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Best Books for Teaching About...

December Holidays


Are you looking for literature to support classroom instruction about December Holidays? Check out Our Editors’ Choices for titles recommended by the Education World team. Then it's your turn to share books that you enjoy or use in your classroom in the Our Readers’ Voices section below. With your help, we will build the best list on the Web of Best Books for teaching about December Holidays.



See related titles in Holidays

By Cynthia Furlong Reynolds (2004)
The Christmas story and the origin of many holiday traditions are thoroughly detailed in the text of S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet. The first Christmas cards were printed and sold in the United States by a German immigrant in 1874. Long ago, eating pie was believed to bring good luck, and during the holidays they were baked in an oblong shape to look like a manger. Celebrate these and many other traditions of the holiday season with S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet.

by Angela Shelf Medearis
This original folktale will help introduce children to the Kwanzaa's seven principles, while also suggesting how Kente cloth was first created. In a Ghanian village, a father's will commands that his seven argumentative sons must make gold from silk thread "by the time the moon rises," without fighting. Working together, the brothers create a tapestry of Kente cloth, the first multicolored cloth the village has seen, which they sell to the king's treasurer for gold, before returning to their village to farm and live harmoniously. (Booklist)

It's Your Turn!

We've shared a few Editors' Choices for teaching about this theme. Now it's your turn to contribute to the Readers' Voices section below. Do you have a book related to this theme that you and your students enjoy? Just click here to share it!

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Don't miss our Editors’ Choices for Teachers and for Parents. We're waiting for you to add your Readers' Voices there too.

by Sarah Marwil Lamstein
Despite mockery and laughter from the villagers, Hayim asks the local scribe to write a letter in which he prays for oil to light the town's menorahs. The poor man takes his letter to the highest hill and sends it off on the strongest breeze. Hayim's prayers are answered, and the villagers can celebrate Chanukah -- but many in the town are convinced that Hayim is a thief. Sarah Marwil Lamstein's retelling of this Jewish folktale reminds readers of the first Chanukah and of Mattathias's bravery in protecting his faith.

by Tomie dePaola
Sister Angie has organized the celebration of Las Posadas for many years. This year's performance promises to be very special. Sister Angie's niece Lupe and Lupe's husband, Roberto, are to play the parts of Mary and Joseph. But on the night of the celebration, a snowstorm hits and Lupe and Roberto's car breaks down on their way into town. And to make matters worse, Sister Angie is home sick with the flu. It seems that only a miracle will be able to save Las Posadas.

by Mary D. Lankford
Lankford looks at everything from the weather to customs, decorations, foods, and traditional celebrations of the holiday in 12 countries. A page of text is devoted to each nation, accompanied by a full-color illustration. The last section offers craft ideas and two pages of "Fact and Fiction," which defines and discusses winter solstice, yule, Jesus Christ, and Saturnalia. A pronunciation guide and a page of Christmas sayings are included. (School Library Journal)

by Lemony Snicket
Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and Lemony Snicket is an alleged children's author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. A particularly irate latke is the star of the book, but many other holiday icons appear and even speak: flashing colored lights, cane-shaped candy, a pine tree. Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. The ending is happy, at least for some.

Add your voice to our list of books for teaching about December Holidays!

The Education World Editors’ Choices above represent just a handful of the fine books that might be used to support classroom instruction about December Holidays. Now we’re waiting for you to add to our list! Simply send us your review of a favorite book in 100 words or fewer and we will add it to the Readers’ Choices below.

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