Don't let the December holidays disrupt the learning in your classroom. These online resources will help you incorporate the holiday into your real learning activities -- and provide a little fun as well. Included: Educational resources for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas.
Have you despaired of instilling any real learning in your students as they eagerly and restlessly anticipate the December holidays? Are you frantic about the lost learning time, but reluctant to deprive your students of their pleasure in this exciting time of year? Why not combine learning with fun with the educational resources at these holiday Web sites?
Billy Bear's on Holiday
Billy Bear offers kids in preschool and early elementary grades information and activities related to all major holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Each holiday page includes age appropriate online games, arts and crafts, word games and puzzles, writing activities, downloadable animations, greeting cards, and more. Here kids can find a personalized letter from Santa, an interactive dreidel game, and Kwanzaa stationery.
Holidays on the Net
This highly animated site offers many unique resources for the holidays, including music and animations, art activities and coloring pages, crafts and recipes, e-greetings, holiday trivia, and more. Probably the most valuable resource for teachers, however, is the information about holiday history, traditions, celebrations, and symbols, presented in an easily readable format and written in language most elementary kids will be able to read themselves. The site also offers educators the opportunity to request a site about a particular holiday and to collaborate on class projects with Holidays on the Net. The site does contain a lot of ads, which might be tempting for kids and, disappointingly, using the site's search engine to surf the web for "holiday resources" primarily produces a list of even more ads. Still, the resources are valuable, even if you decide to use them only for your own information.
Choose Christmas Theme, Hanukkah Theme, or Kwanzaa Theme to find activities, lessons, printables, games, and more to help you celebrate the holidays productively in your classroom. Theme resources include reading comprehension activities, story starters, coloring pages, mazes, shape activities, word walls, dot-to-dots, and printable language arts and math worksheets.
Winter Holiday Links
This collection of Web sites about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa includes links to such unique holiday resources as Christmas paper dolls, a printable Christmas card and tree topper, recipes for potato pancakes and sweet potato fritters, Hanukkah blessings in Hebrew (with a translator tool), and directions for making beaded Kwanzaa necklaces and candle favors. You'll also find links to more mundane -- but equally useful sites providing holiday information, clip art, games, activities, and more.
ALSO WORTH A LOOK
For even more great sites for online reference materials, visit the Reference area of Education World's Site Reviews Archives.