Working holiday activities into a high school class can be difficult, depending upon the course being taught. With a little research and creativity, holiday activities can be transformed into science experiments, ecology projects, and more. Projects used in my reading classroom can be easily modified to fit the needs of any curriculum.
English is the easiest class to incorporate Christmas projects into the basic curriculum. Projects can be used for many purposes; they can be as simple or complex as desired. Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is a favorite for the holidays. The story can be turned into a play by the students and presented in class. The project included writing, reading, research, and some of the arts. Divide the students into groups to write a screenplay, develop scenery and costumes, and direct the play. Allow time in class for groups to work on the play; have try-outs for roles and practice in the classroom. Here is another link with Christmas activities for English classes: winter holiday lesson plans.
Science is a broad area with many different opportunities to bring in extra concepts. Ecology is a major topic today; students can develop a Christmas tree recycling program for the community to be implemented by the class. Other ideas are to develop environmentally friendly Christmas ornaments and crafts to provide food for birds and squirrels or for decorating homes and the classroom. Using groups, the students will develop the idea, compose directions for completing the idea including a list of materials needed, and provide an example of the completed project. Chemistry can be included using experiments found at peppermint wafers . The periodic table of elements can be connected to Christmas using a story written by two chemistry teachers and located at A Chemistry Christmas Carol.
History is the perfect subject for Christmas activities. Projects can be designed to research the history of Christmas in America, the Colonial Period, different periods of World History and more. Writing, reading, vocabulary, research, and critical thinking skills can all become part of the project. Group work or individual projects can be used by the teacher to complete the projects. Be sure to include art and multimedia audio-visuals as part of the project. Presentations are more interesting when the students are allowed to be as creative as they desire.
Math is always thought of as the one subject that cannot involve fun learning activities and projects. Researching the Internet, I located many different Christmas activities for advanced math classes. The web site let’s play math puzzles and more contains activities for various grade levels including high school math. The link http://www.education.com/activity/high-school/math/ contains activities and more for Christmas and all throughout the year. The best site I found is http://mathforum.org/teachers/high/lessons-individual.html containing lesson plans and activities for all the higher math classes.
The above suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg as far as activities go. Researching your subject matter for holiday plans and using your imagination and creative teaching methods, the holidays can enhance basic course work and keep your students’ interest at this exciting time of the year.