I have the fondest of memories of learning about winter holiday traditions around the world. I was a first grader in Mrs. Gerard’s class and I can still envision the construction paper poinsettia I cut out, carefully sprinkling silver glitter in its center. That was our Las Posadas day, and it was a week of learning that stuck with me for a lifetime. This speaks to the power of a teacher but also the endless engagement and awareness opportunities that stem from a topic like holidays around the world.
As a 1st grade teacher, I found it challenging to find an educational tool for teaching about a wide variety of winter holidays around the world. There were some really great resources for certain holidays, but I was looking to go big. I decided to dive into 12 days of winter holidays around the world and with that came my create-a-palooza. I created slides that not only taught about winter holidays in 12 different geographic locations but also went a little beyond (more on that later).
If you have purchased these slides from my shop, then you’ll enjoy reading about how to use them. If you have not purchased these from my shop, you can view the listing here but I hope at the very least it gives you ideas for how you’ll teach about winter holidays around the world in your classroom!
Why use these?
Today, there are a plethora of resources to choose from for teaching traditions around the world but I am still a #1 fan of my own slides because they are secular — they do include several religious words and concepts to describe the significance of the holidays and what the people who celebrate believe; however, the resource itself does not promote or expound upon religion. The main focus is on how people in different locations celebrate their traditions, customs, and culture. These slides promote inclusion instead of focusing just on Western holidays and Christian beliefs. Students are able to grow their global awareness by learning about kids who live and celebrate differently than them.
💡Pro tip: It can be a hard habit to break, but please don’t call it Christmas around the World when referring to winter holidays and traditions. Christmas is the only Christmas, and people who don’t celebrate it shouldn’t be lumped into that term because it’s incorrect. There are people around the world who celebrate Christmas the “Western way” but someone who celebrates Las Posadas is celebrating Las Posadas—not Christmas in another place.
Make it a Grade-Wide Traditions Around the World Celebration
Join with other teachers who have also bought this resource and hold your own grade level 12 Days of Winter Holidays Around the World. You can rotate each class of students each day to a new teacher and country. Or, you can do several rotations in one day and cover them all in 1 week! This is extra fun if you do an end-of-unit celebration day.
⭐️ Bonus: Have 1 teacher purchase the resource and then an additional license on TPT. This will make the additional packs 50% off.
How to Keep Track of Countries “Visited” – Print Passports and Stickers
Each country’s slide deck also comes with a printable passport and passport stickers. These are also free here for anyone, so make sure to grab these if you are thinking about hosting your own holiday traditions around the world unit!
How to Schedule Your Holiday Traditions Around the World Unit
If you are doing the unit just with your own class, I recommend focusing on 1 country per day and doing it over the course of 2 weeks (double up on 2 days). However, if you are doing this together as a grade level you may opt to follow the directions here.
How to End Your Traditions Around the World Unit
This is totally optional but if you are the teacher that likes to do a little too much in the best way, consider having a celebration day. You can ask students to vote on their favorite country they learned about, do a trivia game to test their winter holiday around the world knowledge, or dive deeper together into one of the countries and their traditions by taking a virtual field trip.
Not sure what/how you’ll teach yet but love the idea of going around the world? Grab the passport and stickers for free here:
Exploring winter holiday traditions from around the world can be a heartwarming and educational experience for both children and adults. By embracing the diversity of celebrations and customs, we not only foster a deeper understanding of different cultures but also create opportunities for meaningful connections and memorable learning moments. Happy holidays and happy teaching! 🌍🕯️🎄
Want to read more about teaching holiday traditions around the world? Check out these posts: