Holiday Season Lesson Ideas

With the holiday season approaching the air in our classrooms becomes filled with excitement. It is important that we enjoy the season with our students while maintaining a focus on curriculum and instructional time. Several holiday classroom management tips and lesson ideas are shared in this blog post by 2 Peas and a Dog.

With the holiday season approaching the air in our classrooms becomes filled with excitement. It is important that we enjoy the season with our students. I have compiled a list of classroom management tips and engaging lesson ideas to help teachers and students enjoy the holiday season while maintaining a focus on curriculum and instructional time.

Classroom Management Tips

Routines Are Essential
Keep teaching and stick to your routines. Even during the last week before school breaks for the holidays I assign small tasks for homework and keep students accountable for their learning. Instructional time is important. Keep going to the library for weekly book check out, quizzes and tests must still occur. Students need to understand that learning does not pause for the whole month of December

Reserve The Movies 
During my many years as a teacher, I have seen teachers break out the holiday movies very early in December. Reserve movies (if you are permitted to show them) until the last week before school breaks for the holidays. I still show educational videos related to the Science or Social Studies curriculum during the month of December, but save any special videos for the last week.

Holiday Lesson Ideas

Historical Connections
Connect the holidays to historical events. One important event to share with your students is the Christmas Truce that occurred during World War 1 when British and German soldiers left their trenches and celebrated Christmas together. I have read the picture book Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon to my students. After the read aloud we have a class discussion about the events of the story, and continue our research about this event.

If you are looking for a complete unit to use during the last few weeks before holiday break the story of the Christmas Truce during World War 1 will keep your students engaged. This is a cross-curricular unit plan for the Christmas Truce of 1914. This event took place between the British and German troops along the western front trenches in France. It is explained to students using a variety of media types: readings, videos, and songs. Students will reflect on this significant event which occurred during the First World War. 

Creative Writing 

Students need to get up and move during lessons. I have created a free Interactive Christmas Writing Prompts resource that provides teachers with 7 different story prompts. I print out several copies of each writing prompt, and display each prompt around my classroom on a clipboard or taped to a hard surface. Students must rotate around to the different writing prompts and add one line to the story. Each line must build upon the previous. Students practise their creative writing skills in an engaging manner.

Holiday Creative Writing Assignment ($)
If you need a longer writing assignment for December try this Christmas Writing Assignment. Students will select the role of one character: Santa's Elf, Christmas Turkey, Gingerbread man, Christmas Tree or Museum Curator and create a written product (brochure, postcards, infographic, etc) based on the character's specific writing prompt. By using this fun Christmas creative writing choice board assignment, teachers can combine covering the writing curriculum and enjoying the holiday season with their classes. Students are provided with 5 different Christmas themed writing options using the RAFT format (Role, Audience, Format, Topic).


Service Project Ideas

Tis the season to give, not get. This is an important message for our students to learn. Read the curated recap from our #2ndaryELA Twitter chat last year on Helping Students Think Beyond Themselves. Teachers shared what they do in their classrooms to help spread this message.




Spread Holiday Cheer

Don't forget to spread the holiday cheer around your school with small gifts for your staff. During the school year, we see our co-workers for many hours during the day. A gift is a nice small gesture to share your appreciation for their hard work and support. If you have a large staff you might consider giving a small gift to your grade team as well as any support staff that are essential to your school life (i.e. Educational Assistants, Custodians, Secretaries). Some easy to create gift ideas can be found on this blog post.

Enjoy this holiday season with your students, colleagues, friends and family.

If you teach the younger grades, in addition to your middle/high school students, check out the blog hop below for some festive holiday ideas.


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Try these free engaging Christmas writing prompts from 2 Peas and a Dog.


4 comments

  1. I love your idea of spreading holiday cheer for your staff! It is such an important part of making everyone feel recognized and feel special at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

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  2. I LOVE the idea of relating the season to a historical event! What a fantastic idea!! Thanks!

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  3. These are excellent classroom management tips and holiday lesson tips, Kristy. Thank you for sharing them. I love that you included ideas for spreading holiday cheer! Best wishes to you for the holiday season!

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