Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Christmas, and supports the standard of examining holidays observed in different communities. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: What are your favorite holiday traditions? Where do they come from? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “In Practice” or “Way Back When.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a documentary explaining the origins of different Christmas traditions. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map comparing and contrasting the ways that different groups of Christians celebrate Christmas. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag representing one of the ways people celebrate Christmas. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about Christmas. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How are Christmas traditions similar to those of other winter holidays? How do they differ? 
  • Which holiday traditions are religious? Which are secular? How do you know? 
  • How do traditions evolve over time? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Christmas Challenge

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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