Pre Holiday Break Activities to Keep Your Students Engaged and Learning

The holiday season is a time of extreme excitement. The weeks leading up to holiday break are always a struggle for teachers. Kids have trouble focusing and are full of energy. The best thing you can do is use your students’ energy in a positive way by incorporating more engaging, collaborative, and cross-curricular activities into your day. Here are my top 5 engaging pre-holiday break activities.

Take a Virtual Field Trip!

Take your students around the world to see how different countries celebrate Christmas. Head to Jerusalem to learn about Hanukkah. Or visit Puerto Rico to learn about Three Kings Day. If your students do not have individual devices, I recommend doing these as a whole class to facilitate discussions. They can also be done in small groups or for centers.

  • Holidays for the Year Virtual Field Trip Growing Bundle
    Holidays for the Year Virtual Field Trip Growing Bundle
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  • Holidays Virtual Field Trip Growing Bundle for Primary
    Holidays Virtual Field Trip Growing Bundle for Primary
    Product on sale

Themed Escape Rooms:

Students can review their reading comprehension skills by collecting stamps for their Holiday Travel Passport. They can also Escape the Gingerbread House. Or, they can review key math skills by catching the missing elf! These activities are wonderful to do the printable version in collaborative groups (they can REALLY get into the themes), or the new immersive Webscape options.

Gingerbread House Escape Room Activity for Elementary School holiday break Gingerbread Day

Project Based Learning:

These cross-curricular activities are excellent for students to practice teamwork while reviewing key skills in math, reading, and writing. Will your students build their holiday shopping list? Or help diverse families plan for their holiday celebrations? Or maybe they want to become the next HGTV star and Flip That Gingerbread House!

Read Alouds:

There are SOOOO many excellent read alouds for this time of year. You can see my blog post about read alouds for teaching holidays around the world here. But one of my favorites is The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie DePaola. In this unit,  students to explore the Italian folktale. This cross-curricular unit includes five days of reading, writing, and social studies activities based on this picture book. It is available in both print and digital Google Slides.

  • The Legend of Old Befana Mentor Text Unit in Google Slides and Printable cover
    Mentor Text Unit The Legend of Old Befana with Google Slides Distance Learning

Reading Comprehension and Craft:

Why not incorporate differentiated, leveled passages on the holidays. These also incorporate cute coloring crafts that make great response toppers for a seasonal bulletin board. Holidays Included: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa

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