Christmas Unit Study - Social Studies
A Christmas Unit Study (Social Studies)
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. Following are some suggestions to enhance the Christmas story with geography and history!
The History of the Christmas Holiday - PBS Special
PBS's Frontline presents many informational documents and videos about Jesus, His life, and the early church.
Many Faces ~ How well do the archaelogical clues historians are uncovering match up with the story Christians have long told each other?
A Portrait of Jesus' World ~ His was a deeply religious generation, spiraling toward war amid expectations of a coming cosmic battle of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness
The Story of the Storytellers ~ The first gospel was written almost 40 years after Jesus' death. Were they historically accurate, objective accounts? Or intended as proclamations of faith?
The First Christians ~ The clash of customs and cultures among early Christians yielded a Jesus of many different interpretations and multiple messages
Why Did Christianity Succeed? ~ How did this small Jewish sect become the Christian church, embraced by the Empire that had sent Jesus to his death?
Additional Materials ~ Maps, Archaeology & Sources, Discussion, Bibilical Quiz, A Follow-Up Symposium, Behind the ScenesTapes, Transcripts & Events, Teachers' Guide, and Viewers' Guide .
Watch the Full Program Online!
- Christmas History
Read this page for an overview of the history leading to our modern day celebration.
- The History of Christmas
Watch Christmas history videos, read about Christmas history, stories, fun facts, Christmas trees, origins of Santa, world traditions, and the history of toys at History Channel.
The History of Christmas Celebrations
Christmas Around the World - Fun ways to study world cultures!
One of my favorite websites for children, Kid's Cooking Activities, has an absolutely fantastic World Studies Cooking Unit that you may purchase in ebook form or you may download most of it for free right on the site! You will also receive a free copy of Kids Holiday Cooking and Celebrating and other ebooks when you subscribe to their newsletter! Great resource!
- *Christmas Celebrations Around the World
Enjoy this 25 day unit about how Christmas is celebrated around the world from Teaching Mom. A summary of each country's customs and links are provided in these easy to use lessons. Countries include: Bethlehem, Russia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finlan
- *Christmas Around the World Unit Study & Lapbook
Another one of my very favorites that I will be using with my children, this huge unit from Homeschool Share has an amazing amount of information, resources, links, games, and lapbook components!
- *Christmas Around the World
This is one that I will most likely use for my children. Besides having interesting information on several countries, there are recipes, crafts, activities, and links to find out more.
- Christmas Traditions Around the World
After learning how to say "Merry Christmas" is several language, read a one page article about each of the following places on the earth: Christmas in Africa, African America, Alaska, America, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bethl
- Christmas Traditions
Each country listed has a small paragraph about it's Christmas traditions.
- Christmas Worldwide
Brief descriptions of Christmas in many lands
- Christmas Around the World
Links for units from Woodland School
- *Christmas Around the World
A full page of information from each country listed.
- World Advent Calendar
"On each day in December 2009, test your knowledge on how Christmas is celebrated around the world, using our very own interactive advent calendar."
- Christmas Cultures
Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Rep., Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, J
Spread Christmas Love Throughout the Earth
Learn about twelve countries, their cultures, and how they like to celebrate the Christmas season.
Create and learn at the same time while coloring these wonderful illustrations from Dover Books
Hand-On Learning has always been my favorite way to teach! Students will enjoy creating these many multi-cultural crafts and art.
Christmas Customs & Symbols
What do all these things we see at Christmas time have to do with the real Christmas anyway? Find out the meanings in the units below!!
- Christmas Customs Lapbook
Free from Homeschool Helper! Mini books are about: gifts, yule log, Nativiy, wassailing, mince pies, Christmas crackers, stockings, shoes, Santa, Advent wreath, St. Lucia's Day
- Christmas Symbols Lapbook
Another fantastic free lapbook from Homeschool Helper that contains minis on candy canes, Christmas trees, gingerbread, stars, wreath, angels, Nativity scene, ornaments, and holly.
- Christmas Symbols Lapbook
Contains mini books for: candy cane, nativity scene, lights, tree, colors flip book, Xmas, wreath, cover, ornaments, star, angel, minibook pages, poinsettia, gift, and Jesus is Better than Santa ~ poem from 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 Blog. The minis are colorful
- Christmas Symbols
Find 20 lesson plans on the symbols of Christmas. Each lesson contains the history, symbolis, Bible verse, activity, music, and resources. Topics are: Wreath and Advent, Christmas Tree and Ornaments, Christmas Food, December 25, Santa Claus, Elves, a
- *A Blessed Christmas*
A Blessed Christmas: A Unit Study Approach to Studying the Symbols of Christmas by Karen Caroe and Kathryn Martinez. You have probably already done or seen some of Karen's fabulous work. She has written many units for her children and generously shar
- A Blessed Christmas
See the original form of the above unit by Mrs. Caroe at Funschooling Unit Studies.
- *Teach the Children
Our family tries to avoid all the "Santa" hype at CHRISTmas time, but this story which includes him touched my heart, and therefore I wanted to share it. In the story, Santa gently tells of the Biblical symbols of Christmas. . "Remember, teach the ch
- *The 24 Days of the Symbols of Christmas
Also based upon Mrs. Caroe's original unit study, this mom adapted it and added a few bonuses!
So Joseph also went
up from the town of
Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,
to Bethlehem the town of David,
because he belonged
to the house and line of David.
*Israel Maps: Worksheet Works is one of my favorite websites for maps for children! Create maps designing the content for the age and ability of your students.
~ Freeform Israel Map - choose if you want cities, physical attributes, and neighboring areas on your map.
~ "Label Me" Israel Map - same as above except there are blanks of locations to fill in, an answer key is given - these are nice to use for practice or quizzess.
~ Israel Location Word Search - find the names of the places in the puzzle; choose their list or create your own
~ Scrambled Places of Israel - students unscramble the names of locations and identify them on a map.
~ Israel Crossword Puzzle - choose 10, 15, or 20 words in the categories of cities, neighbors, and physical attributes.
- The Land of Israel
Learn about the country of Jesus' birth! Study the geography, natural features, history, Israeli media, fine arts, people, and the government of Israel.
- Geography of Israel
Find out about the geography, physical geography, economy, people,and government, history of Israel .
- Israel Geography
Simply put information from Kidport Reference Library
- Israel at Enchanted Learning
Read a page about the flag, take a quiz, or try one of the simple geography research worksheets.
- The Holy Land ~ Israel & Palistine
Resources for teachers and kids at Mr. Donn's site.
- Biblical Geography
Info and maps on: The World Beyond Palestine ~ The Roman Empire ~ A History of Palestine ~ The Territories and Rulers of Palestine
- Cities of Ancient Israel
Here is a large beautiful map of Israel - great for study.
Would you like to travel to the Holy Land?
The Christmas Truce - What an amazing story!
Silent Night, Holy Night ... Sleep in Heavenly Peace
The fighting stopped on both sides of World War I due to the celebration of Jesus' Birth. The Prince of Peace was working in the hearts of men for this truce.
The books Christmas in the Trenches and Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas are other great sources of the story for children.
And there were shepherds
living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over
their flocks at night.
Kids enjoy dressing up and role playing, plus it is a great way to learn and remember things! Why not encourage your students and children to dress up as a shepherd (toy lambs can become very real to young tykes!), older kids may enjoy building a small wood project like a carpenter, or perhaps try a little fishing. How would it have been different to do these jobs long ago than it would today? Have fun!
- Bible Occupations
Here you will find a Bible lesson / filll in the blank study about careers in the Bible. It includes beggars, cupbearers, carpenters, fishermen, potters, and shepherds.
- *Jobs in the Bible
Find here a long list of Biblical jobs and their references to use for study.
- *Bible Jobs Scripture Game
What a great idea from Scripture Lady! Learn the fun way with occupations, Scripture study, and charades!
- Occupations in the Bible
Try this fun online crossword puzzle!
- Bible Occupations
Try another online crossword puzzle about careers found in the Bible.
- Occupations Scramble
Can you figure out what jobs these are? Unscramble the words to discover Biblical occupations.
- Occupation Quiz
Test your knowledge of the Bible. Can you name who had each of these occupations?
- The Apostles
What were the occupations of the apostles? Where did they come from? What was their role? Find out here.
- The Biblical Woodshop
Look at the pictures of carpenter tool, and read information about the trade.
A definition and references from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- How to Hook a Fisherman
An interesting sermon about the events of Luke 5:1-11 is from Bible.org.
- The Big Fisherman Speaks
I enjoyed reading this story from the perspective of Peter.
- *The Shepherd: Bible Usage
Read several pages of Bible study on sheep and shepherds throughout the Bible.
- The Shepherd
Did you ever stop to think about what a Biblical shepherd carried with them on their job? No? Me, neither. But know I have a better perspective of these important workers.
- Sheep Crafts
Danielle's Place has the most adorable lessons and crafts! Make sure to click on "Sheep Crafts for Kids Page" in lesson 6.
- Shepherds, Angels, and a Manger
Read an interesting shepherd story.
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
"Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
Great Reading Material
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.
If you lived in Biblical times ...
What type of occupation would you hope to pursue?
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Family & Genealogy
Genealogy of Jesus Christ: Study the passages about the genealogy of Jesus Christ n Mathew 1:1-17 (Joseph's lineage with a Jewish perspective) and Luke 3:23-38 (Mary's family with a Greek perspective). Why did the Israelites maintain years of family records? With such a long list of male ancestors, why are there a few women? Who are they and why were they set apart?
Have fun learning the alphabet while reading the Christmas story and enjoying the beautiful illustrations!
This is a wonderful book! Several years ago I turned this into a Christmas pageant I directed by having the children carry in the letters of the alphabet and read the story about their letter (written on the back of the alphabet cards). We interspersed a few favorite carols in between, and voila! Easy musical!
Besides being a really fun song to sing at Christmas time, this favorite song has a wonderful history behind it. Each of the "gifts" represent something about the Christian faith! This book explains the meanings with illustrations, activities, and a poster to help students remember the significance of each verse.
Your children and students will enjoy this sweet story of the true pastor who spread gifts to children reminding us of Christian love and charity.
Bethlehem - The Birthplace of our Savior!!
In the City of David ...
O Little Town of Bethlehem ...
OK, I have to admit I have not seen this movie yet, but it states to give a mix of history, science, and faith. Three of my favorite topics! Looking forward to seeing it!
More Map Skills
- A Variety of Geography
Learn about time zones, world travel (Santa), poles (North Poles especially), latitude and longitude, and compasses.
Thought to Ponder from Santa
"Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center,
for I am but a humble servant of the One who is,
and I bow down to worship Him, our Lord, our God." ~ Santa
The quotation is from the story "Teach the Children"
at the Woodlands Junior School Website.
Thanks for for showing the true meaning of Christmas!
May God bless you with the
true significance of Christmas ~
The birth, life, and death
of our Lord, Jesus Christ!