Before we discuss traditions that have come from Germany and the good ol’ tannenbaum, I send a note home to parents letting them know that we are discussing family and holiday traditions in class. I ask them to talk about a few of their family’s favorite traditions so the kids will have some ideas to write about when they get to class.
I love reading about what they most enjoy doing with their families.
Dreidel Games and Poinsettia Love
Throughout these weeks we play a lot of games. MOSTLY it is because they are very active and need to move! Making these dreidels and writing the game instructions are a great way to introduce a new game to play AND create an expository writing piece!
I love Tomie dePaola’s Legend books. This one about the Poinsettia is very beautiful. I bring in a few poinsettia’s to decorate the room, too!
It’s the note. My secret is I tell the kiddos the goal is to “make em cry” with joy. Make them sob, “I have the sweetest, best, most incredible kid in the whole world!” Tell them all of the reasons they are important to you. Most spend a lot of time making this special assignment absolutely perfect.
Sinter Klaas and the Wooden Shoes
Most of my kiddos are very familiar with hanging stockings for Santa Claus to fill and leaving out treats for Santa to eat. They are thrilled to learn about the tradition of leaving out wooden shoes for Sinter Klaas – filled with treats for his white horse to eat! They come up with some pretty amazing things they’d like to find in those wooden shoes in place of the carrots and hay!
St. Lucia and Breakfast in Bed
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
This little mouse is my absolute FAVORITE bulletin board item. It’s so simple and cute. They always turn out adorable.
I also love the writing we do with it. After sharing the poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with them, we discuss how exciting it is to anticipate something, how it can be difficult to sleep and how sometimes we dream some pretty amazing things.
Then I have them write about what one of those amazing dreams might be.
The creativity they express on these little pages is fabulous.
In the Holiday Customs Around the World resource, I included a large bulletin board header, too. I LOVE this cutie!!
*Lessons and building background information
*Bulletin board ideas and an adorable header
*’Twas the Night Before Christmas mouse craftivity
*Writing Lesson and Writing Plans
*Detailed instructions and samples
*Loads of craftivity blacklines
*Mini book blacklines
*Focus wall vocabulary cards
Countries include: Holland, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, Israel and USA