Best Holiday Classroom Activities

Regardless of the holiday, the notion of sharing and learning about each other's customs make the winter holiday season perfect for teaching in every subject. To spice up classrooms for the season, use the following four approaches to brighten up December lesson plans.

Listen to the Music of the Season

Using music as a teaching tool is a wonderful and creative way to teach, especially in foreign language classes. Lyrics provide a platform for learning new vocabulary, and instructors can consider using different versions of songs to contrast interpretations.

Listening to holiday music doesn't mean having to listen to Christmas Carols or songs about a particular holiday. Although the selection of holiday music available may surprise the class, the chosen music can be what the students' families prefer to listen to when gathered together for the holidays. This will demonstrate important aspects of various cultures and holidays.

Share Holiday Recipes

Young and adult students alike love to talk about food. Even more love to eat. Invite classes to share holiday recipes. Suggest recipes to students such as gingerbread people, Hanukkah doughnuts, and African Sweet Potato Fritters. This will help improve students' directive process analysis skills, learn more about the diversity of America and diminish their fear of public speaking. Depending on the campus location, instructors may want to extend the recipe sharing into a full-blown multicultural extravaganza.

Make Holiday Crafts

Making arts and crafts is a good method to generate classroom discussions in art classes. With crafts, students can explain the significance of holiday and religious symbols. Multiple colors, patterns and textures also help with developing mixed-media skills. Instructors can even get students used to the idea of researching items they are not familiar with. For example, origins of such symbols as the Poinsettia, mistletoe, and dreidl may not be widely know, and students can share this information with the class.

Create Lesson Plans with a Holiday Twist

Instead of doing the regular history or social studies lecture, share the origin of certain traditions with students. Take the Christmas tree for example; decorating a tree in winter is derived from a Pagan custom originating in German. Additionally, the origin of Kwanzaa has significant roots in Swahili and the Civil Rights Movement. Instructors can create lessons based on these types of concepts.

Consider incorporating games centered on the holidays during recess or physical education. Teachers should research holiday games or create their own. In English classes, make holiday themed vocabulary puzzles and word searches.

Additionally, literature instructors can introduce Christmas literature such as Seuss's story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! [Random House, 1957] orVan Allsburg's children's novel The Polar Express [Houghton Mifflin, 1985] while math instructors can forego calculating the area of squares and triangles for calculating the area of cookies and Christmas trees.

Using the season to create lessons plans with a holiday twist will prove to be a priceless technique in any classroom. Holiday themed lessons will motivate students to concentrate during a busy and distracting holiday season. Not only will these themed lessons motivate students, they will also provide hours of educational fun.