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Christmas Around the World Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to introduce your students to Christmas traditions around the world. Students will read a text lesson before engaging in a creative activity to bring some of the world's traditions to life. Finish off with a quiz to test understanding.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe various Christmas traditions from around the world
  • summarize the Christmas traditions of one region in detail

Length

30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.8

Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2

Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

Materials

  • Paper copies of the text lesson Christmas Traditions Around the World for Kids
  • Chart paper
  • Multi-colored construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon
  • Markers/crayons/colored pencils
  • Access to additional art supplies
  • Large map of the world (paper or an image that may be projected on the board or wall)
  • Tape

Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by asking students what traditions their families have for the holiday season. Ask for volunteers to describe their traditions and write them on the board.
  • Next, distribute the text lesson Christmas Traditions Around the World for Kids.
  • Have two students volunteer to read a paragraph each from the 'Christmas in North America' section. After reading, discuss the following questions as a class:
    • What role do stockings play in Christmas traditions?
    • What is a piñata? How is it used to celebrate Christmas in Mexico?
    • Have you ever used a piñata? When?
  • Next, ask for two more volunteers to read a paragraph each from the 'European Traditions' section. Then, discuss the following questions:
    • Does anyone honor similar traditions in their home?
    • How might the tradition of making joulortuttu (the pastry) have evolved into modern US traditions?
  • Ask for two volunteers to read the 'Asian Traditions' section. Discuss the following:
    • Is there a similar tradition in the US to the pah-role tradition of the Phillipines?
    • How are elders honored during the holidays in your family?
    • What traditions do you have that involve decorative lights?
  • Ask for a volunteer to read the 'A Down Under Christmas' section. Discuss:
    • How might your family's traditions change if it were warm here during Christmas?
  • Finally, ask for a volunteer to read the 'Christmas in Africa' section. Discuss:
    • How is singing incorporated into Christmas traditions in your family?

Activity

  • Break students up into five groups and assign each group one of the world regions from the text lesson.
  • Pass out one piece of chart paper and art supplies to each group.
  • Students will now create a poster that depicts the Christmas traditions of their region of the world. Encourage them to be as creative as possible in bringing the tradition to life. For example, the 'Christmas in North America' group might choose to create a pinata that opens on the paper to reveal other Christmas symbols inside.
  • When all groups are finished, project or display the world map at the front of the class.
  • Have each group take turns presenting their poster to the rest of the class. They should take 2-3 minutes to explain the elements they chose to incorporate and why.
  • When the presentation is complete, the group should tape the poster to the map on the continent the poster represents.
  • Before dismissal, take the quiz associated with the lesson as a class, answering any final questions students may have.

Extension:

  • Ask students to select one tradition from the text lesson that they particularly enjoyed reading about. How could their family incorporate this tradition to their own holiday celebrations?
  • Select some of the worldwide traditions and honor them in your classroom; have a 'World Christmas Day.'

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