Finding middle school Christmas activities does not need to be a challenge. Look through this blog post to find Christmas activities that are broken into two categories: curriculum-related and fun activities. These activities are great for the whole month of December.
Editor’s Note: I have written this blog post in 2020 with a variety of ideas. Not all of these ideas will work in a socially distant classroom – but my hope is that we will return to regular teaching practices in the near future.
Middle School Christmas Activities That Are Curriculum-Focused
I love celebrating all holidays and special occasions in my classroom. One of the ways I try to cover a variety of celebrations is by adding in non-fiction articles into my article of the week program.
I created these non-fiction articles about a variety of celebrations. This resource contains 12 non-fiction articles and reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep (EQAO) and cross-curricular learning. I use this resource all year long to help students gain information about these celebrations. During this holiday season, I have students read about Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas. After the holidays we read about Chinese New Year. This bundle of articles contains information about the following topics: Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Daylight Savings, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fools’ Day, Earth Day, Ramadan, Halloween, Diwali, Hanukkah, and Christmas.
To follow up with these non-fiction articles, I have my students select another celebration from this Global Holiday Celebrations Research Assignment to research. Students then create a visual presentation sharing their new knowledge with the class.
If you like students to learn about historical celebrations – this assignment about the Christmas Truce of 1914 is a fantastic opportunity to study this event through a media literacy focus. Students watch videos and analyze the events through a marketing perspective.
I am always looking for fun and engaging activities that reinforce previously taught literacy skills. In this Christmas Unit, students participate in 6 different activities that will help reinforce your students’ reading and writing skills. Students will learn about the historical background of Christmas traditions and prepare for a holiday-themed discussion about current Christmas customs. This resource is focused on the North American commercial Christmas – this is not a religious unit.
Photocopy this free resource before you leave for the holiday break. In this New Year’s Goal Setting Activity and Reflection Sheets, students get excited and engaged during their first week back at school. Students will activate their reflection skills in a group setting then transition to the independent task.
Middle School Classroom Holiday Party Ideas
Traditionally in my district the day that holiday break/Winter Break begins we have an early finish day. We finish school at 1:45 pm whereas we normally end the day 3:15 pm. We usually have a whole school assembly with a holiday sing-along and any presentations from our art and drama clubs. Then teachers have a few hours to fill – but the curriculum is not normally taught on this day. I have compiled a list of fun activities to do just before Winter Break.
White Elephant Exchange
Provide students with brown paper bags and ask them to bring in a book from home they no longer want that can be shared with another classmate. Provide strict parameters about what can be brought it – books must be in good condition and not have any damage. They also need to be appropriate for that grade level. Have students keep their books a secret, then place them in their paper bag. Have students make a circle with their chairs and put all of the paper bags in the centre of a circle. Pass sets of dice and rotate them around the circle. Once a student rolls doubles they can pick any paper bag from the circle. They cannot open it until everyone has rolled doubles and selected a book. After everyone has a book, take turns opening the paper bags and showing off the book.
Then set a timer for a stealing round. Pass the dice out again and if students roll doubles within the time limit they can keep their book or trade their book “steal” with someone else. Trades are not consensual and this is all done in fun. To ensure that everyone can participate go to your local thrift store and find some great reads for students who forget their book in the morning. You can also say that if students forget their book then they can watch and not participate. It all depends on your class community and the rules of your school.
I have done this with real presents that are $5 max. Students bring in their $5 present wrap it before class or I give them a paper bag. Use the same process as above. Students love the stealing round.
Have students participate in a digital or physical escape room. Teachers Pay Teachers has a lot of options to purchase digital or physical escape rooms for your classes. I prefer digital escape rooms as the prep work for physical escape rooms or escape boxes is too much. Check out this Christmas Digital Escape Room that contains 10 locks for your students to solve.
Create a list of popular Christmas songs. Then hand out a blank bingo sheet. Have students put the name of one carol/song in each box. Then play a small snippet of the song and students have to guess the correct title. They put the order number of the playlist in the bingo box. If they get 5 in a row they get a bingo – however, they have to get all 5 song titles correct.
Don’t just use or don’t use Christmas songs at all. You can play the same game with a playlist of popular songs. If your school has a Karaoke machine you can add this activity to your bingo game.
Design A Book-Themed Sweater or Ugly Sweater
Give students a sweater template and let them design a sweater based on a theme. They can select their theme and get designing. Have them keep their design a secret and then have a guessing game as a class. If students do not want to draw you can have a selection of adult colouring sheets for them to use.
Card Games Tournament
Play Minute to Win It Games
I found these two blog posts 12 Christmas Minute to Win It Games for Kids and Adults and 30 FREE Printable Winter Games & Activities that you could get ideas from and modify the games for your class.
Christmas Themed Family Feud
Here are some resources for a Christmas Family Feud type game: Family Feud Instructions and Christmas Feud. If you do not want to go with a Christmas theme then create a Google Form asking students questions about pop culture that they can give their opinions on – best movie, drink, book, running shoe brand etc. Then make those answers into your family feud questions.
Don’t forget to tag me on social media if you are using any of these middle school Christmas activities in your classroom.
Other Christmas Resources
- Holiday Gift Ideas for School Staff
- Holiday Season Survival Guide
- Tips For Teachers On How To Reduce Holiday Season Stress
- Holiday Season Survival Guide for Teachers Second Edition