Before we begin studying different holiday traditions around the world, I always like to start with sharing our holiday traditions here in America with the students in my class. First we read "Night Tree." It's a story about a family who every year on Christmas Eve go out into the woods and find the same wild evergreen tree out in a big clearing. They decorate it with edible ornaments, spread out a big blanket and drink hot chocolate while singing Christmas carols. That way all creatures can enjoy a special treat for Christmas. It's so sweet, I just melt every time I read it.
After the book, we have a class discussion about holiday traditions. We turn and talk to a neighbor about one of our traditions and then I send this sheet home in their BEE book. Parents sit with their child and help them brainstorm all the traditions that their family does for the holidays.
The next day or following week, we use our graphic organizer to help us write a narrative about our family holiday traditions. As we share them, we can compare and contrast our traditions with others in our class. Then we are ready to explore the traditions of other countries and cultures around the world the following week.
I always love to hear the sweet traditions each kid does with their family.