Writing: Ask students to pretend they have pen pals in foreign countries. Their pen pals celebrate Christmas (or other holidays) in a way very different than they might do. Invite students to write letters to their pen pals to explain how their families celebrate the holidays.
Research: Invite students brainstorm different symbols of Christmas or other December holiday celebrations. Christmas symbols, for example, might include the Christmas card, the star, mistletoe, the poinsettia, holly, the Christmas tree, and Christmas carols. Also students might research the different faces of Santa Claus, including St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus.
Discovery Ed Resources
Spotlight on Strategies: Jigsaw (Cooperative Learning), Venn Diagrams (for Compare/Contrast), and AEIOU (for Vocabulary)
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Grades K-2, 3-5
Through SOS: Jigsaw, student groups become experts in various December holidays, such as Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas. As students share their findings with the class, students use a graphic organizer to identify similarities and differences as suggested in SOS: Get VENN-y With It.
Grades: 6-8, 9-12
Singing, juggling, soccer, exchanging gifts - these scenes may not be what students picture when they imagine a battlefield, but in 1914, WWI soldiers participated in a spontaneous and unofficial ceasefire around Christmas. After students listen to What was the Christmas Truce?, they identify vocabulary in the five descriptive categories A-E-I-O-U (Adjective, Emotion, Interesting, Oh!, Um?) as described in SOS: A-E-I-O-U.
Students practice active listening and communication skills with SOS: Talking Stick as they share, predict, and support their ideas for which method will keep trees green. Students pre-watch Preserving Christmas Trees, and then go home to find out how their families keep their own trees green. Using the talking stick in small groups the next day, students discuss their methods and why they think it works. Then watch Prepping the Trees and Testing the Trees, pausing to discuss and adjust predictions, before final results are revealed in Christmas Tree Results.
Using The Meaning of Gifts model lesson, students view and analyze videos and images and read The Gift of the Magi to explore the significance and meaning of gift giving in a variety of cultures. They will also explore a scientific theory about how gift giving strengthens a society. Students then write and present arguments about whether givers or recipients benefit more from gift giving.
Grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
See how student Ria uses Discovery Education Board Builder to share how she participates in multiple holiday traditions with this Holiday Mashup board.