Writing out Christmas lesson plans can be difficult for a public school teacher. However, there are a number of ways to incorporate the holiday into your plans that make learning festive during the month of December.
Christmas and Holidays Around the World
One of the best ways to teach Christmas in a classroom is to include a unit about holidays around the world. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other major religions and cultures celebrate major holidays during the month of December. Christmas is celebrated differently in other regions of the world.
Christmas lesson plans for an "Around the World" plan can include information on the historical significance of the holiday, customs, music, and food.
Lower elementary students may learn about the history of Christmas in China by hearing their teacher read them a book. Upper elementary students may read a book themselves and present an essay to the class. Junior high and high school students could delve into the various cultural and historical phenomenons that led to Christmas being accepted in one region versus another major religion's holiday and prepare an essay on the topic.
Because family and religious customs around the world can vary greatly, you want students to gain an appreciation for cultural differences. One of the best ways to demonstrate the customs around the world is to have students look into the alternative versions of Santa Claus. Whether Father Noel or Saint Nicolas comes to visit, making lesson plans that relate to this figurehead of Christmas will surely excite and entertain students.
Popular Christmas carols sung by children and adults often originated in a different language. High school music students or foreign language students can translate songs into their original language as part of a holiday lesson plan.
Elementary school students may be delighted to learn how to say common expressions, like "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" in a foreign language. Have them spend time practicing with each other and assign them to greet their parents in a different language when they go home.
Following a recipe involves reading, math, and basic skills. Younger elementary students can be paired with older kids to stir up a holiday recipe and bake it in the lunchroom. Older students could also be asked to choose a country and prepare a meal for their entire family as part of their Christmas lesson plans. Have the students complete a report with recipes, photos, and reflections as part of their project.
Incorporating Christmas around the world into lessons plans is a great way to include cultural studies during the holiday season.
Winter Wonderland Plans
One way to introduce a Christmas feel into lesson plans is to make a number of the segments revolve around the winter season. Because Christmas falls in the winter season, you can use various non-Christmas items to spice up you plans and give them a holiday feel.
Writing poems about snowmen, creating mittens out of felt in art class, or even stirring up some ice cream made from snow is a great way to incorporate a holiday feel into the classroom curriculum.
Junior high and high school students can make sleds in shop class, learn how snowflakes are formed in science, and read about Arctic adventures in literature.
Decorating the classroom bulletin boards in icy blues and hanging snowflakes from the room creates a "winter wonderland" atmosphere.
Resources for Christmas Lesson Plans
Putting a holiday spin into various subject areas can be as simple as changing a spelling list to Christmas words, reading list to holiday stories, and word problems in math to be about Rudolph and the time it takes to travel the world. Teachers may want to have holiday based plans that are unique, but do not have the time during the busy season to come up with their own plans.
Using resources such as lesson plan books and websites can help. Here are some places to find lesson plans that revolve around Christmas:
- Christmas Lessons and Teacher Resources from The Lesson Plans Page
- Christmas Lesson Plans from Teach-nology
- TeachersFirst's Christmas Resources
- ProTeacher! Seasonal Ideas: Winter: December
- TeacherVision December Holidays
- Scholastic.com Teach Now! Holidays
Teachers know how hard it is to keep kids focused on learning before Christmas break. Adding festivity to class work helps keep the students better focused on learning subjects instead of dreaming about the upcoming holiday.