Although not every family will be celebrating Christmas, it is a major holiday during the month of December. There are many non-religious ways to embrace the celebration during sessions. As always, think about your students and their practices when deciding what to incorporate. Mix in some information about Chanukah (which started the night before Thanksgiving this year), and also utilize items about Kwanza. There are always great books on all of the celebrations, so check in to see what may be new and different.
Mini Trees and Ornaments
Kids love to help and decorate Christmas trees. Take some time to allow them to make their own miniature Christmas tree. Begin by giving them a large piece of green construction paper. Have everyone trace and cut out their own tree. Next, use glue and glitter to make some garland for the trees. After this, make some word or focus ornaments. These can be word families, rhyming words, vocabulary based selections, or prompts to encourage speech sequences. For younger children, the word and a picture could be places on opposite sides of the ornament. You can use small bits of Velcro on the tree to be able to take the ornaments on and off for use. Talk through the process when making the trees and practice the items that will be on each decorative piece.
When sending home the trees, be sure to include some ways that families may use them to supplement learning. Suggest possible games, activities, and other ways to use this decorative item. Make sure to include translations of the key words to assist multilingual families that may benefit from this inclusion.
How Do You Say Merry Christmas?
People from around the world say Merry Christmas in a variety of ways. See how your students say it with their families that may be from different parts of the world. Make a list and celebrate the wide variety of ways to say the same special term. Next read How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen. The book will allow time to talk about how you should and should not behave during the holidays. Brainstorm ways that you would say Merry Christmas without words to someone special. If there is time, make a mini book featuring these items. Children can make this into a present to bring to their families.
As always, focus on the fun of the holiday season to do projects and read books that will blend nicely with your overall goals. Whether you need to focus on articulation, vocabulary, or specific sounds, you will be able to make it a bit more festive during this month.
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