How to Celebrate Different Traditions of Christmas Around the World

50 ideas for Different traditions of Christmas Around the World

I love this time of the year when we work on the different traditions of Christmas around the world.  I also wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit about our Daily Concept Builders™ resources.  These resources are a great way for your students to learn important, relevant, seasonally appropriate vocabulary for each month.  December is a perfect month to give this great program a try as it is solely focused on Christmas around the world traditions.

Before we get to it, we have a gift for you! Sign up for a FREE Math game that comes with 5 days of activities!

Use this calendar of holidays around the world to celebrate Hanukkah

christmas around the world traditions calendar
Students cut and paste the different traditions of Christmas around the world on their calendars.

Click here to Purchase 

These calendars provide a word of the day, interactive student calendars, and a daily math pattern, so they are an essential part of any morning meeting.  Days 3-9 on the calendar are all about Hanukkah. The great thing about these calendars is they are editable so you can move the words around for when the dates of Hanukkah, as well as the other holidays, change.

Read comments made about our calendar HERE.

Hanukkah books

I read our Daily Concept Builders book about Hanukkah. The kids love the real images and highlighting the target vocabulary is such a great benefit for their learning. 

This is one of the books in our ELA Book Bundle that also includes St. Lucia, Christmas, Las Posadas, and Kwanzaa.  Enjoy all these great opportunities for your learners:

  • Color and black and white copies for students to highlight the holiday words. 
  • Real images of the calendar words in the books 
  • Comprehension questions in the back of the books.  

We’ve updated the books to make them more interactive for your students.  There is also a single sheet with the words from the book/song that can be used in a poetry folder.

CLICK HERE to purchase

Digital Hanukkah Book

Prefer something digital for your students to use? We made an exact copy of these popular books with Boom cards. They are great for emergent readers or ESL students because audio and real photos are included.  They are also great for distance learning to use in centers or for homework!

Check it out in our Boom Store!

 

Hanukkah Craft

This simple and easy craft is always a hit with my students. Very few materials are required and they turn out so cute! BONUS, add a writing prompt and you have a nice bulletin board display.

Directions:

 1) I draw a menorah on the board for the students to copy onto green construction paper.

2) Then they glue 1 popsicle stick in the middle and 4 sticks on both sides for the candles.

3) Next, I put glue on each stick and they sprinkle glitter on them for flames. They love this part!

a menorah craft
This is the first step making the menorah.

 

 

making the menorah Hanukkah craft
They glue 9 sticks for the menorah.
creating a menorah craft for Hanukkah
Students are sprinkling the glitter for the candles on the menorah.
Hanukkah craft to celebrate Christmas around the world traditions
This is the finished menorah.

See some other fun ideas for Hanukkah below: 

Don’t forget St. Lucia Day for Christmas Around the World Traditions!

A fun and engaging way to learn about vocabulary for Christmas around the world traditions, like  St.Lucia Day, is playing memory. Here is the vocabulary we use:

  • St. Lucia
  • symbol
  • wreath
  • cookies
  • stars
  • holiday
  • tradition

You can use just the words or add photos. Create your own using index cards or you can use our Daily Concept Builders Memory Game

Students have 3 different ways to use these cards in a center.  They love the real images of the words, and the cards have been great for my ELL students as well as my emergent readers.

Christmas around the world game
Challenge students with this fun memory game.

St.Lucia Craft

When is St. Lucia Day?  St. Lucia’s Day is on December 13 and celebrates Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Sweden.  The girls all dress in white and wear wreaths with candles in them.  They serve cookies and other treats to their families.  One traditional treat for St. Lucia Day is saffron bread or st.lucia day buns.  Boys wear white hats with stars that are appropriately named “starboy hats.”  This holiday is meant to bring light in the darkest time of the year.
Below are a few pictures of the St. Lucia Day wreaths and starboy attire that I did in my classroom:
making St. Lucia wreaths
The girls made St. Lucia wreaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

boys making starboy hats for St.Lucia Day.
The boys made starboy hats for St. Lucia Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

boys and girls on St. Lucia Day
Students were proud to wear their St. Lucia Day hats and crowns.

Here are some more ideas for St. Lucia’s Day:

This is the book that I read to my students when I teach about St.Lucia Day. There is a teacher guide included that provides a variety of ideas on how to use the empty boxes for phonics or definitions of the words.

St. Lucia emergent reader
My kids love the real photos of St. Lucia Day and singing the song.
This is the Boom Reader Version. See more HERE!

You can sign up for a FREE Boom Reader with real photos and audio included. It will help your students with the elements of reading like letters, words, vowels, blends and digraphs.

Amazing word game for different traditions of Christmas around the world

My students love playing this word game about different traditions of Christmas around the world. They actually ask to play it again and again. I also have taped the cards around the room and let the students write their answers on the recording sheet that is included. The cards can be used for discussion about the holidays. Some teachers like to use these cards for Scoot as well.

christmas around the world traditions word game
Check your students’ understanding of different traditions of Christmas around the world.

 Here’s how to play:

  • Explain the name Brain Bounce by telling students that we will be taking turns bouncing questions from one team to another.
  • Divide the class into two teams. Let them pick out team names.
  • Have each team form a line.
  • Begin the game by displaying the Boom card on a SMARTboard or other projecting device.
  • If you are using the Scoot task cards, place the first card in front of the first student on a desk.
  • The student in the front of line 1 tries to give the correct answer, and if they answer correctly their team receives a point.
  • It’s easiest to write the two teams down on a white board and use tally marks.
  • If the answer is incorrect, the other team can earn an extra point by trying to answer the question.
  • Game continues until all the cards are read.

Boost your Christmas around the world traditions with Las Posadas

Las Posadas is a holiday that started in Mexico.  It is now celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala, and a few other South American countries.  The celebration is a time to remember the birth of Jesus and the journey Joseph and Mary took to find a place to give birth.  In Spanish, “Las Posadas,” means “the inns,” which didn’t have room for Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus.  This holiday is celebrated from December 16-24 with parades, piñatas, and other festivities.  Each night a child dresses as an angel and leads the parade through town.  They stop at each house and are refused lodging until they reach the end of the procession.  The poinsettia is a flower used for decoration during Las Posadas.

 Here are some ideas for Las Posadas:

I use this book when my students are learning about Las Posadas.  They make stronger connections because of the real images.
 christmas around the world in mexico
Students love the real photos showing how Christmas is celebrated around the world.

Best different traditions for Christmas around the world to engage students

Christmas is a holiday celebrated around the world in many different ways.  It began as a way to remember the birth of baby Jesus and grew into many different traditions.  

Many families have a Christmas tree that they decorate with ornaments.  Kids hang stockings for Santa to fill and he leaves presents under the tree.  Families also give presents this time of year.  Lots of people like to eat candy canes and bake cookies for Santa.

My students learn about the different holidays like Christmas by completing these cut and paste sheets. I use them for a guided reading center. Students are exposed to a sight word and a calendar word every day, as well as work on phonics, and they are challenged with a critical thinking question on each sheet. I love seeing how the students answer their bonus questions.

christmas around the world traditions worksheets
Encourage critical thinking with these worksheets about the different traditions of Christmas around the world.
christmas around the world first grade writing worksheets
Students practice word order and their writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

christmas around the world fist grade writing worksheets
Students enjoy illustrating their sentences.
christmas around the world first grade writing worksheets
I like reading about the different traditions.

Christmas Crafts

Here are some pictures of activities I do in my classroom:

christmas gift bags
Students decorate their own white gift bags.
christmas around the world ornaments
Students used their fingerprints to make snow on these snow globe ornaments.

Here’s a summary of our Sugar Cone Christmas Trees:

We had so much fun decorating sugar cones to look like Christmas trees.  You just color white can frosting with green food coloring or now you can just grab green frosting and frost a sugar cone.   The students also created a snow village on the plate.  They  used powdered sugar for snow.
I used this as a center during my holiday party and invited parents to help.
christmas tree snow villages
Parents sent in different kinds of candy for our snow villages.
snow villages
We used powdered sugar for snow in our snow villages.

These are just a couple examples of the finished products.  This is so much easier than the gingerbread houses! You can use teddy grahams or gummy bears as villagers.  You can also make candy sleds to go on the plate and marshmallow snowmen! Pam lays the tree down on the plate and slides the whole display in a freezer gallon size bag with the student’s name already written on the bag. This is a great way to take it home.

Check out How We Use Treats for Student Success.

Here are some other Christmas ideas:

I like to use this as a sorting activity, and then they can put the pieces on the tree during center time. Students can also count the ornaments. This is a great way I can use the word ornaments since it is one of the vocabulary words for our Christmas theme. I actually got my granddaughter one for their walls because she kept wanting to take the ornaments off their real tree. She loves it!

felt christmas tree
The kids love putting the Christmas pieces on this felt tree.

Your students will love this book about Christmas!

christmas around the world traditions reader
Students will practice word features as well as vocabulary.

Our last Daily Concept Builder product is this active learning sight word center pack. It includes poems about Christmas around the world traditions as well as our sight word center.  My students love to build the sight word of the day onto their cards and then I encourage them to use their letters to build their own words. I also use this as a center during my guided reading time.

christmas sight words
Students love putting the presents under the tree as they spell sight words.

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African-Americans around the world.  Families celebrate from December 26-January 1 and they focus on seven principles: umoja(unity), kuji-chagulia(self-determination or working hard), ujima(working together and being responsible), nia(purpose), kuumba(creativity), imani(faith).  Families have a kinara with 3 green candles, 3 red candles, and 1 black candle.  All gifts are handmade to symbolize the labor of the parents.

Here are some Kwanzaa ideas:

Your students will enjoy reading and singing about Kwanzaa!

So, as you can see, by the time your students have completed all of these resources in the month, they have been very involved with the monthly vocabulary and sight words.  I have seen great progress with my student’s writing skills as well as their vocabulary development! Thanks to Daily Concept Builders, my students are having fun and are very engaged with vocabulary! 

Click Here to get the entire December Reading Comprehension Bundle which includes all the above and much more!

As a bonus, we also have a Christmas Around the World Traditions poem freebie for you. All the vocabulary from December is in the poem. I like to have my students highlight the words as we study each holiday. We keep the poem in our poetry notebooks. They love to go back to this poem and reread it.  Hope your students enjoy it!

Click Here to Get Your Free Poem

free holiday around the world poem

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