Christmas in the Classroom

*Updated December 2021*

As teaching staff know, Christmas can be a challenging time of year in the classroom. The excitement of the festive period inevitably seeps into the classroom and can lead to reduced concentration and distractions. Moreover, for some children and their families, Christmas can be an emotionally challenging time of year, particularly for those experiencing financial difficulties and those who have endured hardship and difficult events during the festive period previously.

With the festive season fast approaching, December is an ideal time to embrace the Christmas spirit and tailor the school day to include fun and festivities, particularly during the final week of school. Moving away from false stereotypes of Christmas in the classroom, there are a whole host of activities that are fun, festive and remain educational and beneficial for childhood development. 

We hope to inspire both educators and parents/guardians alike with our seasonal suggestions for fun and learning.

1) Christmas Literature

We have recently published a blog article entitled 'Christmas Literature in the Classroom'. There are a whole host of Christmas stories suitable for the primary school classroom! From classic novels, such as Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, to more contemporary literary hits, such as Tom Fletcher's There's An Elf in my Book, there is a wide and ever-growing range of children's literature available for the festive season. Reading is a core part of the National Curriculum and is a life-long skill. Regular reading supports pupil attainment, broadening vocabulary, developing the imagination and enhancing knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Inevitably, books are the perfect stimuli for discussion and a whole host of writing and comprehension activities can be drawn from them.

2) Christmas Around the World

Christmas is celebrated all over the world. There is no better time to promote cultural awareness and celebrate diversity. Why not dedicate a circle time session to discussing how different pupils in the class celebrate Christmas? Moreover, you could introduce a whole-class project dedicated to how countries around the world celebrate Christmas. It would be an ideal opportunity for partner work conducting research on the internet using iPads/laptops. The children could record their research notes using a Word Document, which would support curriculum objectives and develop key computer skills. The website, Why Christmas, contains a plethora of information about Christmas around the world and the BBC have a range of articles and news coverage dedicated to this topic. 

3) Christmas Music

With a wide range of topics to cover in the classroom, it can be difficult to make time for subjects, such as music. Christmas is ideal to dedicate time to subjects, such as music. With Christmas songs playing on loop everywhere you go, the best thing to do is simply embrace it! There are many music lesson resources available online with a festive theme. A quick browse on Pinterest will provide you with a sleigh-full of inspiration for Christmas music lessons. Twinkl have a great range of music resources and the BBC's Christmas Collection comes complete with songs and carols fit for the classroom.

4) Christmas Arts and Crafts

Christmas is the perfect time to get crafty! There are so many festive art projects you can undertake with your class, ranging from Christmas cards, decorations, handmade presents and drawing/painting Christmas scenes. On our Pinterest page, you will find a board named 'Christmas Arts and Crafts Inspiration 2021'. The board contains a multitude of arts and crafts activities which are ideal for the classroom! 

5)  PSHE

Christmas is a time for giving as well as receiving, and it’s a good opportunity to explore the concept of philanthropy. Students can tell their own stories of giving or pledge to give their time and skills to help someone over Christmas. Learn to Give is an American website with resources and ideas on teaching giving in the classroom. You could also introduce Festive Acts of Kindness Activities, discuss your Christmas Around the World projects including factors preventing some children and families from celebrating Christmas.

6) Science

There is much fun to be had with science at Christmas like making Christmas tree slime and crystal snowflakes. Here are some ideas for younger students and science projects for teens to keep them busy at school or at home over the holidays.

7)  Maths

Trying to work out how much food you need for a Christmas dinner for 12 and figuring out cooking times is challenging enough... wait, any chance you're thinking 'Christmas Dinner Maths Project'? Once the students have worked that one out, they can try The Twelve Days of Christmas maths puzzle. Make your Varied Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving problems festive by replacing the objects mentioned in the word problem with Christmas ones.

We hope you have lots of fun in the classroom with Christmas, and share your ideas and work with us!

Why not read our blog, Christmas Literature in the Classroom, next?

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