“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
Children anticipate each holiday. Many of our school activities are planned around holidays in first grade.
In the fall, children always anticipate Halloween. At our school, we allow students to dress up as their favorite book characters on Halloween. Students enjoy dressing up as their favorite book characters and sharing which book character is their favorite and why.
Students in my classroom take home a treat bag each Halloween containing non-edible goodies that the parents send in to share with the children.
Before Thanksgiving, students learn about the first Thanksgiving feast. We read many books and complete many learning activities based upon Thanksgiving.
Soon after the Thanksgiving Break, we begin preparation for the winter holidays. Our grade level teaches about holidays around the world. Students rotate from classroom to classroom to learn about how holidays are celebrated in different countries. Last year, I taught all seven first grade classes about how Christmas is celebrated in Germany. I made a huge nutcracker to place on my classroom door. This image shows the nutcracker reflected in a glass sphere I received one year as recognition for being selected Teacher of the Year at my school.
Students share their holiday traditions. One student’s family tradition is for her to place her wish list in an ornament for Santa to receive and review.
Each year I get to live and view these holidays freshly, through the eyes of many children.
During this week of Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for these precious memories of fall and winter holidays at school.