Where can I find holiday lesson plans for the classroom?

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Answered by: Nia, An Expert in the Holiday Lesson Planning Category
During the holidays, teachers like to find holiday lesson plans that they can use in the classroom. Ideas that are fun and will keep the children engaged, but also fit in with the curriculum and state standards. Depending what state you live in and what the state standards are, many times you can fit holiday lessons under Social Studies. Especially in the elementary school grades.

For students in middle and high school, you can discuss holidays around the world, which can also be categorized in Social Studies, Geography and World Cultures curriculums. Each district categorizes learning about people and geography under different titles, so chose the one that best applies.

Once you have established where the lesson is most appropriate, and which holiday you are finding a plan for, you can then chose the objectives and outcomes you want the students to leave the lesson with. Do you want the lesson to be on the history of the holiday, how it began, what foods are associated with it, or will the students be doing some type of presentation or project? You might even be the technology teacher who wants the students to come up with a Power Point Presentation on how they celebrate Christmas. (Or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc.) Think about the goal of the lesson, what information you are trying to get across to the students.

Next in your holiday lesson plans are materials. What materials do you need for this lesson? Craft supplies? Writing paper? Pencils? Make a list of all the materials you will need for your holiday lesson plan.

Next, you need to think about an anticipatory set. This is how you lead into the lesson; more than just saying, “Today, we are going to learn about Kwanzaa.” If that is the case, you can start by reading a story about Kwanzaa, or with older children you might have pictures or actual objects that are used to celebrate the holiday, and discuss them.

After that, you need to write the step by step procedure for how the plan will go. After you have read the book or given the students a chance to look at the objects, one of them will probably know what they are used for. You can ask students what they know about the holiday. That might be your first step; finding out what students already know.

Write out the next steps for your lesson.

Next you need a plan for independent practice. Perhaps you will be having the students practice grammar by writing a letter to Santa. This is where you would indicate that in the lesson. You also need an idea of how much time you will give for this portion. It could be the bulk of the lesson.

After that, you need to decide how you will assess understanding. Will it be by grading the work they hand in, or the presentation they present in front of the class? Holiday lesson plans can be fun, but still need to end with some assessment of understanding a concept.

You also want to make accommodations to the lesson for special needs students, and ways to extend the learning for gifted students. There are many websites that have pages and pages of lesson plan ideas for all holidays. Once you decide how the holiday fits into your school curriculum and standards, it will be much easier to plan accordingly.

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