by Kevin Stuckey, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
There are a variety of holidays for students to celebrate throughout the
school year. Holiday times occur during all seasons of the year. By using holiday
and seasonal activities, students can relate to “real-world” events and celebrations.
These theme-based activities provide enjoyment for students as they complete
activities for the current holiday and/or season.
Seasons of the Year
The seasons of the year—winter, spring, summer, and fall—are great teaching themes for students to learn new vocabulary throughout the school year. The difference in temperature and weather is one of the most noticeable changes from season to season. As students experience the seasonal changes, linking related words and concepts to these changes will help them learn new vocabulary in a meaningful way. Encourage students to tell or write stories about their experiences, such as going skiing in winter or planting a garden in spring. Their stories may include information like where they were, what they saw, who else was there, what they did, things that happened along the way, and what they liked about it. Another activity idea is to have students compare and contrast the seasons by saying what is similar and what is different about them. Take a survey to see which season is the favorite for each student and then make a graph or chart to compare the results.
Many cultures observe different holidays throughout the year. At these times students have the opportunity to learn about the meaning as well as the traditional customs of each holiday. This can be a fun time for students to work on holiday projects to share with others, as well as share their personal stories and experiences. Students can create their very own projects—such as making cards or making decorations—that symbolize particular holidays as they occur. Some examples of holiday themes include Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.
Holiday and Seasonal Activities
The following list contains examples of holiday and seasonal theme-based ideas.
- Winter – Students can make a paper snowman and snowflakes. Then, they can discuss holidays that occur in winter (e.g., Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day).
- Spring – Students can make paper flowers to indicate new growth during springtime. Then, they can discuss holidays that occur in spring (e.g., Easter, Arbor Day).
- Summer – Students can draw a picture of where they went or would like to go on a summer vacation. Then, they can discuss holidays that occur in summer (e.g., Fourth of July, Father’s Day).
- Fall – Students can take a nature walk to collect leaves and discuss their different types and the type of tree on which they grow. Then, they can discuss holidays that occur in fall (e.g., Halloween, Thanksgiving).