Impress your principal, parents, and even yourself as students engage in both fun and learning right up until the last bell rings before Winter Break with the 5 Day Classroom Countdown!
All teachers know the last week before the winter break is difficult to fill. Students are distracted with their anticipation for winter break, so teachers want activities to be engaging yet educational. This year, you can have a balance of both fun and learning! With these non-holiday, Classroom Countdown to Winter Break Lesson Plans for Grades 1-3 or Grades 4-6, students will be racing to school, excited for what each new day has to offer.
Here is a look at Gingerbread Man Day for Grades 1-3!
As a class, you will read aloud a Gingerbread Man story and students will complete a story map. Then, you will read a second gingerbread version and students will compare/contrast the two texts. Next, students can explore several writing options. They can respond to a choice of prompts, “Would you try to catch the Gingerbread man or let him run away?” Or, “How would you catch the Gingerbread Man?” As another choice, students can create their own version of a Gingerbread Man story. Also included is a fun scavenger hunt around the school if students want to try and catch the Gingerbread Man. (We are guessing all students will want to try and catch that crazy cookie!) After the scavenger hunt, you will return to class for math to play a “Guess My Number” place value game. Additional activities include “Roll-a-Gingerbread Man,” drawing the other half of gingerbread man to review symmetry, and decorating (and eating!) gingerbread cookies.
Here is a look at Snow Day for Grades 4-6!
This brrrrrrilliant day begins as students read the Snowflake Facts text, highlight key words, and jot notes on their snow note catcher. Once they have some background knowledge about snow, you will read another snow-themed text to the class. Students will compile information from both sources to write their own short snow report. Next, choose from a variety of differentiated math activities that will help students hone their snowman fraction skills. Students will have “snow” much fun cutting out their own unique snowflake designs and completing a snowman glyph. The day continues as student listen to a literature or informational story about snow from the suggested book list, then complete a reading response organizer. Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without a paper snowball fight in the classroom!
Here is a look at Kindness Day for Grades 4-6!
This day begins as you read aloud a story about kindness. Students respond in writing by completing a story’s moral graphic organizer. Next, the class brainstorms a variety of ways they can show kindness while creating a kindness web or A-Z chart then make a goal to try and complete a certain number of kind deeds during the winter break. During math, the students will play an Acts of Kindness subtraction game after they complete a subtraction review page . With the “sweet acts of kindness” coloring sheet, students are challenged to complete as many acts of kindness as they can by the end of the day and hand out pass-along cards encouraging others to be kind as well. When Kindness Day nears its end, the students can create a helping hands wreath or picture frame to hang around the room. Over the next few days, they can continue their kindness streak by filling in the candy cards sprinkled on their helping hands wreath for each additional act of kindness they complete.
Here is a look at Penguin Day for Grades 1-3!
The day will start as you read aloud the provided informational text about penguins while taking notes as a class on one of several graphic organizers. Then, students will use the notes to write a tab book or informational card about penguins. For math, students will complete a differentiated math review sheet then practice more skills as they play one of two penguin math games. Students are introduced to the character Tacky the Penguin as you read a literature story to the class. After reading, students will compare and contrast how the fictional character is alike and different from a real penguin. During the day, students will also have a chance to play penguin bingo and complete a vibrant directed drawing of a penguin.
Here is a look at Reindeer Day for Grades 4-6!
To start this day, students will draw a reindeer. Then, the students will read the included informational text about reindeer. Students will take notes and use the information to write their own informational text about reindeer using one or more of the writing page options. The day continues as students revisit their initial reindeer drawing, making a second illustration and writing about what changes they made in comparison to their first drawing. Students will also put reindeer vocabulary words in ABC order. Afterward, students will practice their math skills while playing one of the “Reindeer 4 in a Row ” games or solving reindeer story problems. The class finishes up the day creating a Reindeer Thumbprint postcard, or reindeer cup craftivity that can be filled with “reindeer treats” like carrots.
These are the 5 secular, non-holiday themes you will find in our 5 Day Classroom Countdown to Winter Break!
- a reading activity
- a writing activity
- a differentiated math activity
- and a variety of other fun and educational suggestions to match the daily theme
To prepare for the each of the 5 Day Countdown lessons, you will need some type of container to store each day’s materials. We purchased nesting boxes, then taped the daily labels onto the side. You could also use manila envelopes, file folders, or even shirt gift boxes.
We’ve included a suggested list of read-aloud books for each day, however- the books are not included. Check your local or school library, or most books can be purchased online or in Scholastic’s book club orders. Of course, you can always choose your own book titles that go along with the daily theme.
Give yourself a well-deserved teacher break before the Winter Break with 5 days of lessons, already planned for you!