The weeks before Christmas break has always been a challenging one for me, as it is for most educators. But I think it can be especially tough on specials teachers. There are so many different activities going on from classroom parties, pajama day, assemblies, sing-alongs …The list goes on and on. And usually (at least in my school) specials time is never canceled. Teachers need this time to plan, prepare and go to the bathroom! Which I totally understand and agree with. But when you pick up a class right after their Christmas party I can pretty much guarantee that a quiet storytime is not going to happen!
I’ll be honest, there are times when I give in to the temptation of showing a Christmas movie. I think everyone has at one time or another. And that’s fine once in a while, but definitely not something you want to make a habit out of.
In this post, I want to share with you some of the lessons and activities that I have used with my students. Maybe they’ll be something you can incorporate in your own lessons over the next few weeks.
Favorite picture books
- Santa’s Stuck by Rhonda Greene (FREEBIE)
- The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
- Click, Clack. Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin
- The Gingerbread Man Loose At Christmas by Laura Murray
- The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
- A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruell
- Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
Christmas Around the World
- 8 nonfiction reading passages about Christmas traditions in other countries
- One page reading response for each country
- Set of 24 task cards (color and b/w set)
- 10-page mini book for students to read and fill out
- 18 pages of writing prompts, a word search, Venn diagram, ABC order practice and more
- Place the cards around the room. You will need to do this so it is easy for students to travel from each spot to answer the questions. You can put one card on each desk or space or several cards together, whatever works best for you.
- Make a copy of the recording sheet and give one to each student. Arrange the students around the room so they each have a card to start with. You can have more than one student at each card. This all depends on the number of students in your class.
- Students will answer the card that is in front of them. On your command, they will “scoot” to the next spot and answer the next question. They will record their answers on their sheet.
- Remind students to look at the cards to see what number they are on. They will not all begin at number 1. The game is over when they are all back where they started.