How did this happen?? Wasn’t it Just August? Now it’s December and we have a classroom full of children dreaming of Hanukkah presents, Christmas surprises and Winter break. Looking for something fun to keep them interested and learning? Check out my round up of holiday lesson plans and great read-aloud stories. Keep your class on task and in the learning spirit!
Websites – you’re just a click away from instant lesson plans.
NEA Holiday Tools
For some Great December Holiday Books – check these out from your library:
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
By Eric A. Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman
Every year goblins attempt to ruin Hanukkah for innocent villagers trying to celebrate the festival of lights. But not this year. Find out how Hershel of Ostropol outwits the nasty goblins and celebrates Hanukkah in this beautifully illustrated story.
The Trees of the Dancing Goats
By Patricia Polacco
When Trisha’s friends and neighbors can’t celebrate Christmas due to scarlet fever, her Jewish family helps renew the holiday spirit in this heart-warming tale of friendship and true holiday spirit.
The Kvetch Who Stole Hanukkah
By Bill Berlin
Much like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the Kvetch (someone who complains or nags a lot) of Oyville is set on ruining Hanukkah for the townspeople. The end is bound to bring a smile to everyone’s face … the Kvetch included!
Together for Kwanzaa
By Juwanda G. Ford
Kwanzaa is Kayla’s favorite time of year. But this year, it looks as if a heavy snowstorm will keep her big brother, Khari, from getting home in time for the festivities! Will Khari miss the celebration completely? Or will Kayla and her brother somehow find a way to be together for Kwanzaa?
Seven Spools of Thread
Angela Shelf Medearis
In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.
By Carolyn B. Otto
With beautiful photographs, this book celebrates African-American culture and helps readers understand this special holiday. Over the course of seven days, families and friends come together to light the candles that symbolize past and future—and African-American unity. Readers are introduced to the symbols of the holiday, such as the mkeka (a special placemat), kinara (candleholder), and kikombe cha umoja (unity cup).
How to Catch Santa
by Jean Reagan
After waiting for days and days and days, it’s finally Christmas Eve. And that’s when you can try to catch Santa. . . . Two sibling narrators give clever tips for “catching” Santa (be crafty! be clever! be gentle!) on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s Favorite Story
By Hisako Aoki
Christmas may be canceled this year because Santa is too tired to deliver all his packages. The forest animals are worried, but when Santa tells them the story of the very first Christmas, when Christ was born, the animals discover the true spirit of the season.
The Baker’s Dozen
By Aaron Shepard
Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty as well as for his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. He always gave his customers exactly what they paid for — not more and not less. So, he was not about to give in when a mysterious old woman comes to him on Saint Nicholas Day and insists that a dozen is thirteen! The woman’s curse puts an end to the baker’s business, and he believes it would take Saint Nicholas to help him. But if he receives that help, will it be exactly what he imagined?