“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.”
– Japanese proverb
The holidays are upon us and students are restless! Their minds are on the festivities, so why not embrace the spirit and get students learning with holiday-themed activities? Below are a list of upcoming celebrations and events with lesson ideas. These ideas get students to learn about different cultures, traditions, finances, statistics, and history. Spice up those lessons by integrating a web tool or app. Free web tools/apps that have holiday related templates and stickers, include Storybird (book), Edubuncee (poster), Animoto (video), Magisto (video), ToonDoo (comic/book), Pic-Collage (poster/greeting), Chatterpix Kids app (talking images), Voki (talking avatars) and Makebeliefs Comixs.
This is one of the most famous meals throughout history when two cultures came together to celebrate the harvest that arose from their joint efforts. Your students can retell the story in a Storybird or create Buncee presentations about this historical event. Check out our Thanksgiving podcast and Thanksgiving and holiday lesson plans. Our sister site also has Thanksgiving activities especially designed for young learners.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Two of the most important shopping events take place the day after Thanksgiving and on December 1st, when stores gather to offer sales. Students can learn about math, finance, and marketing. Get students to create wishlists, then research the best deals for these items. They can share these lists with their parents who will appreciate their children trying to save them money. Students can compare and contrast a store’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. They can use Piktochart to create infographics that display their findings. You can show students this Black Friday infographic as an example. For more ideas, check out these bookmarks.
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa
Showcase your students’ holiday traditions by getting them to collaborate on a recipe book with traditional meals and drinks that are popular during these celebrations. Your students can include information about the holiday in this recipe book. Create the recipe book with Google Docs, Slipp, Issuu, or the Book Creator app. Find more food related activities in this post.
Invite a guest speaker, author, or class to help your students learn about these holidays. Google HangOuts and Skype are free video conferencing tools that allow up to 10 people on video. Students can interview guests and authors. They can teach another class famous holiday songs and the actions that go with the lyrics.
Take students on a field trip to learn more about these different holidays after you try ESL Library’s Holiday lesson plans. In your area, you can find plays, festivals, or other events that are suitable for your students to learn about these holidays hands-on. You can also take a virtual field trip to historic places, countries and museum exhibits using Google’s World Wonders site. Find more virtual tour sites and activities related to planning field trips here.
Find more ideas, web tools, and apps related to celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa here.
In what ways do you celebrate the holidays with your students?
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