Teaching in the time leading up to a holiday can be difficult. Children are often so excited that they can barely contain themselves. December is something else, though. With the lead up to Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and winter break (or Summer Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere…), maintaining student focus can be a real challenge!
The best bet is to keep things busy, with a dash of fun. Enjoying the holidays together can really strengthen your classroom culture. One activity that works at just about every level is a classroom holiday cookbook. Have each student create a Buncee slide with a recipe on it. You can either collect them all on a Buncee Board OR clip & stitch them all together into one Buncee! (Click here for more on Buncee Boards and Clip and Stitch). From there you can either send the cookbook home by email, or download it as a PDF, and send it home as a printed cookbook!
Holiday Cookie Cookbook - Whether you have your students bring in a recipe, or research recipes online, cookies are always a hit! When they're done, a Classroom Cookie Exchange would be a fantastic base for your holiday party!
Holidays Around the World - This popular December project is a perfect time for your students to research traditional festive foods from other countries. Cap it off with a global potluck lunch for an educational and cultural take on the holidays!
Family Traditions - This is a great cookbook to make with early elementary students. Have kids partner with a relative or family friend to bring in the recipe for a favorite holiday treat. Just like with the Holidays Around the World, this makes for a nice potluck lunch to wrap up 2017 in your classroom before your kids head home for their holiday break!
The one caveat with all of these is to make sure to offer leeway with your students. While many are fortunate enough to have someone to help out with an activity like this, that may not be true for your whole class. Be sure to offer assistance, your problem solving expertise, or other options to students whose situations might make this project more stressful than joyful. You might take on the role of the family friend who gets them a recipe, or allow them to design the cover for your class cookbook if the assignment is too difficult for them. Either way, your kindness may really brighten a child’s otherwise tough season!
Whatever you do, we here at Buncee wish you the happiest of holidays! Don’t forget to check some of our other holiday activities, too:
The Buncee Your Holidays Webinar with Meagan Stein
Sean Farnum is a teacher, troublemaker, the host of the #2PencilChat, and the producer of The #BestClass Podcast. He is an Education Associate at Buncee and runs the Buncee Ambassador Program. He thinks you’re pretty great.