The one with Christmas activities for upper elementary

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! There are only 7 weeks until Christmas… which means it’s time to start planning for some of my favorite lessons. 

Christmas Activities for Third Fourth Fifth grade

Here are seven of my favorite Christmas-themed activities with a couple freebies so you can try them in your classroom! 

1. Wreath Glyph: Use a plate, crayons or markers, and construction paper. Depending on how crafty you feel, this can be as simple, or as fancy as you like. If I have time, I like to get red puff balls for cranberries, mini candy canes, and possibly ribbons for the bows, or mini pinecones. These double as fun decorations for the hall or classroom! Students can use the plate as a base and then add a fringe to the construction paper so it has a pine needle look for the wreath. {Link at end of post for directions & printables!}

Tracing the plate is an easy model.
Some of my pre-colored cut outs for my wreath!
The finished wreaths are a fun decoration for the classroom or to send home. It’s a different way for everyone to share about some of their holiday traditions.

2. How To Challenge: Have you ever thought about how many steps it takes to wrap a present? It seems easy, but is it easy to explain? First, I ask my students to work in partners or teams and they create a list of materials and write down directions. Then we swap directions and I lay out potential supplies- wrapping paper (Dollar Tree!), scissors, tape, and tissue boxes to wrap. Students are ONLY allowed to do the directions EXACTLY as they are written. It’s hilarious to see how the boxes turn out with the student written directions. PLUS they see how difficult it is to write directions. Afterwards, each student, or partner of students, choose something to write a how-to set of directions that fits our Christmas theme- making hot chocolate, building a snowman, decorating a Christmas tree, or decorating Christmas cookies. This is a good project to do if you can’t necessarily do Christmas-themed activities because students can choose anything and the engagement activity works across many cultures. {Link at end of post for directions & printables!}

3. Christmas Lists using Inferences: Start with a Christmas list that has no name (see the list below). If you can’t use the word “Christmas,” create just “wish lists.” Have students guess who would write the wish list and then explain WHY it would be that person’s list. For example, in the list below, a red suit with gold buttons would be something Santa would want because he wears a red suit. Also, he likes milk and cookies. Next, challenge students to create lists on their own! I like to handout pre-selected characters, like Mrs. Claus and Rudolph. Students will create lists in partners or small groups. Then, each group will share their list and the rest of the class will try to guess who would have written the list. The goal is to give lots of clues, but not tell who wrote the list. {Link at end of post for directions & printables!}

4. Concrete Poetry: This activity is SO fun! Concrete (or shape) poetry is one of my favorite forms of poetry. This is a fun and easy activity to work on and insert a little poetry into your December plans. Students are able to pick something they enjoy about Christmas and use their ideas to put together a poetry picture.  

I modeled for our Christmas poems with my Thanksgiving turkey 🙂
Find more QOTD here:

5. Christmas-Themed QOTD: Are you already using morning journals or whiteboard questions? If you follow me on IG, you know I love my QOTD! These Christmas-themed questions of the day infuse just a little bit of Christmas into your daily routine, without taking away from your regular lessons. **Grab these for free right here!**

6. Countdown Chain: Have students each write their favorite holiday memory on a strip of construction paper. I usually use red, green, blue, & white. Put together a chain with each strip. On each day before break, have a student pull their link off the chain and share it with the class. This is a fun, easy decoration and students look forward to their turn to share!

7. Elves on Strike Narrative Writing: What would happen to Christmas if the elves go on strike? Students use their problem solving skills and engage in discussions about strikes and what that means in this fun writing unit. My students have come up with everything from penguins taking over to Santa creating a better work environment (complete with hot chocolate maker, constant cookie breaks, and candy canes)

Full unit plan, organizers, and everything really help my students to write amazing stories! I can’t wait to start this project this year 🙂

Here’s the link for printables for the wreath, how-to, and the inference activity!  Let me know if your students enjoy them!

Want to be planned when you return from break? Here’s a New Year’s themed goal setting Google Slides freebie! New Years Digital Flipbook

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