All About Christmas - FREE ACTIVITIES - Mexico Italy and Germany
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December is here!
What a fun month it is to teach our kiddos… and a little exhausting.
I try to use my students’ excitement and buzz to tap into content areas and teach them the standards.
Instead of fighting the Christmas spirit that is going around, I use their energy to keep them engaged with our lessons this month.
So we are going to learn All About Christmas in Mexico, Italy and Germany. Try a FREE activity on this post.
We go to school for three weeks in December. So each week we learn about a different country’s Christmas traditions.
We are learning about Germany, Italy and Mexico and the kids get SO excited. These are the three books I use for the month to teach my enrichment units.
CHRISTMAS IN MEXICO
On Monday, I kick off each country we are studying with a slideshow. The beautiful photographs and simple sentences get the kids so engaged and excited. They love to share their connections, questions and inferences,
Then after we build our background knowledge with the slideshow, I read them our story for the week.
Spanish words are used throughout the story, and your students who speak Spanish love to share and help the class clarify what the words mean.
This adorable mini book that coordinates perfectly with the slideshow, so after we look at and discuss the slideshow and read the story, the children each get their own mini book.
Each page matches a slide from the slideshow, and students love to reread the sentences, color the pictures and buddy read with a partner. Then they can take them home to share with their families.
On Wednesday, we get to dive into a bunch of fun Christmas in Mexico activities.
This video is beautifully made and it is so neat for students to get to see how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico. We get see how families celebrate Las Posadas.
By the end of the week, my students have learned about las posadas, pinatas, Rosca de Reyes and other Mexican Christmas traditions.
It is such a fun week, and students always ask to read the story Twas’ Nochebuena again.
CHRISTMAS IN GERMANY
Next up is Christmas in Germany! We are so excited to learn about Saint Nicholas.
Just like last week when we studied Christmas in Mexico, I start with the slideshow to build background knowledge for my kiddos and teach them some of the vocabulary. Plus, this really builds their excitement for what we will be learning about this week.
Oma and Me is a cute book about a German boy and his Oma getting ready for Christmas in Germany.
They are celebrating their German Christmas traditions such as using Advent Wreaths, or Advent Kranz.
The little boy loves to ask his Oma all sorts of questions.
The mini books come in BW and matches the slideshow. Students have already practiced the sentences and vocabulary. This makes an excellent tool to build fluency and comprehension. We color them, buddy read and then they take their books home.
By Wednesday, students have heard the German vocabulary words for a couple days and now we practice writing them!
The kids always are excited to learn about Der Nikolous, or Saint Nicholas, because they know he leaves special treats in children’s shoes!
To get ready for Saint Nicholas, the kids can cut out and decorate their boots and then glue them to their “We are Ready for Saint Nicholas” paper. Be sure to have them only glue the middle/bottom of the area for boots so there is a little pocket at the top that you can leave gold coins or a candy cane in.
Saint Nicholas brings so much excitement to our classroom! It is so fun to even have the kids line up their shoes in the hallway. Then bring the kids back into the classroom and read them a story about Saint Nicholas (during which time have a teaching buddy or the secretary leave treats in their shoes).
Afterward, they can go check to see if Saint Nicholas visited. They are beyond delighted to find chocolate gold coins left in their shoes… it is so magical! This is something they will talk about and remember for the entire school year. I still remember my kindergarten teacher doing this with me.
This quick video gives a great overview of Saint Nicholas and who he was (you could also show this movie while someone is leaving treats in their shoes!)
I love that is has comprehension questions at the end to discuss, including “How can we be generous like Saint Nicholas?” This leads us right into the writing prompt for the week.
We write adjectives to describe Saint Nicholas and students can decorate his miter and glue it to the top of their Saint Nicholas writing prompt. These look so cute displayed in the hallway.
Then students can do their writing prompt about why it is important to be generous. This is such a wonderful lesson to teach!
Christmas in Germany is such a fun week in the classroom.
CHRISTMAS IN ITALY
Now we are ready to learn about Christmas in Italy! This is the last week we are in school for December. The Christmas spirit is all a buzz and it is so fun. The kids absolutely love learning all about La Befana!
We start the week by looking at the Italian Christmas slideshow. The kids love seeing the pictures of what Italy looks like and what a Nativity crib is. La Befana also gets them super excited… an Italian witch who brings gifts?!
Our story for the week is The Legend of Old Befana. The kids are absolutely fascinated by her, so this is a super fun book to read aloud. The illustrations in this story are beautiful, and you will have a captive audience. The kids will recognize The Three Kings from our week of studying Mexico, so this story really helps the kids compare and contrast Christmas across different cultures.
We do so many enrichment activities with La Befana this week!
The kids know our routine now for the mini books, so we color them, practice our fluency and vocabulary then buddy read.
You can show the slideshow again throughout the week for review and vocabulary practice.
Our vocabulary words for this week include Italy, panettone, La Befana, Babbo Natale and nativity.
This is a quick little sing a long video about La Befana. Before you show it, you may want to build a little background with your students by discussing what Italians like to eat (meatballs and spaghetti) as this video is about meatballs! It doesn’t give a lot of real information, but it is cute and silly.
Ready to try a few activities for FREE?!
Try FREEBIES from our week in Germany CLICK HERE
This All About Christmas Unit is such a fun way to structure and enrich your read aloud books for the month of December. Students love to learn about the different cultures and traditions, and they make so many connections to our own traditions and well as between the countries we learn about.
All the planning and prep work has been done for you!
READ THE REVIEWS
“This is a great resources. The slideshows and activities are wonderful! Such a neat way for kids to learn about the different world celebrations of Christmas.”
“This is a great resource for opening up the world for your kids to learn about other cultures and traditions. I'm all for making the world smaller and teaching kids globally.”
“Terrific product! Can't wait to use it!”
We use enrichment units every month!
This is a growing series, so more units will be added soon.
Click the photos to learn more and try FREEBIES from every unit.