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Monday, December 4, 2023

Christmas Around the World for Students

 10 Christmas Around the World Classroom Activity Ideas for Elementary or Middle School Students

Christmas Around the World for Students

Teaching students about Christmas around the world is a valuable and enriching educational experience that fosters cultural awareness and global understanding. By exploring diverse traditions, customs, and celebrations associated with Christmas in different countries, students gain a broader perspective on the world's rich cultural tapestry. This global approach to Christmas education encourages tolerance, empathy, and respect for cultural differences. Moreover, it enhances students' critical thinking skills as they compare and contrast various customs, deepening their understanding of the interconnectedness of our global community. Integrating Christmas around the world into the curriculum not only aligns with the principles of a well-rounded education but also prepares students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected and multicultural world.

Here is a list of 10 activity ideas to get you and your students started:

1.  Christmas Card Exchange:

Each student picks a country and creates a Christmas card that reflects that country's traditions.

Cards can be exchanged within the class, allowing students to learn about different customs and holiday greetings.

2.  Festive Flags:

Assign each student a country and have them create flags that represent the Christmas traditions of that country.

Hang the flags around the classroom for a colorful and educational display.

3.  Ornament Mapping:

Provide students with blank world maps and a variety of materials to create ornaments.

Each student decorates an ornament with symbols representing Christmas traditions from a specific country and then maps it to that location.

4.  Holiday Recipe Swap:

Ask students to find a traditional Christmas recipe from a specific country.

They can share the recipe with the class and, if possible, bring in a small sample for a festive tasting day.

5.  Around the World Storytime:

Collect holiday books or online resources that showcase Christmas traditions from various countries.

Students can take turns reading or listening to stories and then discuss the unique customs they learned about.

6.  Virtual Field Trip:

Explore online resources that offer virtual tours of Christmas celebrations around the world.

Discuss and compare the different customs and decorations, fostering global awareness.

7.  Christmas Carol Karaoke:

Create a playlist of Christmas carols from different cultures and let students have a karaoke session.

Encourage them to research the origins of each song to understand the cultural context.

8.  Cultural Craft Stations:

Set up different craft stations representing various countries' Christmas traditions.

Students rotate through stations, creating crafts such as ornaments, decorations, or traditional attire.

9.  Customs Collage:

Provide magazines, scissors, and glue for a Christmas customs collage.

Each student creates a visual representation of various customs by cutting out and arranging images from different cultures.

10.  Holiday Traditions Research Project:

Assign each student a country and have them research the Christmas traditions specific to that region.

Students can present their findings to the class through a short presentation or a creative display.

Here's a list of 20 questions to guide students in exploring and discovering more about Christmas celebrations around the world:

1. What is the official date of Christmas in different countries, and why do some countries celebrate on different dates?

Sample Answer: Christmas is generally celebrated on December 25th in most countries, as it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Some Orthodox Christian countries, however, celebrate Christmas on January 7th due to differences in the calendar systems.

2. How do people in [specific country] greet each other during the Christmas season? Are there unique phrases or customs?

Sample Answer: In France, people commonly greet each other with "Joyeux Noël," meaning Merry Christmas. It is also customary to exchange kisses on the cheek as a festive gesture.

3. What are the traditional Christmas foods in [country], and why are they significant? Can you find a recipe to share with the class?

Sample Answer: In Italy, a traditional Christmas dish is "Panettone," a sweet bread filled with candied fruits and raisins. It symbolizes prosperity and is often shared among family and friends. Here's a simple recipe for Panettone...

4. Explore the religious aspects: How is the religious significance of Christmas celebrated in different countries?

Sample Answer: In Mexico, Christmas has strong religious undertones. The celebration often includes the "Posadas," a reenactment of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter, with participants going from house to house.

5. What types of decorations are commonly used in [country], and do they hold any special meaning?

Sample Answer: In Sweden, it's common to use "Julbock" or Christmas goats as decorations. They symbolize the Christmas spirit and are often made from straw.

6. How do families in [country] exchange gifts, and what kinds of gifts are typical?

Sample Answer: In Japan, it's customary to exchange gifts on New Year's Day rather than Christmas. Popular gifts include "Oseibo," which are special items to show gratitude.

7. Investigate the role of music in Christmas celebrations: What are some traditional Christmas songs or carols from different countries?

Sample Answer: Germany has many beloved Christmas carols, with "Stille Nacht" (Silent Night) originating there. The song is sung worldwide and is an integral part of German Christmas celebrations.

8. Are there any unique Christmas traditions or customs specific to children in [country]?

Sample Answer: In Spain, children look forward to "El Día de los Santos Inocentes" on December 28th, similar to April Fools' Day. It's a day of playful pranks and jokes.

9. Explore the significance of lights and candles in Christmas celebrations in various cultures.

Sample Answer: In the Philippines, "Parol," or star-shaped lanterns, are a popular Christmas decoration symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem. They are often lit to brighten the festive season.

10. How do different cultures incorporate storytelling or folklore into their Christmas celebrations?

Sample Answer: In Iceland, Christmas is associated with folklore characters like the "Yule Lads." These mischievous creatures visit children in the 13 days leading up to Christmas, leaving small gifts or potatoes in shoes.

These sample answers provide a glimpse into the diverse ways Christmas is celebrated around the world, showcasing unique traditions, customs, and practices.


You may also be interested in these printable Christmas Around the World no prep packet for your classroom. Activities include coloring pages, vocabulary word bank and vocabulary activities, word searches, crossword puzzles, sentence writing, alphabetizing, story writing, research project, and answer keys.

Christmas Around the World Printable Activities for Kids

Please feel free to message me with any requests or comments.

Thank you so much!

❤️ Shelly Anton

Promoting Success for You and Your Students!

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Christmas Around the World Research Project Ideas