It’s the start of the holiday season and “magically” kids start to act insane. It’s as if no real work will ever get accomplished some days. For me, it always seemed like reading stayed strong, math kept kicking, social studies even did pretty well, but (like I’ve mentioned before) writing and science got buried somewhere in the craziness that we call our daily schedules.
Since this is typically the case, I always tried to secure that these subjects would happen by finding some holiday themed lesson plans that would tie into our curriculum but still be fun. This helped me stay focused and gave the students their creative outlet. To help you out, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite resources from some exceptional teacher authors! These activities are the perfect addition to your crazy holiday schedules and will keep your kiddos engaged on even the craziest of days.
First Up: What Does the Turkey Say?
This fun Reading and Writing (and some math!) activity can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days to complete, depending on what you want to do! Start by reading an article about Mr. James Turkey who suddenly crash lands on his way home for the holidays. The family he’s currently waiting out the storm with may need to eat him. What should he do!? Students can actually E-MAIL Mr. James Turkey (and receive a response)! If you’re not up for e-mail, students can write out their e-mail on the paper provided instead. Students will be eager to share their opinion with Mr. James Turkey and jounralist, Ms. Anna Cornucopia.
Next: Reader’s Theater
I mean – what says “holidays” quite like Reader’s Theater? Nothing! I love these quick and fun scripts. They’re great for building reading fluency, including the entire class, and engaging students when it seems nearly impossible to get them focused on something other than a movie. And anything Deb Hanson makes is just amazing.
Letters of Thanksgiving: A Turkey Craftivity!
I think this may be my favorite craftivity for Thanksgiving. I love the materials included. Students are walked through the planning and organization process and then get to create their turkey, write their letter of thanks, and share their adorable little crafts on a class bulletin board (how stinkin’ adorable!) or take them home to share with their families over the holidays! Does it get much better than that, y’all!?
Want to still have Writer’s Workshop?: Lists!
I wish I had found this resource years ago. I have always been a huge believer that lists are the best way to get certain students writing. Lists are easy, low commitment for hesitant writers, and different! I had so many students who would only start writing if they began with a list. Sometimes it was a grocery list or a Christmas shopping list. It starts basic (but is better than them doing nothing at all!) and then you can work with them to turn that list into a story. “Write a quick story about going to the grocery store and getting those items. Then tell about the delicious meals you makes with everything!” or “Write all about Christmas morning and how it feels to open up that list of Christmas gifts”. Using lists to get those little guys writing is MAGIC! Especially right now when writing feels like torture to some little writers.
Lastly: The Great Turkey Dilemma
Ummm… is it even Thanksgiving if you don’t do a persuasion piece about how humans should eat something other than turkey for the holidays? Definitely not! I love how this packet provides great tools for getting writers organized. It streamlines their thinking and their writing and makes writing a persuasive letter a cinch, which –duh- is necessary right now!
These are just a few of my favorite holiday activities for wrangling in crazy holiday-enthused students. What activities do you love and use year to year?