Wonderful Winter Holidays Around the World

Integrated Lesson Plans and Art Projects

Before I start our 12 Days until Christmas in the Classroom Countdown, I love to teach about Winter Holidays around the world. Every year this is always one of my class’ favorite lessons! My class really enjoys learning about new holidays and how they are celebrated around the world.

Christmas countdown in the classroom

Each year, I teach my class about five Winter Holidays with this fun and engaging unit. I love starting with Diwali because it is a holiday that most of my students haven’t heard of before. I start the lesson by asking my students what they know and what they want to know about Diwali.

Then I continue the lesson by projecting and reading aloud a text about Diwali. There are not many kid-friendly texts about Diwali so I wrote one that was appropriate for my students. 

After reading the text to them,  we dive into the information about Diwali. I wrote text dependent questions that go right along with the text. As students answer, they revisit the text and solidify new information about Diwali.  If you are unfamiliar with how text dependent questions help you dive deeper into a text, check out this blog post. Afterward, I model how to jot down notes from the text and then my students jot down their own notes.

To learn even more information about Diwali we watch this short video from National Geographic. My students love seeing what they just read about in real life. Their fascination with the festival of lights grows as we watch this clip. During the video, I allow them to jot down any new information they learned on their note sheets.

Christmas Read-aloudsThen we use the notes to write a facts and draw a picture about Diwali. I model how to use my notes to help write three facts. T Once they finish, I have them find a partner to share their writing with. I usually keep their writing from each day so they can be stapled together and sent home all at once. I tell the students they can go home and teach their families about each holiday using the writing they wrote. They get very excited about this.

We can’t learn about these holidays without creating an art piece to compliment the writing. For Diwali, students make a paper rangoli. They can make any design using the pre-cut (or ripped) squares. My students always wish they could make one out of colored rice, but I am just not that brave!

Diwali Craft and lesson plans

The topic of winter holidays really caught my students’ attention!

They were engaged all throughout the lesson and were highly motivated to write about it. The best part was- by following this lesson outline, the students submitted some really well-written paragraphs with new vocabulary words.

Christmas Read-Alouds

Don’t miss out on the chance for students to gain a deeper understanding of cultures and holiday traditions around the world! Here are images from the other four holidays I each about for this unit. They are all included in our Holidays Around the World Lesson Plans for grades 1-3.

My first graders loved the 1-3 pack so much we decided to make Winter Holidays Around the World Lesson Plans available for grades 4-6. Of course, we changed the lesson structure up a bit for our older kiddos. In this pack, students become familiar with five Winter Holidays by reading the student texts (which are included) for each holiday.

Students research one of the winter holidays in an “expert group,” take notes, answer text dependent questions, and create a group holiday poster to share their information with the class. Groups use a poster presentation rubric as a reference while they create their poster and plan their presentation.

During the expert group presentations, classmates take notes to become familiar with all five holidays. Classmates in the audience write at least one fact for every holiday presented. Afterward, students are excited to create five amazing art projects related to each holiday. Here are the other four holidays that are included in this resource pack.

Our 1st-3rd grade pack includes:

Full lesson plans
5 Texts, one for each holiday
Text Dependent Question Cards
Multiple Note-taking sheet options
Multiple Writing sheet options
Art Project lesson plans and examples for each holiday

Our 4-6 Winter Holidays Unit includes:

Full Lesson Plans
5 Student Texts, one for each holiday
Text Dependent Question Cards
Note-Catchers for each holiday
Poster Photo Picture Cards
Poster Presentation Rubric
Art Project lesson plans and examples for each holiday

 Students will become experts on Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas after studying each holiday.

Christmas Countdown in the Classroom

Through reading, note taking, oral presentations, art projects, and writing- students learn about Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas. 

Are you wondering how you’re ever going to find time during the crazy month of December to plan lessons about 5 different winter holidays? Don’t worry! We’ve done all the work for you! Click on the images below to purchase Winter Holidays Around the World for grades 1-3 or Winter Holidays Around the World for grades 4-6.