Now that winter has arrived and frosted the windows here at Webanywhere it’s time to look forward to Christmas, and the celebration of friends family and far too much food. But it’s also important to use this time of year to teach children not only about the nativity story (and hopefully avoid the awkward question about how many shepherds there were for the sake of casting the school play) but also how countries around the world celebrate the season in their own unique ways. Here are some ideas for lessons about the ways Christmas is celebrated around the world.
We’ve made a special worksheet that includes 10 countries and their Christmas traditions. Simply print them off, cut them out and get the students to guess which tradition links to which country. (Remember that if you don’t cut the sheet out that is also the answer sheet, so be careful not to hand them out before they’re jumbled!) You can then discuss ideas of what other countries believe, and why their traditions might be different.
A great site for students to explore, WhyChristmas.com is full of amazing facts and explains lots of customs and ideas. Do you know why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th? The answer might surprise you. There’s plenty of great resources here to help explain the history and cultural differences of Christmas around the world.
It’s important at this time of year to remind your pupils that not every is as fortunate as they might be. While many will be looking forward to getting a gift this Christmas, it’s also important to teach children that giving gifts is also a part of Christmas. Operation Christmas Child asks pupils to take a shoebox and fill it with any old toys, games and clothes that are still good to use and to send them to children in poverty to give them a Christmas gift. It might take a little more organisation than most, but this charitable act is an important way to teach children about charity, the differences between countries and appreciation for what they’ve got. You can organise an Operation Christmas Child event here.