I’m not sure if you’ve heard the news, but Christmas is coming. While fun and exciting, this can be an incredibly busy and stressful time of year. To help you out, I’ve compiled a mega collection of Christmas activities for the classroom into one post! That way you can find everything you need in one place and not have to spend hours searching for that one perfect idea or lesson. In order to keep this post from becoming epically long, I’ve included a brief snapshot of each idea.
Holidays Around the World
One of my favorite Christmas activities for the classroom is holidays around the world, which incorporates reading and writing. There are ten sets of reading passages that are based on different cultures’ and nations’ holidays and traditions. For easy differentiation, each of the passages on three different reading levels. You’ll also find three sets of text dependent questions for each of the passages.
The passages and questions are also available in a digital version, so you can assign these lessons on Google Classroom. You can read more here or see this on TpT here.
To help you extend your holidays around the word lessons, there is an additional version of this resource. You’ll have access to both, so you can use what works for you. This extension includes a paired passage version of the holidays around the world passages.
There are multiple choice questions for each country, as well as nonfiction text structure and nonfiction text features questions. Students also answer a main idea and supporting details question for each passage.
My favorite portion is when students write a paragraph (or more) to integrate the text from both passages. Students love the fiction response, because they get to be creative. I know there are a lot of options, but don’t feel like you need to do it all! Pick what you want! There is a PDF version and a Google Slides version of this resource.
Holidays Around the World Interactive Notebook
To extend on these Christmas activities for the classroom, there are also templates students can use to create a Holidays Around the World Interactive Notebook. You can use this to review informational reading skills and strategies. For example, when students learn about Brazil, they will work on main idea and supporting detail. Students write the main idea in the center and a detail underneath each flap. You do not need the close reading passages for this pack, but it is an amazing companion resource! You can read more about this here or see the Interactive Notebook on TpT here.
There is also a digital version of this resource, which is probably my favorite version of the resource. You can see examples of the digital activities below.
Christmas Activities For The Classroom
The Week Before Christmas
I absolutely LOVE reading Christmas books to my students, because there is just something special about that time together, so I’ve created a week long literacy unit based around five popular Christmas picture books.
For each book there is a reading activity, a writing activity, and I’ve tried to incorporate art as much as possible. For example, students make a snowman Venn-Diagram when reading Snowmen at Christmas. There is also a brief comprehension quiz for each book.
Christmas Activities For The Classroom – Writing
You may enjoy this December Creative Writing freebie! It’s fun of fun, creative prompts that your students will love! There are 15 different writing prompts that require students to think and write creatively! You can download it here!
Holiday Lights Math Project
One of my favorite Christmas activities for the classroom is this math project. In this Christmas Math Project, students enter a holiday decorating contest. Students select a house to decorate and must determine how many feet of lights they need/want for their decorations. (On the picture of the house, every centimeter equals one foot.) Then, students purchase all of their decorating materials from The Exterior Illumination Specialist.
All contestants (students) must submit a plan that accurately shows how their decoration budget is spent. Students plan should show student measurements so confirm the exact length of lights needed. The plan must also show the desired location of each additional decorative feature.
All contestants must submit a final version of the decorated house, which makes an adorable hallway display! You can skip this step, but it’s students’ favorite part of the activity.
Christmas Geometry Project
This project begins with a letter from Santa Claus. He needs help drawing pictures of the buildings in Christmas Village in the North Pole. The catch is that all of the buildings are geometric figures (quadrilateral, parallelogram, square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, and irregular polygons). There are lots of different options for this project, so you can adapt it to your classroom. This part can take as long as you want. If you have the time, give students the opportunity to go all out and draw and color each building. If you’re in a hurry, students could color in the buildings a solid color or use smaller grid paper (included).
You can read more about this Christmas geometry project here, or you can see it on TpT here.
Christmas Fraction Project
In this project, students design Santa’s village in the North Pole by using equivalent fractions. There are three different versions of this activity, and I’ve included an optional extension version where students find the area and perimeter of each building.
You can read more about this Christmas fraction project here or see it on TpT here.
Third Grade Math Centers
You can read more about these centers here or see them on TpT here.
Fourth Grade Math Centers
These Christmas centers include six different math activities that are perfect for math centers or math work stations. You’ll find activities on graphing, geometry, missing number in equations, rounding, properties of multiplication, and fractions.
You can read more about these centers here or see them on TpT here.
Christmas Division Lessons
I’ve adapted some of my division lessons in my Division Unit (not seasonal) to Christmas division lessons. I included this Christmas option as an additional PDF file to access when you download the Division Unit. Hopefully, these little updates and twists will make the division unit a little more fun for students.
I’m not sure if I can technically call this math, but I think it’s close enough. I certainly couldn’t leave this activity out, because it’s my favorite! I think the title of this lesson says it all: Escape the Naughty List. This is an escape activity where students complete a series of four problem solving tasks to escape the naughty list. You can use the physical version of this breakout lesson or students can complete the digital version. I’ve included both!
I think my students would agree with me that this is their favorite Christmas activity. You can read more about it here or see it on TpT here.
Holidays Around the World Math
I made two 3-act tasks (or at least a version of a 3-act task) for Holidays Around the World Math. The goals was to make a task for each country studied, but…..maybe next year! In the meantime, here’s what is ready. For Australia, students solve a complex problem involving Carols by Candlelight.
Students use a Google Form to work their way through the problem. I prefer using Google Forms for this task, because it forces students to look at each part of the problem. Far too often, students skip to trying to solve the problem without analyzing what they know, need to know, and thinking of reasonable estimates.
There is another tasking involving the holidays in Brazil. Once again, students use multimedia to solve a complex problem.
Google Forms are such a great way to guide students through the problem solving process. These problems will present a considerable challenge for students and will need to be followed with a conversation about the strategies used and the possible results.
You can download a FREE copy of these Christmas math resources right here. You’ll get a PDF of the recording sheet as well as links to the digital forms.
I’ve also created Christmas STEM activities to go along with Christmas themed books. In one activity, students design a parachute for Olive. In another activity, students use gumdrops and toothpicks to see who can design the tallest Christmas tree, and in the last activity, students create a container that will prevent their snowmen (ice cube) from melting.
You can download those for free in this blog post.
Rather than purchasing traditional gifts, I purchased each student two craft kits from Oriental Trading. I presented them nicely in gift bags and gave them to students before our last day of school. I explained that the craft kits were their Christmas present from me. We completed the crafts together that last week before Christmas. I think the thing my students enjoyed most was the time spent together creating our crafts.
Student Gifts-School Supplies
I’ve also given school supplies for a Christmas gift. If your classroom is anything like mine, by this point in the year students’ school supplies have become almost nonexistent. We’ve run out of glue bottles and glue sticks. Our crayons have broken, we’re missing most of our markers, and our colored pencils are worn down to nubs. I give my students new school supplies for Christmas gifts to replace what they had been using. This is a win-win for me, because my students LOVE their new supplies, and the supplies are something I would have needed to purchase before the end of the year.
This certainly isn’t all of my ideas, but I believe it’s a pretty good start! What are some of your favorite instructional Christmas activities for the classroom?
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