Holidays Around the World: Activities for Christmas Time

Holidays Around the World Lesson Plan

Inclusion is more than just a word to impress your politically correct boss. Learn about holidays around the world–Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, Festivus, and Christmas before they get you. At the very least have a holiday activities lesson plan ready that teaches students about holidays around the world–Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, Festivus, Christmas.

Christmas Inspiration: Here’s my story.

The politically correct police (PLP) were out in full force and were searching for me. I had made inappropriate remarks to several students within earshot of parents, teachers, and administrators.

They arrested me at noon. The interrogation began several hours later, preceded by torture, duct tape, and really bright flashlights:

PLP: Why did you say those things to students?
Me: What are you talking about?
PLP: (flashlight crashes against skull) You know what I’m talking about.
Me: (desperate) Are you referring to the 13 students I killed last fall, the thousands of dollars I embezzled from the chess club, or the blackmailing of the principal with compromising photos?
PLP: Don’t play dumb with me. Your crime is far more serious. You wished people a “Merry Christmas” on several occasions last week. Our memo clearly states you are only allowed to say “Happy Holidays.” I’ll give you three days to remedy the situation or else.

Here’s what I came up with.

Holidays Around the World Presentations Lesson Plan

In groups of 2-4, students research a holiday from around the world. My list included Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, Festivus, Christmas-secular, and Christmas-religious (This appeased the extremists who threatened to bludgeon me with a Christmas tree if I got too politically correct (When I say extremist, I’m referring to those who bludgeon others with Christmas trees, not those who celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, so please don’t metaphorically bludgeon me with a Christmas tree with angered comments and bricks through my computer screen.)).

  • Each group makes a poster board, at least 18 x 24 with the name of the holiday and pictures of related celebrations or holiday symbols.
  • Each group types a one-page explanation of the holiday including religious affiliation, national affiliation, holiday origin, how the holiday is celebrated, famous people who celebrate it, and any other pertinent information.
  • Each group supplies an MLA citation page.
  • Each group decorates a section of the room or wears holiday apparel.
  • Each group brings in a holiday recipe, Groups earn credit for bringing in holiday food.
  • Each group presents the poster to the class and explains the holiday to interested onlookers.
  • Politically correct administrators examine the posters all week and defend you against spies who claim you repeatedly say, “Merry Christmas!”

Students enjoy these holiday activities presentations and nobody switches religions, so tell the televangelists to quit e-mailing me.

ELA Common Core Standards Covered

Teaching holidays around the world satisfies the following ELA Common Core Standards

  1. Common Core Writing Standard 2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  2. W.9-10.4  Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in W.9-10.1-3.)
  3. W.9-10.7  Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  4. SL.9-10.1d Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
  5. SL.9-10.4  Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.


Check out these holiday lesson plans.

Last Updated on April 20, 2015 by Trenton Lorcher

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