Blog | Ditch the Glitter! These Festive Lesson Plans Are Good, Clean Fun

Ditch the Glitter! These Festive Lesson Plans Are Good, Clean Fun

Glittery play doughDecember is officially here, and the glitter is twinkling menacingly from the art supply cupboard. Surely there’s another way to keep the class’ attention this Christmas? One that you won’t need to pick out of your jumper for the next 6 weeks?

The festive break is so close you can already smell the turkey. You’re excited, the children are excited – but learning still needs to happen for a few weeks yet.

We can’t necessarily save you from the glitter and glue (or for the truly adventurous, ‘glitter glue’), but you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of literacy activities that can make the most of your pupils’ festive spirit – without being a Scrooge. 


1. A Good Book

'Twas the day before

Christmas and Santa was ill.

In the cold winter wind he

had caught a bad chill.

Will Christmas be cancelled?

Will it come to that?

"Never!" cried Santa.

"Let's call Pete the Cat!"

What could be more traditional than sitting together for a Christmas story?

‘Pete the Cat Saves Christmas’, by Eric Letwin and James Dean, is a New York Times bestseller which serves mountains of merriment for KS1.

We won’t spoil the ending – but would your class change the plot, if they were asked to re-tell it? Extra house points for continuing to rhyme, of course.

“Pete’s small, he’s blue – and he’s going to save Christmas for you!”


Girl ready Christmas book to teddy2. Christmas Around the World

Do you have an EAL child in your classroom? If so, why not ask them to talk about their native festivities? Perhaps their family could even get involved, providing a few props to help set the scene.

Once the class have learned about another culture’s holiday season, they can apply the knowledge further with some creative writing.

Whether it’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply Christmas Day abroad, can the children tell a story about spending the 25th of December in another country?


3. Christmas Shopping

Are your class causing chaos with their comma use? Try providing a list of Christmas shopping items and see if your class can put the punctuation in the right places.

Have you ever tried to make a mince pie with butter, flour, mince, meat? We hope not!


4. Santa’s Grotto Statements, Questions, Exclamations and Commands

Imagine being one of Santa’s Elves… it’s an important job! But what kind of conversations would Santa have with you?

See if your class can distinguish between a statement, question, exclamation and command, with some fun, pre-written texts, such as:

“Our toy factory is the best in the North Pole.”

“Have you finished making the Barbie dolls?”

“The Naughty List seems very long this year!”

“Please load up the sleigh by midnight.”

Of course, the children can always demonstrate further understanding by creating their own sentences, too.


Grinch figurine5. Make the Grinch Flinch!

We all love Christmas (mostly – unless your staff room Secret Santa severely undercuts the budget).  

But are your class such avid Whovillians that they could even change the mind of the ultimate Christmas hater – The Grinch?

Well, write him a letter and find out! The class will need to use lots of positive adjectives like ‘joyful’, ‘fun’ and ‘brilliant’, as well as persuasive adverbs like ‘happily’, ‘merrily’ and ‘brightly’.  

To add extra value to the activity, try working together to highlight these grammar points, after the text has been written. Depending on the ability of the class, a coloured pencil could help the pupils to scaffold their own work – or you could all work together, with sentences on a whiteboard.

For extra magic, the class could even find a letter in reply…


Is a class of independent, capable and confident writers at the top of your Christmas list?

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"The Year 1 teachers have started using the mats and, in just 2 weeks, we have already seen an improvement in the children's writing - especially the boys!"

Emma Foyle, Deputy Headteacher, Stourfield Infant School, Bournemouth


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