Celebrate holidays while practicing standards using these new ideas and resources.
Holidays provide a lot of fun in the traditional classroom. Whether you are celebrating National Taco Day on October 4th or celebrating a more traditional holiday like Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving, taking the time to celebrate, do holiday-themed activities, and learn something new about the holiday gives both teachers and students something to look forward to.
It may be fun to celebrate holidays everyday…like we do with our Holiday of the Day writing prompts, but, as always, we also need to make sure that our school work is getting done.
That means that we need to give our educational standards their due.
But working on standards doesn’t have to eliminate celebrating holidays. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Why not celebrate holidays while practicing standards.
Here are a few ideas on how to do just that!
Celebrate Holidays while Practicing Standards
As always when we are trying something new, we often try to change everything about what we’re doing. Don’t do that. Instead, look to add in standards-focused, holiday resources where you’re already using similar resources.
Getting started with holiday resources
To begin, consider what you’re already doing in your class. What are some of your procedures and classroom tendencies? Then research some of the resources you are already using and see if the creator has any holiday-themed activities that are similar.
In the Fun in 5th Grade store, we have holiday-themed resources for most of our product lines, so teachers can feel free to celebrate without worrying about teaching students a new game or trying to prep a new activity.
If you always have a bell ringer, maybe that is a place where you can include a Holiday of the Day writing prompt. Although the writing prompts encourage students to practice different writing standards, you can also edit/adjust the prompt to encourage different standards as needed.
If you do centers or station work, using holiday-themed resources like these Sticker Style activities give individualized standards-based work a little holiday facelift. Each activity is standards-focused, but the use of stickers for different holidays gives the activity a little holiday flair!
You can also work on reading standards while reading and learning about different holidays. These Close Reads with Mystery Picture activities provide high-interest, holiday-themed reading passages that you can use as a way of practicing reading standards or even to formatively assess standards.
We have Close Reads with Mystery Picture holiday sets for many different holidays throughout the year, and you can get them all as a bundle to save both time and money.
The Holiday-Themed Bundle includes the following sets…
- Presidents’ Day Close Reads
- St. Patrick’s Day Close Reads
- Cinco de Mayo Close Reads
- Earth Day Close Reads
- Halloween Close Reads
- Chinese New Year Close Reads
- Mardi Gras Close Reads
- Valentine’s Day Close Reads
- Back to School Close Reads
- Thanksgiving Close Reads
- Christmas Close Reads
- New Year’s Day Close Reads
- Easter Close Reads
If you are unfamiliar with how Close Reads can be used in the upper elementary classroom, take a few moments to read through this post to learn more about the different steps involved in a good close read.
Finally, you can also celebrate holidays while reviewing. We have many holiday themed activities in the store, but these Holiday ELA Skill Practice Game Shows are great to play on the last day before a holiday or on a Friday during the holiday season. They provide a variety of review and practice of standards, but they are also holiday-themed.
Check out some of these Holiday-Themed Game Shows!
Even though it sometimes feels like fun and standards don’t go well together, these holiday-themed resources were created to help fill that gap. Each of the activities and resources suggested in this post allow teachers and students to celebrate holidays while practicing standards and doing a pretty good job at both!