Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Winter Holidays Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Winter Holidays, and supports the standard of explaining the significance of holidays and observances. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Ask students: Which winter holidays do you celebrate? How do you celebrate them? What are your family’s customs or traditions?


  • 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: “Did You Know?” or “Language.” 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: Produce a movie describing a winter holiday you celebrate, or one you learned about, describing its history, traditional foods, customs, etc.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map comparing and contrasting the traditions of different winter holidays. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game where players categorize traditions and stories by related winter holiday. 


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

  • How do holiday traditions grow and change over time? 
  • What’s your favorite winter holiday? Why? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Winter Holidays Challenge

Step 5:  Extend Learning

Analyze the poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore in this Primary Source activity

Explore more winter holidays with BrainPOP’s Christmas, Lunar New Year, and New Year’s topics.