12 Christmas Ideas for Your Classroom

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!

The snow is falling, fires are lit, rosy cheeked children are running around in lovely woollens! 

Oops! None of that! It's the Southern Hemisphere here and we're getting ready for a lovely summer holiday. But it's still Christmas time and Santa is ready to take orders as we wind down the school year. 

So I gathered some teachers together to offer some great Christmas ideas for your classroom - and a few Secret Santa freebies for you to download!

 
12 Christmas Ideas for Your Classroom - Great teaching ideas from Australian and NZ teachers designed to make your Christmas better
 

1. Have your students create their own Christmas spelling lists. How many words can they come up with? Which ones do they think are most difficult? Are there any spelling rules they can find or use?

2. Use Christmas words for spelling or vocabulary activities. What do words we hear around Christmas mean? How can we use them? Where do they come from? 

3. Write stories about what Santa does in his free time. He can't work all the time, can he? What does Santa's down time look like? This is a great activity which can be used no matter how old the students are.

 
Get this FREE Secret Santa Surprise from Top Teaching Tasks!

Get this FREE Secret Santa Surprise from Top Teaching Tasks!

 

4. Compare Santa and St. Nick. Where do our current beliefs about Santa come from? What are other Santa traditions from around the world? How can students share this information with others? Can they work collaboratively to share this information?

5. Write a present guide for fairy tale characters. What do you buy for the owner of glass slippers? Should Red Riding Hood look for a different colour hood or should she get some different transportation to visit her grandmother. Students can explore texts, write their own present descriptions and think about how images and text go together in advertising

6. Create a Christmas themed obstacle course. This can be a map of an obstacle course or a real life obstacle course outside or in a gym or hall. Students can think about different types of movement and how to put them together with different types of equipment

 
Get Your FREE Secret Santa Surprise from Galarious Goods

Get Your FREE Secret Santa Surprise from Galarious Goods

 

7. Write a new Christmas recipe. What food do we eat at Christmas time? How do we prepare it? Students can invent a new meal or dish to go with Christmas lunch or dinner, explore what recipes look like and write their own. Brave teachers might even let them prepare it!

8. Use Christmas supermarket catalogues to plan a Christmas meal to a budget. This could also be used with online price lists and is a great way to explore what Christmas food is and why people eat certain food at Christmas time

9. Explore Christmas food around the world. What do people eat for Christmas where it's hot? Where it's cold? What traditional Christmas cakes and biscuits can you learn about? Why are certain foods associated with Christmas?

 
Get your FREE Secret Santa Surprise from Aussie Waves

Get your FREE Secret Santa Surprise from Aussie Waves

 

 10.  Create a map of Santa's home at the North Pole. What would it look like? What rooms would Santa definitely need? This is a great way to revisit mapping skills and birds eye perspective. Students can extend this by writing a 'tour' of Santa's home.

11. Research the Arctic. We know Santa lives at the North Pole, but what else do we know about the northern part of the world? This is a great research activity which all students can get involved in.

12. Create a Christmas board game or card game. This is a great way for students to think through procedures, instruction writing, and what makes an effective game.They also have to think about how to connect Christmas with games. 

 

You can get more great Christmas teaching resources at Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Find Christmas Resources from Aussie Waves here
Find Christmas Student Awards from A Plus Learning Here
Find Christmas Resources from Galarious Goods here
Find Christmas Resources from Top Teaching Tasks here

Wishing all teachers a peaceful and happy holiday season

 

 
 
 
 

5 Reasons to Explore Christmas Books in Your Classroom

As December looms nearer, Christmas is all around us. Decorations are being hung in public spaces, Christmas music is beginning to be heard, and the Christmas aisle suddenly appears in the shops. You also find Christmas picture books, especially written to bring Christmas into the literary word. These books are perfect to explore in your classroom at Christmas - bringing together the excitement of the holiday season and the real learning which comes with exploring picture books. Here's a few reasons why you should explore them in your classroom.

 
5 Reasons to Explore Christmas Books in Your Classroom
 

1. Christmas is a Time of Excitement in the Classroom

Christmas is a time of great excitement for many children and adults alike. In the classroom, it's often the lead up to holidays, either the long summer holidays in the Southern Hemisphere or shorter winter holidays in the Northern Hemisphere. This excitement around Christmas and holidays can make it difficult for students to focus on more traditional learning. Christmas books are a great way of harnessing that excitement and turning it into real authentic learning. While students are enjoying the stories of Christmas, they can also be looking at the choices the author and illustrator make, the meanings that come from the Christmas books and the text features they use in their work.

2. Christmas Books are Connected to Shared Experiences

Almost everyone has some experience of Christmas - whether it's their own family celebrations, the activities they participate in at school or the Christmas they see in media. This shared experience means that students are coming to Christmas books with a significant amount of background knowledge and understanding. This makes it possible to explore the books a little deeper, to compare and contrast them with the Christmas experiences we have, to create work inspired by the books with a greater knowledge. These books then become another shared experience for students - another part of their Christmas knowledge.

 
 

3. There Are Some Really Good Christmas Books

The idea of Christmas books doesn't always make you think of interesting story lines. But there's been some really interesting and fun concepts developing over the past few years. From exploring how Queen Victoria celebrated Christmas (in Queen Victoria's Christmas) to looking at drought at Christmas time (in the CBCA recognised All I Want for Christmas is Rain), authors and illustrators have been taking a whole range of approaches to Christmas stories and it's fascinating to compare and discuss these.

4. Christmas Books Often Have Beloved Characters in Them

Young readers can easily fall in love with characters who appear in more than one picture book. And when those characters appear in a Christmas book, there's an immediate anticipation of what that book might contain. When students see Pig the Elf by Aaron Blabey, they know they're probably going to read about some of the horrible behaviour of the selfish Pig. Or, if they look at Jackie French's Christmas Wombat, they know there's a pretty good chance that it will be written in diary format and may include carrots. This anticipation builds excitement into lessons using these books as well as offering opportunities to explore how well known characters react to the events of the Christmas season.

 
 

 

5. Picture Books are Easy to Use

Christmas time and the lead up to holidays are usually some of the busiest times in the school year. There isn't always a lot of time for sustained learning. This is where the Christmas picture books can be a huge assistance - they're quick and easy to read, but there's a lot of smaller activities you can do with them. They're portable, so you can take them with you if you're moving from one activity to another and need to fill in waiting time. You can get a complete text experience, without worrying that you're going to run out of time to read a novel. 

Are you exploring Christmas books in your classroom this year? You can find a whole range of Christmas picture book studies at the Galarious Goods shop, including our money saving bundles - for Year 3, 4 and 5 and for Year 4, 5 and 6.

 

 
 

Five Ways to Explore Picture Books in the Classroom

Last week I looked at why we should use picture books in middle grades classrooms, but it's also important to look at some of the different ways we can use them. Picture books are great for flexibility - their length and size allow them to fit into smaller blocks of time and to be shared more easily. So what are some of the different ways you can utilise this flexibility?

 
Five Ways to Explore Picture Books in the Classroom
 

1. Make Pictures A Daily Read

Picture books can be a great way to start a day, lesson or language block. It can serve as a transition for students, giving them time to be prepared to learn. Daily picture books allow your students to be exposed to a large range of books, allowing you to bring a wide range of diverse authors, illustrators and stories to your students. It creates a large shared vocabulary with stories that students can refer back to and talk about. Many picture books also contain themes, questions and social situations which are important to discuss with students.

Students can interact with the books through quick discussion questions, paired or small group discussion or through exit slips (you can download free exit slips here). Students may also like to keep journals exploring some of the books which are read in the classroom.

Although it's great to have students respond to the texts, they don't need to respond formally every day. Sometimes it's best to just let students sit with the text and insisting on a written response every day can reduce enthusiasm for the daily reading time. Mixing up the ways students respond (or don't respond) can help to keep the daily read fresh.

 
 

 

2. Connecting a Text to a Specific Lesson

Picture books are great to use as mentor texts - whether it's exploring a type of story or looking at a particular text element. Picture books can also be used as introductions to other subjects - as a way to look at a historical period or a scientific principal, or they can be used to expand ideas or raise questions about those subjects. 

In this way, picture books may be simply used as a prompt to get students thinking about a subject. They might follow it up with a brainstorm or ask questions to explore further. Students may refer back to the book later on when they have more understanding of the topic and may engage in a critique of how the picture book handles the subject.

Alternately, the picture book can become the basis of an entire unit of work. A book like I'm Australian Too by Mem Fox can become the centre of a unit on what it means to be Australian and how people travel to Australia. Students can refer back to the book at different times, connect the book to other texts or media and create pieces of work inspired by the book and other information they have learned.

3. Teacher Led Small Group Work

If you use literacy rotations or use a reader's workshop in your classroom, picture books are great for teacher-led small group work. Students can meet once or more a week with their teacher to explore a book, looking at themes, literary techniques, making comparisons or completing activities. The size of picture books make them perfect for a small group work - they're easy to pass around to examine pictures, and the smaller amounts of text on each page make it easier for students to find examples or read out quotes from the page.

These small group explorations can be a great way to support your curriculum goals and assist you in collecting evidence for assessment. With guidance, you can allow students to take on discussions themselves, allowing you to take notes on their understanding of the book and the elements you wish to explore.

4. Student Led Exploration

Also great for literacy rotations or in a reader's workshop, students can work independently on their own, in pairs or in small groups to explore the book. You may create a generic set of discussion questions or activities for students to work through with any book they choose, or you may have 'packs' of books, questions and activities for students to work through. You can also select themes or ideas for students to explore, choose picture books which will work with those themes or ideas and have questions or activities specifically created to link to those themes or ideas.

When students are being asked to work independently with picture books, it can be useful to model how they do this. When students are being asked to work in small groups, you may walk them through the process during the first few weeks and then offer a reminder card of the process for following sessions. If students are working on their own as part of a literacy rotation, you may like to outline the routine and expectations, then use a reminder card to help students keep on track.

5. Whole class close reading

Sometimes it can be useful for all the students in the class to take a deep look at one text at the same time. Students may follow with a large classroom copy of the book or work in smaller groups examining multiple copies of the text. It can be helpful to provide a range of activities when all the students are engaging with the same text - you may start by reading it aloud to the class, give them individual time to record their ideas and reflections (possibly with question prompts), bring them into small groups to discuss and look closer at the text and then ask them to work individually or in pairs to create their own work. There are many other options to use here including whole class discussion, students using sticky notes or exit slips to share their ideas with others or even a whole class response to the text.

You Can Find a range of picture book studies for middle grade students at Galarious Goods including Flood by Jackie French, The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin and I'm Australian Too by Mem Fox

 
 
 
 

Five Reasons to Use Picture Books in Middle Grades Classrooms

Books with pictures can sometimes get a bad reputation as 'lesser books'. Once we're able to read novels - the 'important' books, we're supposed to put away our books with pictures - relics of our younger childhoods. However, there is so much we and our students can learn from picture books and plenty of reasons to make sure they find a home in middle grades classrooms. 

 
5 Reasons to Use Picture Books in Middle Grades Classrooms
 

1. Picture Books Are More Complex Than You Might Think

There can be a stereotype of picture books as early readers. While it's definitely true that a number of picture books are written for young children, there's an increasing number of complex picture books written and illustrated for older readers. The books of Shaun Tan, for example, contain intricate and complex illustrations and themes and ideas which can take multiple rereadings to untangle. Many picture books contain unnamed themes which allow students to flex their inferencing muscles. Illustrations can also allow students to examine prediction or question the choices of the illustrator in matching the words of the writers. It's well worth taking time to look through picture books to find those more complex books.

2. Picture Books Cover A Wide Range of Topics

As well as fictional stories, you can find plenty of biographies, history and science picture books. Many of these books present information on complex topics in a clear and simple fashion and they're great as an introduction to a discussion or a topic of study. Even books aimed at the youngest children could be used like this in the classroom - I recently bought a board book called Rocket Science for Babies which would be a great introduction to a science class or a great way for students to explore how scientific topics can be explained for a wider audience.

3. Picture Books Can Be Easier to Manage in the Classroom Than Novels

When students read novels as part of a small group or class, it really is important that all the students have their own books. Sharing novels can be frustrating for slower or faster readers and make it harder for students to follow the narratives. Picture books can be more easily shared between pairs or groups because each page is meant to be taken in as it is. Teachers can also use picture books to lead small group or class discussions - their larger size can make it easier for all the children to see and discuss illustrations. 

Picture books can also be easier to fit into crowded classroom timetables. Students can easily finish, discuss and analyse a picture book in one or two lessons, where a novel requires a much bigger block of time to complete and discuss. This is particularly useful when looking for texts which share certain literary techniques like personification, rhyme schemes or allegories.

4. Picture Books Improve Visual Literacy

More and more information is shared through graphics and images these days and it's important that students learn to 'read' these as well as text. Picture books can be used as one way of improving visual literacy. Students can examine what aspects of the text the illustrator chose to depict and how they chose to depict it. They can look at the style the illustrator used to tell a story and how it might be different if a different illustrator had been used. They can question the choices the illustrator made and how they make an impact on the story as a whole. This can also be connected with art classes as students explore different artistic techniques used in picture books (the works of Jeannie Baker, Shaun Tan, Bruce Whatley or Freya Blackwood would be fascinating to explore here!)

5. Picture Book Allow For Effective Differentiation

The shorter length and shorter text of picture books can make them excellent tools for students who have difficulties with reading or need assistance to focus for longer periods of time. Students are more likely to finish picture books in a short amount of time, allowing for feelings of mastery and growth and building self-efficacy for future challenges. The wide range of picture books available means that it is possible to find ones which suit particular interests and wordless picture books can also assist students to find themes, ideas and literary techniques without needing to decode words. Picture books can also allow for in-depth and extensive examinations of theme and exploration of the choices of the authors and illustrators, allowing advanced or gifted students to reflect on how they might apply what they have learned to their own writing. 

You Can Find a range of picture book studies for middle grade students at Galarious Goods including Flood by Jackie French, The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin and I'm Australian Too by Mem Fox

 
 
 
 

Three Different Ways to Explore Poetry in your Classroom

I adore poetry - I still remember early lessons on haikus back in my Grade Three classroom. I love reading it and finding little gems of words. And I love writing it and manipulating language and rhythms until the paint little pictures in words.

Poetry can be amazing in the classroom. It's relatively easy to fit into smaller segments of language. It's perfect for exploring literary and language skills like figurative language. And there's poems for all situations - funny poems, sad poems, serious poems. You can even explore verse novels and how an author can put together a series of poems to tell a story.

Here's three ways to bring poetry into your classroom.

 
Three Different Ways to Explore Poetry in your Classroom - Blog Post by Galarious Goods
 

1. Combine Poetry and Art

Poems often use a few words to create pictures, so they're perfect to combine with art. You can start with using one to inspire another - students can write a poem inspired by a piece of art or create a piece of art inspired by a poem. This can be especially effective when you're looking at particular styles of art - abstract art or sculpture - or if you try to create art work which reflects particular patterns in a poem - what might a limerick piece of art look like?

Students can also combine poetry and art in one piece. Found poetry and black out poetry are fascinating ways to combine both, as is exploring calligraphy or typography. Students can look at how poetry can be a part of public art or how words, colour and shapes can be combined to create something beautiful.

2. Create Poetry Displays

Due to their shorter size, poems make wonderful subject for displays. And seeing poetry all around us is a great way to inspire thinking about poetry and more poetry. 

There are a few ways you can display poetry in the classroom. If you write or explore poems on a particular theme, you can use that to create a display - autumn poetry can be displayed on colourful trees made out of paper, beach poems can be written into a beach scene. Teachers can also incorporate poetry into the classroom - even displaying them where you wouldn't expect them - a poem about numbers near the maths equipment, a poem about nature tucked near a window. These could even form the basis of a poetry treasure hunt, with students searching to find all the poems.

Students can also use a display board to create their own poetry. They can use pieces of paper or magnets with words on them and arrange them to create poetry. They can also write lines of poetry to pin up on a board to continue a poem which is being written. 

Beyond the classroom, students may like to look for other places they can display their writing. You may be able to display poems in the school library, the office or the hallways. If you have classroom windows which can be seen outside, you may like to display poems there where other students, teachers and parents can see them. Or a local shop may be able to offer space or a notice board for students to display their poetry to a wider audience. 

3. Explore Poetry in Song

While poetry and songs are two different forms of writing, it's not hard to see the similarities between them. They both use rhyme, rhythm and highly effective word choice to make you feel something. So how can we use them together?

Students can use lines of a song to inspire their own poems. Starting with one or two lines and then continuing in their own poem allows them to think about what those lines might be saying and how they can continue that in their own words with their own experiences. Examining the structure of songs also allows students to play with structure in poetry. This can be especially effective with songs which change structure between different parts or between chorus and verses - how do they change their writing style? How can students experiment with that.

Students can also think about how already written songs could be set to music. What kind of music could they set the poems to? How would it change if you used a different style of music? 


Take a moment to share some poetry with your students and open up a whole world of different rhythms, rhymes and pictures made out of words.

Look at poetry through a verse novel with the Pearl Verses the World Complete Novel Study Bundle

 

 
 

Integrating Civics and Citizenship with Other Subjects

Civics and government are essential subjects to teach, but it can be difficult to fit them into already busy teaching schedules. One way to cover what students need to know is to integrate them with other subjects. Here's a few ways you can do that.

 
Integrating Civics and Citizenship with Other Subjects - blog post by Galarious Goods
 

Mathematics

Maths and civics don't seem like a natural fit, but they can work surprisingly well together. Students can easily look at elections, electorates or voting as well as data and statistics. Students can collect data from websites like the Australian Electoral Commission or from polls published in newspapers. They can use these to create graphs or diagrams showing how numbers are used in politics.

Australia's preferential voting system could be part of a maths investigation. Students can investigate how it works (and how to explain that to voters!) and decide whether there's a fairer or better system.

Students could also use data to look at global issues and how you can represent those issues through numbers.


English

There's some great books which cover issues related to civics and citizenship. These can be read at the beginning of a unit of study as an introduction or used as part of the unit.  Students can compare events in the book with real events and decide whether the book is realistic or not. Books are also a great way for students to gain some understanding of political systems from other parts of the world.

Students can also engage with non-fiction texts related to civics and citizenship - including websites, fact sheets, newspaper and magazine articles and opinion pieces. As well as reading them, students can create their own. One investigation may involve students examining election material from a range of elections and look at what makes them persuasive to audiences. Or they could compare election campaign material from an earlier time with more recent election campaign material.

Art

Students can also use campaign material for art lessons. They can examine how different political parties use colour and shape, then use the information they gain to create their own campaign material.

You can also get creative with art and look at how students could represent something like law making or different types of laws through 2D or 3D arts.

Music

I've talked about using educational songs in the classroom before, and this is a great place to combine music and civics. Students can explain complex issues through their own songs and share them with their classmates.

Students can also look at songs which have political messages. Protest songs and fundraising songs have a fascinating musical and civics history and can be interesting to listen to and analyse.

History and Geography

These are obvious places to learn more about government and civics. Whether it's how the constitution of a country was formed or what political decisions have had big impacts on the history of a country, or how different geography can explain voting decisions. It can take a little work to match together different curriculum needs, but it can be incredibly satisfying when you get it.

Drama

Role play, role play, role play! Students can get so much out of role playing in the classroom and exploring different topics. It's great to focus on smaller parts of a complex topic when you're role playing. Alternately, students can create their own small plays or videos to share what they know about different topics.

Have you got any other ways to integrate civics and other subjects? Leave a comment below.

Find a large range of civics and citizenship resources at Galarious Goods.

 

Share Guest Speakers; Engage Your Students

When was the last time you had a guest speaker in your classroom? What did they share? What did your students learn? And why is it important to have guest speakers in the first place?

 
Share Guest Speakers; Engage Your Students
 

Guest speakers can be a valuable element of a teaching unit. The right speaker, speaking on the right topic, with properly prepared students, can create a classroom moment which is remembered long after other activities are forgotten.

Guest Speakers Open Up New Ideas and Opportunities

Lots of students know little outside of their own experiences. They may have never met an engineer, a train driver, an author or a historian. Meeting these kinds of guest speakers can introduce them to know career opportunities and things to work towards as well as new ideas to learn more about. Alternately, a guest speaker can reinforce and extend learning on topics students do know a lot about - giving them new avenues to explore on a topic they're already interested in.

Guest Speakers Can Bring Different Perspectives to Topics You're Investigating

If you're looking at Antarctica in the classroom you may be examining the animals, scientific research or history or the continent. A guest speaker who has visited Antarctica can provide a different human experience point of view, talking about what you need to wear to go outside, what kind of people they meet in Antarctica or what it feels like to stand near a penguin. Guest speakers are able to provide the perspective we can't always provide our students from books or research. This can engage our students and allow them to create connections with the experiences of their guest speaker.

Guest Speakers Allow the Teacher to have Gaps in their Knowledge

It can be tempting to believe that teachers know everything! Of course, that's not really the case and it's good to let our students know that we are also learning from books and other people. Guest speakers can fill those gaps in our knowledge as well as the gaps our students have and show our students that we are lifelong learners - as we'd like them to be.

 
Why Invite Guest Speakers- Share Guest Speakers, Engage Your Students
 

Preparing Our Students for Guest Speakers

Before guest speakers arrive, it's important to prepare our students for them and for the topic they will be exploring. Students may like to read a short biography of the speaker or you could ask the speaker to answer a couple of short 'Frequently Asked Questions' to share with your students. Students could brainstorm the topic or investigate the kind of vocabulary they might hear. They may even like to make a short list of questions for the guest speaker - giving the guest speaker some ideas of what to cover when they're speaking.

Students need to be clear on behaviour expectations for guest speakers - understanding that many speakers are giving up their own time to share information with the students. They should be prepared to ask good questions of the speaker - and you may wish to cover or revise what makes a good question. You may nominate a student to take notes or video record the speaker (if the speaker gives permission). And don't forget to prepare one or two students to publicly thank the speaker when they have concluded their speaking.

Preparing A Guest Speaker for Our Students

Before a guest speaker arrives, they'll need to know about practicalities as well specific speaking information. Let them know where they can park and where they'll need to go when they get to your school (you may send students to meet them at the school office). They'll need to know how many students they'll be talking with, how old the students are and whether they'll have access to equipment like a microphone, projector or way of playing videos.

You can help a guest speaker out by providing some topics you'd like them to cover or telling them what you've been exploring or covering in your classroom. You may have some questions from the students to give them an idea of what to cover in their speaking. Don't forget to give them an approximate length for speaking - and it's often better to keep it shorter with time for questions!

 
Prepare Students for Guest Speakers from Galarious Goods
 

Who Can You Ask to Speak?

This is, of course, totally dependent on where you live and what you're studying in your classroom. Not everyone will have access to an astronaut when they're studying space (though you may be able to invite an amateur astronomer) or an author when they're studying a certain book. You may need to be creative to find an appropriate speaker or you may have to let a certain topic go and come back at another time. Alternately, you may like to work with other classes at your school or even with teachers at other neighbouring schools to invite someone who can talk with a large number of students over a day.

Here's a few ideas to match speakers to topics:

Reading the Ranger's Apprentice - invite someone who is involved with archery, someone who trains horses or someone who studies medieval history
Studying law making and enforcing - invite a politician, a public servant, a police officer or a lawyer to talk about how they're involved with the law
Studying poetry - invite a poet to talk about writing poetry or speakers from within or outside the school to share their favourite poems (this can also be done with video talks)
Learning mathematics - invite someone who uses mathematics in their job like an architect or engineer

Who was the best guest speaker you've had in your classroom? Why were they so good?

No More Holiday Busywork - Creating Thoughtful Holiday Lessons

There are pumpkins everywhere you look, costume plans are being discussed on social media, and the shops are filled with holiday goodies. In the classroom, students are ready - more than ready - for Halloween. They are certain to be engaged in anything to do with ghosts, horror houses, black cats or chocolate!

Do you bring Halloween - or other holidays and celebrations - into your classroom or not? You could say no, stick with regular lessons, insist that holidays are an 'out of classroom' thing. Or you could fall into a Pinterest spiral and plan All The Activities.

However, when it comes to holidays and celebrations, it can be really easy to fall into 'busywork' - worksheets with vague connections to the holiday or the work being covered in the classroom or craft activities which look fabulous, but don't really offer a lot of learning for middle grade students.

 
No More Holiday Busywork
 

Busywork can provide links between holidays and the classroom, and they can keep students engaged and . . . well, busy. But are they the best way to mix celebrations and learning? Can teachers find better ways to mix holidays and curriculum?

One alternative option is Integrated Learning - searching for the deeper learning possibilities when connecting holidays with different learning areas. Sitting down with a pen and paper (or laptop or tablet!) to brainstorm connections, can leave you with some surprising - and fantastic - learning opportunities.

For example - here's a Halloween brainstorm:

 
No more holiday busywork
 

These activities all offer opportunities for engaging, thoughtful learning - perfect for making any celebration memorable in your classroom.

Tips for Integrated Learning Planning

  • You don't need to use all your ideas at the same time. Store some for later, share them with colleagues. Too much can be overwhelming for both you and your students.
  • Try brainstorming in a team - bouncing ideas off each other can lead you in all sorts of interesting directions.
  • Keep any required standards on hand.  These can feel limiting, but the challenge of working with them can also be motivating - who doesn't like a challenge.
  • Enjoy the celebrations!