TeachersFirst's Christmas Resources

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. 

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Official NORAD Santa Tracker - North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)

Grades
K to 6
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The NORAD Santa Tracker is much more than a resource for tracking Santa's travel around the world on Christmas Eve; it is also an area to play games, watch movies, ...more
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The NORAD Santa Tracker is much more than a resource for tracking Santa's travel around the world on Christmas Eve; it is also an area to play games, watch movies, and learn about NORAD during the holiday season. This site is only available for a limited time each year, starting December 1, but is part of a tradition that began in 1955. Roll your cursor over the buildings to select the library to learn about Santa, his sleigh, and holiday traditions. Visit the music stage to listen to traditional holiday music or choose the Theater to watch movies about Santa and NORAD. Be sure to return on December 24 to begin tracking Santa's journey around the world. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): christmas (37), holidays (162)

In the Classroom

Include this site as a center activity during any December teaching unit on holiday celebrations around the world. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project to enhance learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops and local traditions. Browse through the TeachersFirst Christmas Resources Special Topics Page, found here, to find additional holiday season resources to include in your unit. Create a class book together using Book Creator, reviewed here, to share holiday celebrations and traditions from around the world.

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All About the Holidays - PBS Learning Media

Grades
K to 12
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Learn about the history and significance behind many holidays through this video collection from PBS Learning Media. Begin browsing by choosing from fall, winter, spring, or summer...more
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Learn about the history and significance behind many holidays through this video collection from PBS Learning Media. Begin browsing by choosing from fall, winter, spring, or summer holidays. Each section includes short videos explaining the history of the holiday. Learn about holidays such as Yom Kippur, Oktoberfest, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Kwanzaa, Juneteenth, Father's Day, and many others! Each selection also includes links to standards along with additional links to supporting materials such as lesson plans or printable items. Not seeing a holiday you want such as 100 days of school? Use the search bar at the top!

tag(s): 100thday (9), back to school (63), chinese new year (5), christmas (37), cinco de mayo (10), easter (10), elections (80), fathers day (7), fire prevention (16), flag day (5), halloween (30), hanukkah (13), hispanic (28), holidays (162), july 4th (13), Juneteenth (22), kwanzaa (11), labor day (5), martin luther king (43), mothers day (12), new years (5), pi (26), presidents (121), rosh hashanah (8), st patricks day (11), thanksgiving (24), valentines day (12), veterans (20), womens suffrage (44), yom kippur (9)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use as a resource for teaching material during holidays throughout the year. For each holiday use a bookmarking site such as Wakelet, reviewed here, to organize and share lesson materials, videos, and game sites for your students. Instead of worksheets or written reports, enhance student learning by asking them to create infographics sharing information about any holiday. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, is a very easy to use tool that includes pre-made templates. Don't keep student learning to yourself, share their knowledge through holiday podcasts for your entire school and community to hear. Spotify for Podcastors (was Anchor), reviewed here, features many kid-friendly tools to get you started with creating and sharing podcasts.

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Learning with Santa Tracker - Google

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K to 8
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Google for Education provides a collection of games and lessons tailor-made for the December holidays at their site for teachers. Choose from games for social studies, language, computer...more
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Google for Education provides a collection of games and lessons tailor-made for the December holidays at their site for teachers. Choose from games for social studies, language, computer science, and geography. Games include topics like coding, learning other languages, and understanding maps. Click the home page icon in the upper left corner to find translations for offered in several languages and more.

tag(s): christmas (37), coding (88), cross cultural understanding (157), cultures (132), game based learning (171), holidays (162), map skills (56), maps (207)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your tool kit of December teaching resources. Include the games on classroom computers and add to your class website. Replace paper posters and have students share their favorite activities using an on line poster creator like Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. After practicing coding using the games provided on this site, enhance learning by challenging students to create their own game using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Santa's Village and Tracker - Google

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K to 6
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an many educational and entertaining games full of surprises. Find featured holiday games and educational...more
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an many educational and entertaining games full of surprises. Find featured holiday games and educational resources like coding games and a visit to the North Pole. Start checking this site on December 1 to find the latest goodies offered!

tag(s): christmas (37), cross cultural understanding (157), cultures (132), holidays (162), maps (207), seasonal (17)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the Santa's Village on your class website and classroom computers. Allow students to explore and try options offered each day. Replace paper and pencil and have students share information from the daily activities on a blog using edublogs, reviewed here. Include images and videos of activities with blog posts. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project enhance learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops.

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NorthPole.com - Northpole Productions, LLC

Grades
K to 7
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has interactives (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with...more
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has interactives (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa. Attend the Elf Academy, read stories about your elf, send animated Christmas postcards, write Santa a letter and get a reply! For those into the maker movement, there are holiday crafts to make with directions and free templates. Create an account and register your students at the same time. Students will be assigned a user ID and password.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (37), holidays (162)

In the Classroom

Introduce the NorthPole to students by projecting it for all to see the different areas to explore. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific areas. Post a link on your class web page or newsletter for parents and students to use at home. With younger students, consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site. Take photos, or have older students take photos, of the crafts and recipes the students make and post them on your website for parents to see. Engage older students by having them post the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as bulb, reviewed here. Alternatively, students could enhance their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using Genially, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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15 Spanish Christmas Dessert Recipes - Spanish Sabores

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need new ideas for a Christmas Around the World celebration or a unit about Spain? Try some authentic Spanish dessert recipes for starters. The easy to follow directions ...more
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Do you need new ideas for a Christmas Around the World celebration or a unit about Spain? Try some authentic Spanish dessert recipes for starters. The easy to follow directions along with vibrant images offer interesting suggestions to liven up any event. Also on this site is "15 Spanish Christmas Recipes For A Traditional Holiday Feast." Be sure to check those out, too!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (37), cooking (30), cross cultural understanding (157), cultures (132), holidays (162), spain (11)

In the Classroom

Ask parents to volunteer to cook and bring in items for celebrations. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Image Annotator, reviewed here to describe the different foods or ingredients. Have students create maps using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, videos, and location stops from their around the world food tasting! If teaching Spanish, have students rewrite recipes in Spanish.

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Gifts of Character Readalouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this...more
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of books and activities was created by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities center on the character traits we typically associate with the holiday season and try to instill: generosity, benevolence, philanthropy, compassion, service, and kindness. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): christmas (37), holidays (162), independent reading (85)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites to bring out in late November, just in time for the holiday season. Or include it during a character education unit. Maybe invite some parents to volunteer as readers, modeling how adults give of their own time to support others.

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Make a Victorian Cornucopia - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 10
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th...more
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th century. The printable pattern is included. See more Victorian Christmas activities on the TeachersFirst Victorian Christmas page.

tag(s): christmas (37), victorian (16)

In the Classroom

Try this easy activity during a Christmas 'Round the World unit or as part of a study of the Victorian Era. Have students take digital pictures of the steps and include them on your class web page or wiki (with captions!) so others can try the activity at home. Older students could enhance their learning by posting the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw also offers tools for incorporating blogs. Alternatively, students could transform their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here. Make cornucopias as gifts for a visit to a local nursing home or children's home so the activity becomes a service project.

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Nutcracker Study Guide - Inland Pacific Ballet

Grades
4 to 8
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site...more
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site offers lots of ways to incorporate the Nutcracker story and history into curriculum, including science, music, history/social studies, language arts, or visual arts. Also find a word search and coloring pages for your students.

tag(s): christmas (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during a historic examination of Christmas. Have students re-write their own version of the story using a different setting, time period, or both be sure that they consider how costumes, sets, characters, folk dances, music, landmarks, locations, events, and animals might be different. Have students consider the Dance of the Snowflakes scene in The Nutcracker. Discuss what animals they might find living in this kind of habitat? What else would you likely find living in this habitat (plants, trees, insects, etc.)? Have students record their ideas on a graphic organizer and draw pictures to go along with it, or replace the pencil and paper with a blog tool like Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations.Have students compare or contrast The Nutcracker with another folk tale, fairy tale or story they have read or are familiar with.

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Aspects of the Antebellum Christmas - Tim Crumrin

Grades
7 to 9
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This site looks at Victorian Christmas observances from the American point of view. Focusing on holiday celebrations between 1830 and 1860, this site examines the growth of the Christmas...more
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This site looks at Victorian Christmas observances from the American point of view. Focusing on holiday celebrations between 1830 and 1860, this site examines the growth of the Christmas holiday as we know it, examining those traditions that have continued into the 20th Century and those that are but a memory.

tag(s): christmas (37), civil war (134), victorian (16)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource during a unit on Christmas, or while looking at the differences in American life before and after the Civil War. Extend learning and challenge students to create a Venn diagram using an online tool like 2 and 3 Circle Interactive Venn Diagrams, reviewed here, and then writing about their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Dickens and Christmas - David Perdue

Grades
7 to 12
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to...more
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to many Dickens' novels, and explains several significant themes evident in A Christmas Carol.

tag(s): christmas (37), dickens (8), victorian (16)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a tool during a unit on Christmas or Charles Dickens. Divide students into small groups or pairs to read the information on this page. The text might be challenging for some students. Pair weak readers with a strong reader. Exchange paper and pencil and instruct students to use Webnote, reviewed here, to take online "sticky notes" for the important information they learn. If some of the passages are difficult, even for the strong reader, have them use Rewordify, reviewed here, to replace the difficult text shown with easier to understand words. Be sure to tell students to use Webnote (mentioned above) to make a sticky for the difficult word or phrase and it's definition, or easier wording. 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.

Redefine learning and challenge students to create a multimedia presentation around a theme from Dickens using one of the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed multimedia tools. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Canva Infographic, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and MoocNote.

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Old-Fashioned 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 (37), victorian (16)

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 to a tool such as TrackStar, reviewed here, to extend learning by creating a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, or webquest. Use Celebrate a Victorian Christmas as a resource for study of the Victorian Era. Enhance learning for ENL/ELL students by 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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Victorian Christmas - TeachersFirst

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4 to 8
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This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century...more
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This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century ago.

tag(s): christmas (37), holidays (162), victorian (16)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your desktop and use it to add supplementary activities to your classroom before Winter Break. Many of the sites can be used as webquests, classroom activities or Learning centers. This could be a great way to mix the holidays into content, comparing today's celebrations to those of the 19th century.

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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 (37), holidays (162), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (90)

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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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 (37), trees (18)

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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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 (37), cultures (132)

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 explanations as readings during a holiday musical program at your school.

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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): character education (76), christmas (37), empathy (26), guided reading (32), writing (315)

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, character education, and specific traits such as empathy.

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Christmas Cookie Archive

Grades
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 at Christmas Traditions Worldwide, reviewed here, or Christmas Around the World, reviewed here.

tag(s): christmas (37), cooking (30), cultures (132)

In the Classroom

Consider putting a link on your class web page and ask parents to volunteer for a "cookie country" and a date to send the cookies to class. That would be a good day to present some of the customs for the country they chose using one of the links mentioned above.

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Handmade Holidays - HGTV

Grades
2 to 6
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The menu on the right side of this page reveals different types of hands-on crafts that are perfect for the elementary classroom. Tap into this resource for some unique ways ...more
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The menu on the right side of this page reveals different types of hands-on crafts that are perfect for the elementary classroom. Tap into this resource for some unique ways to celebrate this time of year.

tag(s): christmas (37), crafts (53), holidays (162), Juneteenth (22)

In the Classroom

The third topic is 75 Christmas Crafts for Kids. On an interactive whiteboard or with a projector use Padlet, reviewed here, to choose several of the crafts you and your students think they might enjoy making. Even before having students choose the craft they want to work on, start gathering materials; the materials don't have to be for the craft they are making, but create a "general materials" box, or area in your classroom. Many of the ideas use inexpensive or free materials! For those that don't, think creatively (use paper plates instead of real plates).You and your students may want to plan on walking around the school, they can walk through their neighborhoods to find twigs and such. Perhaps some of the families have old yarn they can donate. Allow individuals and small groups to choose the craft they would like to make.

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World Advent Calendar - Woodlands Junior School

Grades
2 to 6
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Make this interactive calendar part of your daily routine during the holiday season. Each day of Advent, students can click to open a window and discover all sorts of Christmas ...more
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Make this interactive calendar part of your daily routine during the holiday season. Each day of Advent, students can click to open a window and discover all sorts of Christmas information, answers to questions about Christmas celebrations throughout the world, Christmas Caroles and Songs, Corny Christmas Jokes, and much more! There are numerous categories to click on, so you might want open class with this and end your class with this.

tag(s): calendars (40), christmas (37), holidays (162), seasonal (17)

In the Classroom

Be sure to put a link to this Advent Calendar on your website for students and parents to enjoy at home. Use some of the activities at stations around your room the days before the holiday break. Allow students to explore when finished early with required work and at recess and lunch time, or you could ask your media center teacher to put this site on the library computers for students to use.

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