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Christmas Unit Study - Math

Updated on October 3, 2014

Math Lesson Plans for Christmas

A Christmas Unit Study (Math) ~ Christmas is such an amazing time of year to celebrate the birth of the blessed baby, Jesus. While parents and teachers who are teaching about the events of the Bible, and the events of the seasons, why not turn it into a fun unit study? Add some math, science, social studies, language arts, art, and music to your lesson plans with some of these ideas.

The Biblical Story

The Biblical Account of the Birth of Christ at eBible

~ Matthew Chapter 1: The Genealogy of Jesus, The Birth of Jesus Christ

~ Matthew Chapter 2: The Visit of the Magi, The Escape to Egypt, The Return to Nazareth

~ Luke Chapter 1: The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold, The Birth of Jesus Foretold, Mary Visits Elizabeth, Mary's Song, The Birth of John the Baptist, Zechariah's Song

~ Luke Chapter 2: The Birth of Jesus, The Shepherds and the Angels, Jesus Presented at the Temple


Ideas for Christmas Math Lessons

Hands-on learning everyday math!

Math skills come in handy through the holidays! Children and adults will use math in so many practical ways everyday in their preparations. One of my children likes to ask me why we need to study math. Well, here are some suggestions to make math useful and real for everyone! Try the math quiz below for some examples of holiday math word problems!

Christmas Lights Math!

Beautiful lights shine everywhere for Christmas, and would be hard to plan for without math! Students will enjoy estimating and determining the number of lights needed to create a display. Young children can simply count the amount of lights per string. Middle children can add / subtract / multiply / and divide the number of lights per string, feet per strings, amount of strings. Older children could calculate the perimeter or area of a space and determine how many lights or strings they will need to cover it.

Let them test their calculations!


~ Count the number of green lights on this string of light. Add it to the number of red lights.

~ If a 3 foot long string of lights holds 27 lights, how many lights would be on a 6 foot long string? 8 foot? 12 foot?

~ If the height of the front of a building is 35 feet, and the length of the building is 90 feet, what is the perimeter? How many feet of light strings will you need to cover that perimeter? How many 5 foot long strings will cover the perimeter?

~ If possible, you may want students to measure a safe designated space for it's perimeter. Measure the distance from the lights to an electrical outlet to decide how long of an extension cord will be needed. Will you need more than one?


Electrified Math!

Now that we have lights, we need to think about the electricity bill expenses! Students can use all four mathmatical processes to determine the amount of watts per string or display. Calculate the amount of time the lights will be on each day times the number of days. Multiply the amount of usage times cost per hour. Why not show them real electricity bills? Have them determine watt usage times the rate, and so on. There are so many possibilities for practical word problems here!

As a related science activity, you may want to discuss electricity creation and conservation.

The Magic School Bus - Jumping Into Electricity
The Magic School Bus - Jumping Into Electricity

Beep, beep! Incorporate some language arts and science to your talk about mathematical aspects of electricity with this fun Magic School Bus book and experiment kit full of activities and games for learning exploration!


Budget & Shopping Math!

Christmas budgeting is always a difficult issue, especially for children! The price tag is not exactly what they consider when asking for presents from Santa. What a great time to discuss how to budget resources! Discuss ways to make choices and priorities. Give each student a certain amount of money to start with, then let them decide how they should spend (or save) their money. You can give them pre-determined prices for items in a store. Young children love to play with paper money in a pretend store!

Broaden the discussion for older children by having them consider other basic expenses that adults have in addition to spending money on presents. How could their budget include food, rent, gas, and other things?

Earning income is obviously very important for them to understand, also. Discuss ways of earning an income, saving it, and deciding how it should be used.

Examples ~ Store "A" is selling a bike for $300. The same bike went on sale at store "B" for $225. How much money will you save by buying it at store "B"?

~ Figure out the amount of sales tax on an item. ~ Since so many people order items online, have students calculate sales items, taxes, and shipping / handling costs.


Cooking Math!

Special holiday meals, casseroles, salads, breads, and desserts are very traditional! Measuring in teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, and other measurements is a fantastic way to practice mathmatical skills. Have them convert measurements from teaspoons to tablespoons or liters to gallons. Double or triple a recipe to find out the amount of materials needed. Find some kid friendly recipes to create, and make up some word problems involving measurments.

Other Measurement activities for the season:

~ What is the height, width, or circumference of an ornament?

~ Use candy canes to measure the length of items such as gift boxes, Christmas trees, etc. Can they estimate how many candy canes long an item is then measure to verify?

Center Enterprise CE6725 READY2LEARN Giant Christmas Stamps (Pack of 10)
Center Enterprise CE6725 READY2LEARN Giant Christmas Stamps (Pack of 10)

Stampers may be used for a large variety of fun math activities! Why not have children make a counting, addition, or subtraction book with the stamps? Create a poster with addition facts! Make flash cards for math problems ~ add a card with 5 snowman and a card with 3 snowflakes, or practice mathematical facts by adding objects together on one card. Kids will love practicing their math with these cool stamps.


Other ideas to consider that would be interesting to study about: Roman taxes, wages, percentages of items on sale or taxes, and methods of payments today compared to Biblical times.

Estimation at Christmas Time

Some ideas for practicing estimation during Christmastime:

~ the number of Christmas candy pieces in a bag or jar,

~ how many cookies a recipe will make (they could discuss how the size of the cookie will alter the amount),

~ the cost of a make-believe shopping trip for gifts or for ingredients to a recipe,

~ the length of stockings or their weight when filled,

~ how many items of your naming can fit in a shopping cart,

~ with a toy cash register - how many sale items can be wrung up in one minute (either practice calculator or adding skills).

Math Activities for Your Christmas Unit!

*Christmas Math* ~ A true unit study needs to include learning in every curricula area. Try some of the awesome math activities from this link to supplement your math lessons!

I love these fun math ideas!! ~ Calorie Counting - Baking & Measurement Math ~ Gift Spending Budget ~ Christmas Lights and Watts Used ~ Countdown to Christmas: Weeks, Days, Hours, and more ~ Gift Wrapping Paper Estimation & Measurement ~ Tessellations ~ Tree & Snowflake Symmetry, Size, and Trigonometry ~ Christmas Card Tangram Puzzles ~ Polyhedral Ornaments ~ Santa Geography, Distance, Speed, Time Zones, and Circumference of the Earth ~ North Pole Temperatures & Weather ~ Compasses & Magnetism ~ Pascal's Triangle ~ 12 Days of Christmas Money ~ Christmas Card Stamp Counting & Prices: International & Domestic Costs ~ New Year's Eve Countdown & Time Zones ~ Christmas Worksheets & Math Problems: Factor Trees, Addition, Ordering, Dot to Dot, Mazes, Subtraction, Word Problems & Stories, Logic Problems, Sudoku Puzzles, Probability, Graphing, Surveys ~ History & Culture Links ~ Crafts

Christmas Theme Math

The M & M's Christmas Gift Book (Board Book)
The M & M's Christmas Gift Book (Board Book)

Help prepare for Santa's arrival by using M & M's in the fun counting book.

Christmas Activities-Maths Ks1
Christmas Activities-Maths Ks1

Grades K - 2 fun activities to photocopy for Christmastime math classes.

Christmas Activities-Maths Ks2
Christmas Activities-Maths Ks2

Grades 3 - 6 fun activities to photocopy for Christmastime math classes.

Christmas Maths: For Ages 7-9 (Christmas Maths)
Christmas Maths: For Ages 7-9 (Christmas Maths)

This 48 page book contains pages to photocopy for your primary students.

Jingo Christmas
Jingo Christmas

Play this Christmas version of Bingo!

"School" Theme Math Science Crayons Apples Afghan Throw Blanket 50" x 60"
"School" Theme Math Science Crayons Apples Afghan Throw Blanket 50" x 60"

Warm your math teacher's heart with this school theme afghan throw blanket!


Was this page helpful to you? I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Wishing you a Merry CHRISTmas!

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    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @JJNW: Thank you! =D

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      It's time for we homeschoolers to get planning! Great ideas!

      SquidAngel Blessed for helping others and being awesome!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens. Nice math quiz. Good ideas.

    • javr profile image

      javr 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I like your lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      feasibilitytemp 7 years ago

      Wow it's a great lens. Children have gather much knowledge on this lens. Here are also some great