1. Sub Plans
In December, we all need an activity to keep in our sub folder. If it’s not a sick day, students are finishing projects, essays, and tests at different intervals. Other times, we just like to reward high school students with a movie around final exams. They like celebrating holidays, too! Elf is one of my favorite movies to share with older students during chilly December. This movie guide has questions to focus students’ attention and coloring features!
2. Winter Grammar
The end of the quarter can DRAG. Still, we know that students are excited about the holidays and winter break and that we must help them focus. I like to give students a compromise with winter coloring activities for grammar. Coloring can be therapeutic for students, and you have an easy winter display for classroom: a win for all.
3. Traits of Writing
Keeping students writing at the end of a semester can be challenging. With holiday break approaching, December is not always the best time for research papers. So! I have students honing their traits of writing (sentence fluency, conventions, organization, word choice, and etcetera) with one-page writing activities – Christmas style! Students read about the history of Christmas, analyze gingerbread houses, color ornaments, and engage in holiday arguments.
4. Movie Day!
Meetings, sicknesses, and mental health days coming your way? To be honest, we teachers need to show a movie for one reason or the other. Make the media literacy experience meaningful with activities that encourage deep conversations. Poverty Inc. is my favorite documentary to show students because the content spurs research and tough discussions.
5. Bookflix Bulletin Board
Not everything has to be drab and dreary mid-year. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-energize our classroom by freshening up our wall decor. I recently started using a Bookflix Bulletin Board as a way to reflect what books are valued and trending in our classroom. It’s also a convenient way for students to share book recommendations and reading progress! Plus, you can have students create an individual Bookflix board (activity included in resource) that showcases what they have read and still want to read after break.
6. Final Assessments
The start of winter break often marks the end of a term or unit. Teachers want to assess students, provide feedback, and prepare students for their next step in school. In my writing test bank, I’ve left all of those questions editable so that you can personalize all assessments.
7. Grammar Games
December may not be the most ideal time to introduce new grammar concepts, but it’s the perfect time to engage in meaningful review activities. With dice boards and Truth or Dare, these grammar review games are perfect for reflecting on concepts already learned, for preparing for final exams, for learning centers or station activities, and for adding laughter to otherwise straightforward and serious review sessions!
If you use Google Classroom, you should take advantage of self-grading quizzes. Students complete an activity through a Google Form, and you get the results. These work fabulous as an initial assessment or exit ticket. You can try this subjects and verbs self-grading quiz for free.
9. Media Literacy
Need a short but meaningful analysis or research project? This analyzing photographs lesson is ideal for talking about point of view, social justice, media literacy, and for practicing inferences. Students analyze generic photos, and then they look for images that resonate with them…images that they believe are powerful for analysis. Writing extensions are included so that students can dive deeper into the analysis process.
10. Nonfiction Response
Students must write and ponder and internalize what they read for greater meaning. In my school suspensions activity, students read a piece of nonfiction pertaining to punishments in school. They answer questions and respond in writing. Students appreciate this activity because it relates directly to their lives.