Holidays Around the World
I love this time of the year when we work on the different holidays around the world. I also wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit about our Daily Concept Builders™ resources. These resources are a great way for your students to learn important, relevant, seasonally appropriate vocabulary for each month. December is a perfect month to give this great program a try as it is solely focused on holidays around the world.
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The first resource I want to introduce you to is our Daily Concept Builders™ calendar. These calendars are an awesome resource because they provide a word of the day, interactive student calendars, and a daily math pattern. Days 3-9 on the calendar are all about Hanukkah. The great thing about these calendars is they are editable so you can move the words around for when the dates of Hanukkah change.
I also read our book about Hanukkah
which is one of the books in our ELA Book Bundle
that also includes St. Lucia, Christmas,Las Posadas and Kwanzaa. This book comes in color and black and white for students to highlight the holiday words. There are real photos of the calendar words in the books as well as comprehension questions in the back of the books. We’ve updated the books to make them more interactive for your students. There is also a single sheet with the words from the book/song that can be used in a poetry folder.
First, I draw a menorah on the board for the students to copy onto green construction paper.
Then they glue popsicle sticks for the candles.
Next, I put glue on each stick and they sprinkle glitter on them for flames. They love this part!
See some other fun ideas for Hanukkah below:
St. Lucia’s Day
A fun and engaging way to learn about vocabulary on holidays like St.Lucia. is playing our memory game. Students have 3 different ways to use these cards in a center. They love the real photos of the words, and the cards have been great for my ELL students!
St. Lucia’s Day is on December 13 and celebrates Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Sweden. The girls all dress in white and wear wreaths with candles in them. They serve cookies and other treats to their families. One traditional treat for St. Lucia’s day is saffron bread. Boys wear white hats with stars that are appropriately named “starboy hats.” This holiday is meant to bring light in the darkest time of the year.
Below are a few pictures of the St. Lucia wreaths and starboy attire that I did in my classroom:
Here are some more ideas for St. Lucia’s Day:
This is the book that I use when I teach about St.Lucia.
Holidays Around the World Word Game
My students love playing this word game about the different holidays around the world. They actually ask to play it again and again. I also have taped the cards around the room and let the students write their answers on the recording sheet that is included. The cards can be used for discussion about the holidays. Some teachers like to use these cards for Scoot as well.
Las Posadas is a holiday that started in Mexico. It is now celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala, and a few other South American countries. The celebration is a time to remember the birth of Jesus and the journey Joseph and Mary took to find a place to give birth. In Spanish, “Las Posadas,” means “the inns,” which didn’t have room for Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. This holiday is celebrated from December 16-24 with parades, piñatas, and other festivities. Each night a child dresses as an angel and leads the parade through town. They stop at each house and are refused lodging until they reach the end of the procession. The poinsettia is a flower used for decoration during Las Posadas.
Here are some ideas for Las Posadas:
I use this book when my students are learning about Las Posadas.
Christmas is a holiday celebrated around the world in many different ways. It began as a way to remember the birth of baby Jesus and grew into many different traditions. Many families have a Christmas tree that they decorate with ornaments. Kids hang stockings for Santa to fill and he leaves presents under the tree. Families also give presents this time of year. Lots of people like to eat candy canes and bake cookies for Santa.
My students learn about the different holidays like Christmas by completing these cut and paste sheets. I use them for a guided reading center. Students are exposed to a sight word and a calendar word every day, as well as work on phonics and they are challenged with a critical thinking question on each sheet. I love seeing how the students answer their bonus questions.
This is a sample sheet about Christmas.
Here are some pictures of activities I do in my classroom:
Here’s a summary of our Sugar Cone Christmas Trees:
We had so much fun decorating sugar cones to look like Christmas trees. You just color white can frosting with green food coloring or now you can just grab green frosting and frost a sugar cone. The students also created a snow village on the plate. They used powdered sugar for snow.
I used this as a center during my holiday party and invited parents to help.
These are just a couple examples of the finished products. This is so much easier than the gingerbread houses! You can use teddy grahams or gummy bears as villagers. You can also make candy sleds to go on the plate and marshmallow snowmen! Pam lays the tree down on the plate and slides the whole display in a freezer gallon size bag with the student’s name already written on the bag. This is a great way to take it home.
Here are some other Christmas ideas:
St. Nicholas Day
Christmas in Other Countries
Candy Cane Hunt
Your students will love this book about Christmas!
Our last Daily Concept Builder product is this fun and engaging sight word center pack. It includes poems about all of these holidays as well as our sight word center. My students love to build the sight word of the day onto their cards and then I encourage them to use their letters to build their own words. I also use this as a center during my guided reading time.
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Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African-Americans around the world. Families celebrate from December 26-January 1 and they focus on seven principles: umoja(unity), kuji-chagulia(self-determination or working hard), ujima(working together and being responsible), nia(purpose), kuumba(creativity), imani(faith). Families have a kinara with 3 green candles, 3 red candles, and 1 black candle. All gifts are handmade to symbolize the labor of the parents.
Here are some Kwanzaa ideas:
Have your kids pair up and make gifts for one another. This is a nice way to celebrate unity.
Umoja or unity chain
Video about Kwanzaa
Lots of great Kwanzaa crafts
Your students will enjoy reading and singing about Kwanzaa!
So, as you can see, by the time your students have completed all of these resources in the month, they have been very involved with the monthly vocabulary and sight words. I have seen great progress with my student’s writing skills as well as their vocabulary development! Thanks to Daily Concept Builders, my students are having fun and are very engaged with vocabulary!
Click Here to get the whole year of calendars and emergent books in one purchase at an incredible discount, or to see what other teachers are saying about these resources.
We hope that you will take this chance to use Daily Concept Builders during December while all of our holiday resources are on sale!
As a bonus, we also have a Holidays Around the World poem freebie for you. All the vocabulary from December is in the poem. I like to have my students highlight the words as we study each holiday. We keep the poem in our poetry notebooks. They love to go back to this poem and reread it. Hope your students enjoy it!
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Enjoy Your Holiday Planning,