December 8, 2016

Winter Holiday Learning Fun!

Seasonal activities are perfect for the weeks leading up to the winter holidays. Those days can be kinda crazy, but kids are more likely to stay on task when they are engaged in activities that are fun yet don't skimp on academic content. Here are a few of my favorite activities for this time of year. I hope they add a little fun to your December lesson plans!

Sugar Cone Christmas Trees 
One of my favorite holiday activities was to have my students follow a recipe to make Sugar Cone Christmas Trees. Reading and following a recipe might seem like an activity that's only appropriate for younger children, and it's not normally something you'd find in the 5th grade curriculum.

So, I decided to kick it up a notch by creating a set of comprehension questions to go with the recipe. I formatted the questions to make them similar to the ones on state tests, so the activity serves as a test prep lesson as well. After my students created their sugar cone Christmas Trees, I allowed them to eat their treats while answering the questions. Of course, many students did not want to eat their creations right away so I always provided gallon zip top bags for them to take home their treats.

You can find the Sugar Cone Christmas Tree recipe and comprehension questions in my December Activities Mini Pack along with a materials-request letter to send home to parents.

December Activity Mini Pack
This Sugar Cone Christmas Tree activity is just one of the many activities in my December Activities pack for upper elementary students. It's available from from my TpT store, and as always, you can preview the entire packet online to see if it meets your needs. You'll find loads of activities to use this month along with directions and answer keys. Here's a complete list:
  • Holiday Mug Exchange Directions
  • Holidays Around the World Research Project
  • Christmas Daily Math Puzzlers
  • Dreidel Game Rules and Pattern
  • Dreidel Math Explorations
  • Christmas Word Challenge
  • Silly Winter Stories Cooperative Learning Activity and Writing Prompts
  • Sugar Cone Christmas Tree Recipe and Reading Comprehension Questions
  • Happy Holidays Homework Pass
  • Happy Holidays Book Coupon

Holiday-themed Freebies
I love to share freebies with my followers, so this blog post would not be complete without me sharing a holiday freebie or two. The Christmas Math Puzzler pages shown here are samples from my December Activities Mini Pack that you can download for free from the Seasonal page on Teaching Resources during December. These are two pages of math word problems on different levels, and they can be used for cooperative learning activities or independent assignments.

Also on the Seasonal page, you can  find several other freebies for December, including my Christmas Paper Chain Connections literacy activity, holiday gratitude cards, and more!

I hope these activities will help you enjoy those hectic days before your winter break. Happy holidays to you!





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