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 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 very brief snapshot of each idea. I have included individual links in case you want to read a more thorough description.
Holidays Around the World
One of my favorite holidays activities 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.
Holidays Around the World Interactive Notebook
I’ve also created 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. Of course, the more general version is available too! 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 product! You can read more about this here or see the Interactive Notebook on TpT here.
Twas the Week Before Christmas (Activities)
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 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).
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.
Third Grade Math Centers
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.
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’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?