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Teaching Christmas across the Curriculum

Wow, where has this term gone? It’s hard to believe we are rapidly approaching the end of another school year. After the chaos of report writing time it is time to relax and enjoy the last few weeks of the year. We have put together a list of fun ideas and activities to link teaching Christmas across the Curriculum.

English

  • Hold a special Christmas lunch at school and invite the students’ parents and/or grandparents. Students can design and make Christmas party invitations and draw and write a menu of food to prepare. (Language)
  • Read a Christmas story to students. Give each child a piece of paper and ask him/her to draw something from the story. After each child has illustrated a particular part of the story, have them all retell the story (or that part of the story) in their own words. Either record each child’s retelling or write his/her dictation on the page. Record on ‘Audacity – voice recorder’ free download here. Mac users can also record on ‘Garage Band’. (Language, Literacy)

Mathematics

  • In pairs, students make paper chains for a specified time. At the end of that period, find out by comparing and measuring who made the longest chain. (Measurement and Geometry)
  • Create simple patterns with Christmas-themed rubber stamps on strips of card. Students choose one pattern and copy it with stamps on a sheet of paper placed below the pattern card. More capable students could continue the pattern by placing paper next to the card (or use white paper bags to make gift bags). (Number and Algebra)
  • Make a class graph of favourite ‘tree toppers’ on a tree-shaped chart. Make the graph with column headings such as ‘gold star’, ‘angel’, ‘silver star’, ‘bell’, ‘snowman’ or any others students suggest. (Statistics and Probability)

Science

  • Show a picture of Santa’s sleigh and ask students if they know how it moves. Show (if possible with an ice skate) the way it moves by sliding. Ask students to move by sliding using their feet, then tell you any other ways they can move. Show them a range of toys, and in small groups, they can group the toys according to the way they move.
  • Talk about how Santa delivers toys by flying in his sleigh. Ask students to make a list of other things that fly, such as birds, insects, bats, aeroplanes, balloons and helicopters.
  • Look at different sorts of Christmas trees (real, plastic, fibre optic, a tree made from lights such as a window decoration etc.). Find out and share descriptions of the way they look, smell and feel.

Music

  • Listen to segments of ‘The nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky, an adaptation of the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffmann.
  • Learn a number of Christmas carols. Organise a carol night to sing them to parents, or visit a local nursing home to sing for the residents. Students could also try writing different lyrics to the tune of a well-known Christmas song.
  • Compare Christmas songs of the past to the songs of today. How are they different?
  • Play a Christmas carol with a beat, such as ‘Good King Wenceslas’. Ask students to raise their left hands, then stomp their left foot in time. Next ask them to march in a circle in military fashion of LR–LR. To help them know the difference between left and right, they can point their left hand either outside or inside of the circle. Once they’ve marched in one direction, have them turn around and march in the opposite direction.

Visual Arts

  • Twist one red and one white pipe-cleaner together to make a candy cane decoration. Teachers might like to start the candy cane and tape one end down securely to a table to make the activity easier.
  • Add peppermint extract to red and white paint. Students paint a simple striped pattern on A5 card. When the paint is dry, they trace around a candy cane template and cut out their candy cane. Punch a hole in the top and thread some ribbon through to make a scented Christmas tree decoration.
  • For each student, cut one semicircle from green card. Students shape this into a cone to make a Christmas tree. Tape to keep in shape. Decorate the tree by wrapping pipe-cleaners around the cone, and gluing on stickers, sequins and glitter.
  • Give each student a paper plate with the middle circle cut out of it. They decorate the thick rim as a wreath with pre-cut holly leaf shapes, tinsel, bow-tie pasta, ribbon and other craft items. Add a pipe-cleaner loop to the top of the paper ring to hang.

Health and Physical Education

  • Plan a healthy snack to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
  • Put on a Christmas hat and play ‘Santa Says’ (a Christmas version of ‘Simon Says’).
  • Talk to students about the healthy eating choices they can make over Christmas. They can try to eat some healthy things and stop eating when they feel full. On a large piece of paper, draw a line (vertically) down the middle. Draw a happy Santa face on one side of the line at the top of the page and an unhappy Santa face on the other. Students cut pictures of foods from magazines and decide whether the food is healthy, gluing it under the happy Santa, or unhealthy, gluing it under the unhappy Santa.
  • Talk about Christmas tree safety. Real Christmas fir trees that are dry are extremely flammable so need to be kept moist, any lights on the tree need to be checked and left untouched on the tree, candles should never be placed on or near the tree and students should never try to climb the tree.
  • Make a class book of ways students can keep safe during the Christmas holidays.

For more ready-to-use Christmas activities check out our range below!

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