Take time for magical memories that have fallen off of our curriculum radar. Remember, our job is to educate the whole child. The activities listed below are cross curricular, and will create memories which will last a lifetime.
Pick a day when you know there will be snow, and schools will be open. Let parents know in advance so students will dress properly to be outdoors and playing in the snow. Then take your class outside for a nature walk, let them make snow angels, or build a snow man. Bring them inside and read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. (This is my affiliate link, if you use it to make a purchase I will receive a small payment at no additional cost to you).
While you’re outside with your class, warm up water for Swiss Miss hot cocoa in your crock pot. When you come back inside, let your students warm up with cups of hot chocolate. It is a tradition I do once a year with my students, and they love it. Exploring nature is hands on science for young children. These are the memories students hold on to.
If you live in a region where you won’t have snow outside, try doing a craft activity where students draw images of what a snowy day would look like to them. Buy a can of artificial snow, or use cotton balls and glue so that students can add “snow” to their pictures.
2. Write about your snowy day.
After reading the story and spending time outside, have students write about their own snowy day. The memories will be fresh in their minds, and they can scaffold their writing off of the shared reading of the book.
3. Make snowy day scenes
Have students recreate what they saw outside by creating their own snowy day scenes. They can use white glue on black construction paper. Before the glue is dry have them sprinkle a little glitter on top. These make the prettiest snowy day scenes.
4. Enjoy Poetry
‘Tis the season for gratitude. Have your class write thank you notes to your office staff, the lunchroom staff, your custodian, the school engineer (who keeps the building nice and warm), the school principal, the assistant principal, room parents and classroom volunteers, crossing guards, the list goes on and on. Assign 2 or 3 students to create a lovely thank you note, and card for each person. Students can work together and peer edit to make sure their note is truly special. Then they can design their own decorations. It’s a meaningful activity. One that students, as well as those being thanked, will remember.
If you find that your students are a bit too excited, try reading tips here on keeping your students calm this holiday season.
For more fun December ideas, check out the blogs below: