Christmas Around The World…the SIMPLE Way!

 I don’t know about you, but the weeks before Christmas are cRaZy in the
classroom!  I always enjoy doing something meaningful and fun with my
kiddos to celebrate the holidays, but I also have real life things to do like
assessments and report cards! 🙂 #reallife

That’s why I absolutely LOVE
this simple Christmas Around the World project.  It can be as simple as learning about a few countries as time in your
schedule allows.  Or it can be as elaborate as rotating with teammates
for a few days to travel around the world.  This year, I modified my
typical classroom Christmas Around the World routines to work with our
homeschooling situation.

Read about our simple routines for Christmas Around the World and our fun
country ornament Christmas tree project!

Introduce the Country

The first thing we do is talk about the country and find it on our map. 
We started with the United States because I think it’s important to review our
own traditions before we start comparing them to countries around the world!

We color in the country we will learn about and add it and its color code to
our
map
legend!

Learn About the Country’s Traditions

Next, we watch a YouTube video telling about the country’s Christmas
traditions.  Why a video and not a book?  I LOVE a good book, but
most of the videos I have found have someone from the country telling about
the traditions.  I like that we can hear the accent and see an actual
person from that country! (You can find the list of all of the videos for
FREE in the preview here.)

After we watch the video, we write about the information we learned on the
country’s Christmas ornament.  Each ornament has a flag that tells kids
how to color it, a place to write how to say, “Merry Christmas,” a list of
Christmas foods, the name of the Christmas “gift giver,” and the Christmas
traditions for the country.

Country Ornament Christmas Tree

In the classroom, I would choose one ornament to hang on our classroom
Christmas Traditions Tree.  But since we are doing the homeschool gig this year, my 2nd grader gets
to put all of his ornaments on our tree!

**NOTE: The sad thing about homeschooling is there’s not a good way to get
butcher paper.  So I got some green wrapping paper to use.  It’s
not as wide as butcher paper, so the ornaments are a little crowded. 
(And I didn’t have room for a bigger version anyway!)  If you are lucky
enough to have access to butcher paper, you will be able to make a bigger
tree to fit all 9 ornaments on! :)

Read a Story

After we finish the ornaments, we read a fiction story from the country we
learned about.  We talk about the elements of the stories since many of
them are folktales.  But we also listen for and discuss connections to
the traditions from that country that we already learned about.
For the United States, we read Christmas in the Big Woods.  I
loved having the chance to talk about how traditions can also change over
time, even in the same country with this story!  
After we read the story, we wrote about the characters, setting, traditions we
heard about and the lesson learned about Christmas from the story using this
gift graphic organizer!
You can find all of these activities (plus digital versions coming SOON) in
this resource!

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