I have always loved teaching Christmas Around the World. This year, school is likely going to look different than in previous years. So, today I am going to talk about how you can still teach that Christmas Around the World unit from a distance! All of the activities included in today’s blog post can be done virtually. So, let’s teach Virtual Christmas Around the World!
Great Read Alouds for Christmas Around the World
First, let’s talk read alouds! If you are teaching virtually this December, consider prerecording your read alouds. Or, search YouTube for videos of stories being read aloud. Students will love getting to hear the stories and can watch the videos as many times as they want! Be sure to save your videos with an easy way to find them for future years, too!
The stories below are some of my favorite mentor texts for teaching Christmas Around the World. The affiliate links will direct you to Amazon if you don’t have a copy of your own!
- A World of Cookies for Santa by M.E. Furman
- Walk This World at Christmastime by Debbie Powell
- Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass
- The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
- December Holidays Around the World by Baby Professor
Plan Out How Long for Each Country
Planning will be your friend when teaching Virtual Christmas Around the World! The time you will have to teach this unit will likely vary. So, I have created an easy, free, planning printable for you.
If you have one week or four, you can use this planner to map out what your focus will be each day. If you only have a week, you can choose 5 countries, plan for group projects to split up the countries, or use your creative planning skills! For a longer unit, you can dive deeper into the countries’ holiday traditions with a more spread out schedule.
Download that freebie here!
Make Digital Passports As You Go
If you have used my Christmas Around the World Unit before, you know that the kiddos get to fill out a passport as they “travel” or learn about each country’s holiday traditions! Students love this component of the unit, so I made sure to include a digital passport for this unit.
Now, students can still complete a passport as they take their Christmas Journey around the world!
Then, Start a Deep Dive Into Each Country
In this Virtual Christmas Around the World unit, you will find a variety of activities to teach how holiday traditions vary throughout the world. The unit includes 11 countries (America, Australia, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Israel [Hanukkah], Mexico, Netherlands, the Philippines, and Sweden).
Each country will have 3 or 4 activities to help your students learn about their holiday traditions! With a passport and mini-books, students will have ample opportunity to read and write about their learning!
All of the materials in this unit have been digitally reformatted and converted. So, you will be able to easily teach the activities in a virtual setting!
Each of the countries will have a mini-book of information! The books have been converted to digital formats, as well. So, you can simply assign the books to your students through Google Classroom. Each mini-book describes holiday traditions that are specific to the country. Students will learn all about Christmas traditions around the world.
If you don’t own my pre-made unit, there are still ways for you to teach Virtual Christmas Around the World. In fact, Microsoft has this free virtual field trip template! Students could research the countries’ holiday traditions and use the template to create a presentation! Or, they can track their learning with your assigned activities.
Additionally, there are plenty of videos about holiday traditions on YouTube! When choosing your videos, be sure to pre-screen them and throw their link into ViewPure. This will allow you to share the videos without the fear of inappropriate ads or suggested videos.
Sometimes, when teaching virtually, it is difficult to ensure students are interacting with the content. The activities in this unit are fully interactive. For example, this drag-and-drop activity is a way to replace an interactive notebooks. Students will be reading, learning, sorting and showing their knowledge at the same time!
Don’t Have Time for a Full Unit?
You may want to include a Virtual Christmas Around the World in your December plans, but don’t have a lot of time. If you’re in a time crunch, I have a separate resource for you! This add-on pack has reading passages with comprehension questions for each country. This resource can be easily added to your plans without taking a ton of time from your typical schedule!
Suggested Resources To Make Your Life Easier
The two resources mentioned in this blog post are shown above. Depending on your schedule, one of them is likely to work for you!