December is often a busy time not just in the classroom, but in our personal lives as well. That coupled with the holiday excitement that the students bring to school each day, it can feel overwhelming to manage everyone and everything. I found over the years that when I bring the holiday fun into the classroom with purposeful, engaging activities, things seem to feel a bit less chaotic. So I say let’s bring on the Polar Express, holidays around the world, and reindeer by including holiday literacy activities in lesson planning.
Today I want to share some of my favorite holiday literacy resources to add some holiday cheer to your literacy block. Additionally, many of these resources also make great displays for the hallway or your classroom.
Why I Love Integrating Literacy and Holidays
During a busy season like the holidays, you can make more time to do fun holiday activities and crafts when you get creative with how you fit them into your day. Through read alouds, shared reading, interactive notebook activities, writing crafts, and themed centers, we can easily integrate reading and writing through the season to bring holiday cheer in our classrooms while improving literacy skills.
I also love any opportunity to sneak in extra practice with writing conventions, reading comprehension, and word work. When we do activities that are truly engaging, my students don’t always realize that they are learning and practicing important skills at the same time.
Top Holiday Literacy Activities
These are some of my favorite holiday literacy activities for kinder, first, and second grades. I also sprinkled in some freebies, so be sure to check them out!
December Literacy Stations
One great way to bring holiday literacy activities to your classroom is through literacy centers. Holiday-themed literacy stations always bring cheer to your reading block time! The December Literacy Stations has seven centers for you to use this month:
- Book Making
- Word Work
- Sight Words
- Pocket Chart
With simple-to-prep stations, you and your students will all love these engaging activities!
Gingerbread Writing Craftivity
The Gingerbread Writing Craftivity is perfect for your students to self-assess their own writing! For each writing convention, the students earn a part of their gingerbread kid. It’s a great way to integrate some meaningful writing and be purposeful with an adorable craft! Plus, the finished activity makes a great display for the holiday season.
Gingerbread Man Activities and Literacy Activities
With 18 different reading and writing activities for everything gingerbread, this Gingerbread Printables resource will bring a ton of fun to your literacy time! The gingerbread holiday literacy activities include retelling, sequencing, comparing different gingerbread books, a mini book, writing activities, and everything you need for a gingerbread man hunt!
FREE Mouse and Movie Retelling Activity
After reading the book If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, use this FREE Mouse and Movies Retelling activity for students to practice sequencing. My students and I loved any chance we could to make a purposeful craft! For younger students, they can draw what happens in the book. First and second graders can write (and draw) the events.
Holiday Flip Books
These 19 Holiday Flip Books are perfect for your social studies or science interactive notebooks. They can be used after reading The Polar Express, after an elf visits your classroom, or as you learn about reindeer! They are also a great fit for teaching about Christmas Around the World and are a great way to integrate literacy!
Christmas Around the World Flip Up Book Bundle
Do you teach Christmas around the world, but struggle to find a way for students to document their learning and keep up with each country’s traditions? The Christmas Around the World Flip Up Books are for you!
They are the perfect little activities for your students to be engaged as they learn about Christmas Around the World! Each flip book includes reading, sorting, and writing! It is easy to create with the printing instructions that are included.
Winter Word Making Freebie
This little activity has three mystery word making activities for you to do whole group, in a small group, or even to drop in a word work center. You could also make it a competition during your holiday party. Students will use the letters provided and see how many words they can build. This activity is always a hit!
Holidays Around the World Bundle
This Holidays Around the World unit helps students compare and contrast Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. It makes it simple to learn about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas as you celebrate them all! You’ll easily integrate reading and writing with social studies with each of these resources.
Each resource has graphic organizers, vocabulary cards, sorting activities, and a craft. You’ll be set for social studies for the whole month with packing in lots of literacy at the same time! I bundled them together so you get all three units for the price of two!
I know the month of December can feel a little chaotic in the classroom. That’s why I like to harness the holiday excitement and integrate holiday fun into reading and writing as much as possible. All of these holiday literacy activities do just that! You can also shop my whole shop’s Christmas and holiday section of resources HERE.