How to Celebrate and Learn About December Holidays in Every Classroom

4 min read

| By Gale Staff |

As this holiday season rolls into a full, tinsel-covered swing, teachers and librarians are tasked with creating lesson plans that reflect the festivities. With winter break around the corner, students of every age struggle to remain engaged, so why not leverage the holiday cheer and integrate end-of-year traditions into your classroom?

This December, let your classes explore the extensive digital content housed in Gale In Context‘s supplemental curriculum resources. With resources covering Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and more, Gale In Context provides a framework for age-appropriate and culturally responsive learning.

Get Creative with K-5 Classes

Elementary teachers and librarians know it’s never too early to practice literacy skills and inquiry-based learning. The December holidays are an easy way to integrate these important academic skills into relatable, classroom experiences. With Gale In Context: Elementary, you can connect your students to relevant articles, videos, eBooks, and so much more.

Plus, Elementary is curated for young learners, so you never have to worry about your students stumbling across inappropriate or challenging content.

Classroom Activity Ideas:

Foreign Language: Encourage students in beginner’s foreign language classes to explore how Christmas and other December holidays are celebrated in the countries they study. If you teach Spanish, take the opportunity to put “Feliz Navidad” on repeat!

Science: Have your students read about the environmental impact of Christmas trees. Take a poll to see who has a Christmas tree at home and whether it’s real or artificial, then discuss how each affects the environment.

Art: Explore holiday craft ideas for an artistic assignment and have your students make their own homemade gifts.

Introduce Middle School Students to Different Cultures

Make Gale In Context: Middle School your go-to learning resource for pre-teens. Children learn at different paces, and Middle School is accessible and flexible to meet students where they are. Pages even include a Lexile measure so you can ensure learners have access to content that meets their reading level.

Encourage your students to explore new topics starting with comprehensive overviews that include simple facts like the Hanukkah page. Content is divided into clear, reader-friendly paragraphs featuring embedded hyperlinks for students to dive into related topics. “Words to Know” sections are included to introduce students to new vocabulary and critical thinking questions help encourage deeper thought about the content.

Classroom Activity Idea: Encourage your students to explore a holiday they’re unfamiliar with using Gale In Context: Middle School. Have them make notes about the history and compare traditions to their own holiday celebrations.

Share Real-World Skills with High School Students

High school students have the autonomy to pursue their own topics of interest, but teachers must ensure their classroom experiences prepare them with 21st-century skills for college, career, and life.

Gale In Context: High School connects students to academic essays, primary sources, audio files, videos, and news pieces that cover a variety of topics, including holidays. Resources also include citations that can be customized to any format to help students develop research skills.

With all the distractions in the weeks leading up to December break, gift high school students the freedom to explore holiday traditions. From the history of New Year’s Eve in Time Square to Kwanzaa’s ties with the American civil rights movement, Gale In Context: High School provides avenues for your high schoolers to pursue their curiosity. High School even features classic December holiday recipes students can try at home (pizza latkes, anyone?).

Classroom Activity Idea: Ask your high school students to analyze the evolution of a holiday tradition over history. For example, how did holly evolve into a Christmas staple?

Keeping students engaged is challenging in the weeks leading up to a holiday break. Indulge in the excitement and connect your students to relevant content in Gale In Context resources.

Not a Gale In Context subscriber? Visit our website to learn more or contact your rep today!

Leave a Comment