloring pages, and other multi-media tools. I enjoyed the “Build-your-own Snow Man” activity that I found through the Christmas SMART Board Resources link. This site allows students to come up to the board and move various styles of outfit pieces to make their own snow man. This would be a great way to introduce a lesson on diversity or culture in a fun way. I also liked the lesson where students had to write a story about the best Christmas they ever had to try and make “the Grinch” change his mind about Christmas.
The Hanukkah Lesson Plans Page is set up in a very similar way. The top of the page includes a history of the holiday and then lesson plan ideas follow. This page is not as extensive, but can provide a spring board for including lessons on this December holiday. One of the best resources from this page was the link to Torah Tots. This is a page that includes Hanukah lessons, but also provides lessons and activities to learn about all of the Jewish Holidays and religious practices with a fun twist and at a level that younger students can understand. This is a page that students could even explore during their computer center time or during computer lab times.
The Kwanzaa Lesson Plans Page currently only has resources that help teachers to teach about the variety of holidays that are celebrated around the world during December. These lessons would be great to teach the ideas of compare and contrast along with using graphic organizers. The lesson on their page includes using various stories from the different cultures and taking the students on a ‘journey’ through the different cultures and holidays. I felt the Kwanzaa children’s page on the Kwanzaaland Website was a good starting point in teaching about Kwanzaa. This page includes a brief history of the holiday, coloring pages and other worksheets for students to learn about the Kwanzaa.
This website is a great starting point to find great teacher-made lessons along with online resources for holiday lessons and activities for the classroom. The site had many annotated links of the top websites that I would typically use when searching online for holiday themed ideas. Below are more resources for you to check out while planning your holiday themed lessons.
More Sites to Check Out
- Education World – Holiday Themed Lessons
- DLTK’s Holiday Crafts
- Holiday Crafts and Activities @ Kaboose
- Family Education’s December Holiday Activities for Kids
Article by Laura Ketcham
Picture By HarshLight