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3 Activities to Help You Teach During the Holidays

December can be a crazy time because kids and teachers alike are ready for winter break. You want to lean into the holiday magic but also want to continue the routines of learning that took effort to create.

How do you balance it? Incorporate holiday-themed activities into your days. In this post I’m sharing 3 activities that you can fit into your lesson plans in December.

December Daily Non-Fiction Sentence Structure Tasks

Understanding at the sentence level will help kids be successful when analyzing longer texts.

Background knowledge is another component kids being successful readers. The more prior knowledge they have, the easier it will be to understand both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Combine both of these components and create daily sentence structure tasks centered around holiday-themed topics like evergreen trees, gingerbread, snow, and reindeer.

Assign a task for kids to do each day with a sentence. One task you can have kids do is to unscramble a sentence and organize it in its correct structure.

Another task idea is asking kids to use a sentence-building chart to create the parts of a complete sentence.

You can add tasks that have kids discuss the roles of words, and identify sentence types and sentence structure.

You’ll practice sentence structure daily while kids have fun acquiring background knowledge about December-themed topics.

Vocabulary Lessons in December

Another activity you can do is vocuabulary instruction using picture books that are perfect for the holiday season.

One of my favorite picture books to use for this is Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant.

This story has a beautiful message of paying it forward that can last past the holiday season.

I choose six words from the book to teach as my vocabulary for about 7-8 days in December.

I follow my vocabulary routine for those 7-8 days which includes, using context clues to figure out word meaning, and discussing synonyms and antonyms.

You can teach context clues with any picture books you like to use in December but if you’d like the lesson already done for you, click HERE for the lesson plans that go with the book Silver Packages.

Turn Your Generic Games into holiday-themed Games

Go over any skills your kids need extra practice with, using games that can be used all year long.

You don’t have to have holiday-themed games that can only be used during the holiday season.

Turn generic games into a holiday-themed game so you can still use them at other times of the year. 

You can do this by printing the games on green and red paper for Christmas or blue paper for Hanukah. 

You can add playing pieces that are holiday-themed like gingerbread men paper counters.

You can use holiday-themed candies as game pieces. This is extra fun because you can eat them after you’re done playing.

December doesn’t have to mean you stop learning and let the chaos take over. Embrace the chaos and have fun learning during the holidays!

Check out the resources highlighted:

December Non-Fiction Sentence Structure 5 Minute Daily Task Slides

Vocabulary Companion for Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant

3rd-Grade & 4th Grade Math Bingo Games

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