December can be a tricky month in school. You need to keep students on task and and embrace the cultural diversity in your classroom. Do you celebrate Christmas? Hanukah? Kwanzaa? All of them? Not to mention that the month is short, students are hyped about upcoming Winter Break. Here are a few other holidays in December and how you can celebrate them with Wixie.
Well-loved books have made their mark in the classroom, and one of the most popular winter books for children is The Mitten, by Jan Brett, and December 6th is the day teachers began celebrate this beautiful story.
To join in the celebration, have your students tell the adventure story of a mitten that takes place where they live. Students could also decorate a new mitten for Nikki so he doesn’t lose it in the snow. You can find these two Mitten templates in the Wixie Activities (Month-by-Month>December).
Have students collect mittens to donate to a homeless or children’s shelter to add a service learning component to your The Mitten celebrations.
Letter Writing Day is celebrated in Monday, December 7th. Instead of using the text tool have students use the Paintbrush tool (a stylus and touchscreen will help) to create digital letters that are handwritten. This is a great opportunity for younger students to practice handwriting without erasing holes into their paper.
Consider sending the letters (printed or digital) to veterans, parent volunteers, school staff, or shut-ins in your community.
December 9th provides another opportunity to reach out to someone with Christmas Card Day. If students in your classroom don't celebrate Christmas, have them send greeting or thank you cards. Have students send a card to a local hero, like a Red Cross worker or for a local service organization in your community, such as the police and fire departments, paramedics, and other local charities.
Bill of Rights Day is December 15, commemorating the day in 1791 that the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to the US Constitution. Several years ago, my son used Share to create a Bill of Rights project called Our Nation’s First Christmas Present.
You can find a Bill of Rights activity in the Wixie Activities library. Use this template to have students share how the amendments impact their daily lives. You could also assign an amendment to each student and have them illustrate it and then bring in each student’s project into one big class project.
No matter what or how you celebrate, December provides plenty of holidays to help you engage students in meaningful reading, writing, and communication practice.