TeachersFirst's Christmas Resources

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We Wish You A Merry Christmas! This collection of Christmas-related resources is sure to get you into the spirit. Find historical information and research, some neat ways to correlate the Christmas Holiday into your language arts classes, art, social studies, and many other subjects, plus some “educationally fun” ideas to use to celebrate. There are resources here for all grades. Don’t let the season pass you by without checking out these FREE resources. Be sure to check out our resources for all December holiday celebrations on our TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.  

 

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Parlour Games - Old-Fashioned Living

Grades
3 to 8
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What kinds of activities would be found at a 19th century Christmas party? Read and learn about some very popular games played by children and adults during the Victorian era. ...more
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What kinds of activities would be found at a 19th century Christmas party? Read and learn about some very popular games played by children and adults during the Victorian era. Clear, simple instructions are provided and little or no preparation is required

tag(s): christmas (54), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource for finding games that could bring history to life during a unit on Victorian England or Christmas. Plan a Victorian Christmas celebration with historically accurate games, food, and decorations.

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Celebrate a Victorian Christmas - Victoriana Magazine

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1 to 8
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December...more
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book, and explore appropriate 19th Century gift suggestions. This site also contains a complete dinner menu from 1890, with recipes for plum pudding, easy to follow directions for making a pine cone Santa (Harper's Bazaar, December 1867) and a facsimile of the first Christmas card, sent in 1843.

tag(s): christmas (54), makerspace (8), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

This site is especially useful as a teacher-resource in planning a series of activities centering around a historic, Victorian approach to Christmas. It's an excellent resource to use as the basis for an informational treasure hunt with students from upper elementary through middle school. Use a tool such as TrackStar, reviewed here, to create a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, or webquest. Use Celebrate a Victorian Christmas as a resource for study of the Victorian Era. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them.

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Christmas Fun - Mrs. Robin Martin

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K to 5
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If you are looking for fun activities to feed the holiday spirit check out Mrs. Martin's blog. Students will enjoy decorating digital gingerbread cookies, "elfing" themselves, making...more
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If you are looking for fun activities to feed the holiday spirit check out Mrs. Martin's blog. Students will enjoy decorating digital gingerbread cookies, "elfing" themselves, making virtual snowflakes, creating colorful sand drawings, and counting down the days to Christmas on advent calendars from around the world.

*BE AWARE: at the time of this review, a few of the links were "under construction." However, what IS available is worth taking a look at!

tag(s): christmas (54), snow (21)

In the Classroom

Incorporate fun digital activities into your interactive whiteboard or projector lessons this December. Make a shortcut to links from this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Read Jan Brett's book "Gingerbread Baby" and then have students create virtual gingerbread cookies from the variety of sites on this blog. Science units covering the states of matter, weather, or water cycle can include a fun diversion to cutting out virtual snowflakes. Schools that celebrate Christmas will enjoy projecting an advent calendar daily and seeing what surprises each new day brings.

General Tips and Reminders: Fully preview the links on this site at school before introducing them to students. Some sites may be down or not accessible on your school network. There is some advertising on a few sites. Students may have the opportunity to create virtual cards. These require users to enter email addresses directly into the site. Advise your students to print their work rather than submitting personal emails. Or use a class email (rather than your personal email, create a class gmail account for all students to use).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Christmas/Holiday Traditions - myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Christmas traditions. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Christmas...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Christmas traditions. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Christmas vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): christmas (54), holidays (146)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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Gingerbread Project - Mrs. G's Class

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K to 3
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What better way to share this beloved Christmas story than to create a website for it. Consider this Gingerbread Boy site a model of what a teacher can do with ...more
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What better way to share this beloved Christmas story than to create a website for it. Consider this Gingerbread Boy site a model of what a teacher can do with a favorite story or character. Scrolling photos of her class, podcasts of the students' Gingerbread stories, and activities and games are some of the features of this site. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

If you love the Gingerbread Boy story, you may want to incorporate podcasting your students' versions. Or, perhaps you have another theme in mind. This site shows the potential of sharing students' stories via the web. Looking for a tool to use for podcasting? Why not use podOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Visions of Christmas - American Antiquarian Society

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2 to 12
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees,...more
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees, and evolution of Santa, this site will suit your purpose well. The four main topics include: Origins of Christmas, Evolution of Santa, The Christmas Tree, and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Students researching old customs will appreciate the simple approach.

tag(s): christmas (54), trees (29)

In the Classroom

Art teachers, enlarge the antique photos and engravings by double clicking on the small picture. The enlarged image can be printed to be included in a vast choice of art projects. Around the holidays, project one of the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to use as a writing prompt, as they write a story about what they feel the picture portrays.

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Six Calendars of Special Days and Festivals - Woodlands Junior School( Project Britain)

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K to 8
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This informative and resourceful website provides information about numerous holidays collected into six different calendar pages. The pages are created by Woodlands Junior School,...more
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This informative and resourceful website provides information about numerous holidays collected into six different calendar pages. The pages are created by Woodlands Junior School, a British school well known for their online interactive activities, many created by students and teachers together! Although this website was created for use in the United Kingdom, it provides a great deal of knowledge about holidays celebrated in many countries throughout the world. Be aware that there are some links within these pages that do not seem to work, but most do. The content seems to be updated in time for new calendar years, at least on some of the calendars. Some of the specific topics include New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Christmas, and other holidays. Use this website to help your students gain a better understanding of numerous holidays in other cultures. This website provides information about the history of holidays, how the holidays are celebrated and much more.

tag(s): calendars (46), christmas (54), easter (19), holidays (146), st patricks day (12), valentines day (15)

In the Classroom

As you study other cultures, be sure to include this resource for students to research the celebrations there. Or include the link on your teacher web page with the title "Every Day is a Holiday?" asking students to use the holiday calendar to become more be aware of different cultures. Instead of reporting on a current event from the newspaper, give them the option of reporting on a holiday that occurred this week in another part of the world.

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Mrs. Cassidy's Web Page - Merry Christmas - Mrs. Cassidy

Grades
K to 3
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Visit this seasonal website for some Christmas and general winter fun. Mrs. Cassidy, a primary teacher, has created another useful collection. Some examples of activities include: "Mix...more
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Visit this seasonal website for some Christmas and general winter fun. Mrs. Cassidy, a primary teacher, has created another useful collection. Some examples of activities include: "Mix and Match Snowman," "Make a Snowflake," and "Trim a Tree." Educational topics include matching, problem solving, logic, art, and others. Many of these activities require JAVA and/or FLASH. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): christmas (54), logic (236), matching (23), problem solving (288)

In the Classroom

All of these activities would be perfect on your interactive whiteboard. Students would also enjoy independent exploration of the activities on a classroom computer or cluster. Be aware - some of these activities lack educational value, so check out the activity BEFORE using it in your class. Most of the links are very educational and offer excellent enrichment activities. Also, you may notice some spelling differences (since some of the links originate from BC, Canada).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Search Puzzles - Primarygames.com

Grades
1 to 5
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This site offers user-friendly, interactive word search puzzles for vocabulary and reading enhancement. Some of the topics include the Olympics (both summer and winter), Dinosaurs,...more
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This site offers user-friendly, interactive word search puzzles for vocabulary and reading enhancement. Some of the topics include the Olympics (both summer and winter), Dinosaurs, Farm Animals, Earth Day, butterflies, and various other topics and holidays. These are computer-based word searches, not printables. There is a link to a companion site with printables. NOTE: this site does include unobtrusive advertisements. The site requires Java. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): christmas (54), earth (230), earth day (110), easter (19), fall (15), holidays (146), kwanzaa (9), labor day (5), olympics (49), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Share a search on your interactive whiteboard (use student FINGERS to circle the words!). Or make it a center as one of several options for spelling and vocabulary. Your students may ask you to include the link on your teacher web page so they can try some from home, as well.

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Lovely Christmas

Grades
1 to 8
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This holiday website has a magnitude of information about Christmas. There are close to 100 articles of interest provided. Topics include Christmas around the world, crafts, cooking,...more
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This holiday website has a magnitude of information about Christmas. There are close to 100 articles of interest provided. Topics include Christmas around the world, crafts, cooking, entertainment, games, gifts, history and more! My personal favorite aspect of this website was the information provided about the Christmas traditions in America, Australia, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, Spain and other countries.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out this informative website when planning holiday lessons and festivities. Have a worldwide holiday celebration with traditional activities from different cultures and religions or include some of these explanationa as readings during a holiday musical program at your school.

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Colonial Williamsburg Lesson Plans - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
4 to 8
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Sixteen interdisciplinary lesson plans capture the essence of Colonial Williamsburg. The background research for the plans are hotlinked into each lesson. ...more
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Sixteen interdisciplinary lesson plans capture the essence of Colonial Williamsburg. The background research for the plans are hotlinked into each lesson.

tag(s): christmas (54), colonial america (105), holidays (146), williamsburg (11)

In the Classroom

These lessons make it easy to plan an entire unit on life in Williamsburg, from mathematics to a colonial Christmas. While you are at this page, sign up for the free e-newsletter to keep up to date on offerings to teachers from Williamsburg. Make sure you visit the Kids Zone games and information for additional research to enhance your lessons.

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The Giving Tree Lesson - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're ...more
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're also offering a place for you to share your students' responses on TeachersFirst's own giving tree.

tag(s): christmas (54), guided reading (48), writing (368)

In the Classroom

This lesson can be adapted for use in a language arts class with students of varying ability levels in grades 2 - 8. This lesson is also well-suited to a multi-age activity with "big buddies" and "little buddies" from upper and lower grades working together. School counselors and emotional support teachers may find this activity helpful for small groups working on social skills, as well.

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Twelve Books of Christmas - The Children's Literature Web Guide

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K to 12
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From the Children's Literature Web Guide at the University of Calgary comes this collection of books for Christmas for students of all ages. There is a short review for each, ...more
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From the Children's Literature Web Guide at the University of Calgary comes this collection of books for Christmas for students of all ages. There is a short review for each, along with a short excerpt. Lots of good pointers for a trip to the library.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

Pass this booklist on to parents wanting to encourage their young readers around the holidays to continue to read! Pass along the list via your wiki or webpage, allowing parents to access it whenever and decreasing the odds of the list getting lost in the abyss that is a student's backpack. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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French and French Canadian Christmas Customs

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4 to 8
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This site doesn't have a lot of depth, but there are examples of French Christmas traditions and how they have evolved over the last few hundred years. The presentation is ...more
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This site doesn't have a lot of depth, but there are examples of French Christmas traditions and how they have evolved over the last few hundred years. The presentation is extremely easy to navigate. C'est aussi en Francais!

tag(s): christmas (54)

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Christmas Around The World - Kaboose

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K to 8
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This British site offers summaries of Christmas customs and traditions from around the world. (Did you know you're supposed to stir the Christmas pudding from east to west?) Your students...more
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This British site offers summaries of Christmas customs and traditions from around the world. (Did you know you're supposed to stir the Christmas pudding from east to west?) Your students might like to see what the Brits think of some of our American Christmas traditions, and to learn how these vary in other nations.

tag(s): christmas (54)

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Christmas Reference from Urban Legends

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K to 12
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While no one doubts the religious significance of Christmas, the origin of many of the customs associated with the holiday is lost in legend. These pages sort out the origins ...more
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While no one doubts the religious significance of Christmas, the origin of many of the customs associated with the holiday is lost in legend. These pages sort out the origins of some of these customs and symbols in instructive fashion. Are poinsettias poisonous? Where did the Yule Log come from? Find out here... and note that not all legends are appropriate for all ages - read first, then use.

tag(s): christmas (54)

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Nineteenth Century Christmas - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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K to 12
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Here's a description, written at an adult level, of the ways in which 18th century Christmas celebrations differed from those of today. If' you're planning activities dealing with the...more
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Here's a description, written at an adult level, of the ways in which 18th century Christmas celebrations differed from those of today. If' you're planning activities dealing with the history of Christmas customs, this site has good information that you can incorporate. From Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference when studying Christmas customs in the classrooms. The site is text-heavy, but the information is all interesting and factual. It is a little dry for students, but for teachers there is definitely some information here that could be pulled into lectures.

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Christmas Celebration Lesson - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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K to 8
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Here's a Christmas customs lesson from folks who know what food can do for learning. Let your class try its hand at some colonial Christmas recipes from Williamsburg as they ...more
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Here's a Christmas customs lesson from folks who know what food can do for learning. Let your class try its hand at some colonial Christmas recipes from Williamsburg as they learn about the celebration of Christmas in the 18th century colonies. This lesson plan includes activities and a sampling of recipes.

tag(s): christmas (54)

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Christmas Cookie Archive

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K to 12
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We could claim that this site made the cut because it has recipes from all over the world. Frankly, we liked it because we suspect every classroom needs a good ...more
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We could claim that this site made the cut because it has recipes from all over the world. Frankly, we liked it because we suspect every classroom needs a good cookie recipe at this time of year. This site has dozens of tempting recipes you may want to try. Try mixing the recipes with some of the international customs described in the sites below.

tag(s): christmas (54)

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Christmas Activities

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K to 5
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Here's a nicely done collection of activities, coloring items, and other Christmas treats for elementary students. Lots of printable sheets to color, letting students make gift tags,...more
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Here's a nicely done collection of activities, coloring items, and other Christmas treats for elementary students. Lots of printable sheets to color, letting students make gift tags, cards, and the like.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

Post this site on your teacher web page to allow parents and students access. Teachers can also use this site in the downtime that sometimes comes in the days before winter break. Share some of the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and help students recreate them.

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