abcteach blog

Creating New Holiday Favorites

November 20th, 2011

This week, let’s revisit some wonderful “real class” examples from abcteach staff. As you venture further into the holiday season, try a few (or all) of these in your class. And don’t forget to share the fun! These are great activities for engaging other classroom helpers, parents, grandparents, siblings off from college, etc., who want to lend a hand.
 
Thanksgiving Ideas

  • • Use graphic organizers to compare/contrast books like “Coming to America” and traditional Pilgrim stories
  • • “KWL” – Know, Want, Learn. Example: list what we think the Indians taught the Pilgrims, research what is actually shown, and then note the important details that students learned from this activity
  • •  Find a map of the Pilgrim’s community and practice mapping skills. Examples: “The church is north of ___.  How many lanes south is the meeting place from the community garden?  What is at the SE corner of the community?
  • • List common items that we share with the Pilgrims, but only give the Pilgrim names. See if students can find out what we call these items today
  • • Cook! It’s a great way to practice measurement, fractions, and following directions
  • • Act out a play, engaging parents to help with costumes and practice. They don’t have to elaborate, just a few things out of construction paper (i.e. hats, collars, head-dresses, etc.)
  • • Relive a colonial day. Create small group centers for cooking, making head pieces and collars, building long houses and tepees, making papooses and cradle boards, etc.

December Holiday Ideas

  • • Book favorites: “The Night before Christmas,” “The Grinch who Stole Christmas,” and “The    Polar Express” (for 3-4th grade)
  • •Acknowledge all December holidays, including those of different cultures and religions by creating a craft or reading a story; have students share their own holiday traditions
  • • Make homemade gifts with students’ pictures and write holiday poems
  • • Collect items for the homeless and sing carols at nursing homes
  • • Help special needs kids create ornaments and make cookies with them
  • • Dress up and go to a holiday play, then discuss theater etiquette
  • • Brainstorm and set goals for home, school and community for the upcoming year

 
There’s no time like the holidays to create new classroom favorites. Whatever your lesson plans have in store, abcteach wishes you continued success throughout the season.

~the abcteach team

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