Christmas Symbols Lesson
Act out a nativity play, make edible Christmas trees for family members, sing a Christmas carol, and more! This is part 2 of a 2 part hands-on Christmas unit study. My lessons are geared toward 2nd-3rd grade level children and their siblings. Our class meets each week for 2 1/2 hours and we have 14 children between the ages of 0-12. Use this fun lesson with your family, class, or homeschool co-op group!
Order of Activities
1. Stretch & pray.
2. Ask what they think of when they think of Christmas.
3. Read Luke 1:1-20 as you go through pages of "The Christmas Story According to Luke" ill. by Donald Kueker.
4. (Video/Record this) Re-enact the Christmas story having a mom re-tell the story you just read and having the kids act it out as you re-tell it. Have some props like towels for Joseph and Mary to wear on their heads and bath robes to wear, a baby doll, farm animal masks for the children who are in the stable, stuffed sheep for the shepherds, a crown for King Herod, etc.
YOU WILL NEED: Props & costumes mentioned above or whatever you have
5. Sing "O Come, O Come Emanuel."
YOU WILL NEED: 10 copies of words to song
6. Make Christmas Family Tree Cards. Give each child a construction paper Christmas tree for each member of their family and have them write the name of their family member and something about that person for which s/he is thankful. If children finish early, have them decorate the other side of each Christmas tree. These will be attached to the bag of the Rice Krispie tree.
YOU WILL NEED: 50 Construction paper trees & markers
7. Discuss the history/significance of Christmas trees by reading some of "O Christmas Tree: Its History and Holiday Traditions" by Jacqueline Farmer .
Book to use for activity 3
This has the Christmas story from the book of Luke written out word-for-word using the Old King James version of the Bible. It has wonderful realistic-looking illustrations.
Book to use for activity 7
This has a good description of the history of Christmas trees and has nice illustrations.
8. Make Rice Krispie Trees or tree "ornaments" (balls).
7 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 (10 ounce) packages marshmallows
20 drops green food coloring
Asssorted Christmas cookie decorations
15 cups rice krispies cereal
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let each child drop 1-3 drops of green food coloring into mixture. Let each child add 2 cups Rice Krispie cereal. Stir until well coated. Give each child a sheet of wax paper and a large spoonful of the Rice Kripies treat mixture. Spray each child's hands with non-stick cooking spray so it'll be less sticky. Let them shape the mixture into Christmas trees or ornaments (round balls) and decorate them with Christmas cookie decorations. Let them set aside one to eat and then individually bag the others to give to their family members as special treats. Children who finish early can finish decorating their paper Christmas tree tags and attach them to the bags using red ribbon.
YOU WILL NEED: 7 Tbsp. butter or margarine, Green food coloring, red ribbon, scissors, 3 (10oz.) pkgs. Marshmallows, Christmas cookie decorations, 15 cups rice krispies cereal (or generic variety) = about 1 large box, wax paper, sandwich baggies
8. Read "The Legend of the Candy Cane."
9. Hand out a piece of white paper shaped like a candy cane. Have the children color the candy cane with a red crayon and explain what the story said about the significance of the shape and the colors. Hand the children each a candy cane and have them attach the candy cane drawing to the candy cane paper. Tell them to give this to someone and explain what it means.
YOU WILL NEED: white papers shaped like candy canes, candy canes, hole punch, red ribbon, red crayons
10. 5 Minute Review of what we learned.
Book Option to use for activity 8
This does a nice job of recounting the legend of the candy cane and its connection to Christ. It is about a candymaker and a little girl who pass out candy canes in order to share the message of Jesus at Christmas time. The end includes some historical notes about candy canes.
Materials Needed for This Lesson
-props & costumes for the reenactment play such as towels for Joseph and Mary to wear on their heads and bath robes to wear, a baby doll, farm animal masks for the children who are in the stable, stuffed sheep for the shepherds, a crown for King Herod, etc.
-10 copies of words to song "O Come, O Come Emanuel"
-50 Construction paper trees & markers
-"O Christmas Tree: Its History and Holiday Traditions" by Jacqueline Farmer
- 7 Tbsp. butter or margarine, Green food coloring, red ribbon, scissors
-3 (10oz.) pkgs. Marshmallows, Christmas cookie decorations
15 cups rice krispies cereal (or generic variety) = about 1 large box, wax paper, sandwich baggies
-"The Legend of the Candy Cane" by Lori Walburg or "J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told" Board book by Crystal Bowman
-white papers shaped like candy canes, candy canes, hole punch, red ribbon, red crayons
Looking for my other Christmas ideas and/or all of my webpages?
- Top Five Christmas Traditions for Kids - From baking, to advent wreaths, to homemade ornaments, to special children's books, and more, here are our top 5 traditions that have made it into our permanent rotation, and we plane to continue doing year after year -- at least while we have a little one in the house.
- How to Host a Simple Christmas Cookie Swap Party for Kids - This provides all the activities you can do to host an exciting and memorable Children's Cookie Swap party.
- A Jesse Tree for Christmas - This is a hands-on Christmas lesson I created for a two week unit on Christmas. In this lesson the children will make salt dough Jess Tree ornaments as they listen to the significance of each one.
- Gingerbread Man Lesson for Kindergarten - Ready for a fun kindergarten literature lesson on The Gingerbread Man? Compare and contrast two versions of the story, decorate gingerbread cookies, create character finger puppets to re-tell the story, and more in this fun literature lesson on the Gingerbread Man!
All of my lessons and unit studies:
- Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies - Looking for all of my lessons and unit studies? Over the years I have posted over 35 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 170 lessons. The unit studies include the Human Body, Simple Machines, Earth Science, Medieval Period, American Revolution, Pioneer Life, Countries of the World, and many more! For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at the above link.
Christmas Nativity Play - To Help Inspire You
Rice Krispies Cereal Treat Christmas Trees
Would you like to teach this way every day?
I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful curriculum and was created by moms with active boys!
If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!
© 2010 Shannon