Adding new instructional formats and activities during the holidays is an easy way to boost engagement in your ELA classroom. If you are looking for some fresh ideas, I have included some free Christmas printables below that I use with my own middle school students. Try these freebies as mini-lessons to see how your students respond to the activities. If they find them engaging, you will have another tool to add to your teacher toolbox!
Holiday Student Discussion Prompts
The first freebie is a set of holiday task cards you can use to organize collaborative discussions between students. I call them CHIT CHAT CARDS and I use variations of them throughout the year to offer students a way to practice concepts without the need for written responses or grading.
This free Holiday Chit Chat Card printable includes 12 different discussion prompts related to Christmas, New Year’s, and other holiday traditions. Use them to help your students become better listeners, speakers, and thinkers. They will love the time they have to interact, share, and discuss text.
CHristmas Traditions Reader’s Theater
Did you know that many of our American Christmas traditions originated with St. Nicholas? This reader’s theater script recreates the discussion between a teacher and her middle school students as they learn about the origin of the annual St. Nicholas Night festivities in their own town.
If you haven’t had a chance to try reader’s theater in your classroom, then this script is the perfect opportunity. It works well for both whole-class and small-group reads, or you can try it with your sub plans as a holiday activity. After students complete the script, there are reader response questions, a context clue worksheet, and a journal prompt to use as comprehension activities.
Winter Personification Worksheet
Students must understand that personification is not to be taken literally; instead, it is figurative language that gives writing more pizazz or zing. My students can always use additional practice identifying personification within text, not to mention using it in their own writing. This free personification worksheet offers an opportunity to do both.
Use this worksheet activity in small groups, independently, or in a literacy center. The winter season, with all its references to holiday characters and unique weather elements, provides the perfect backdrop to review personification. This free resource will keep your students engaged with holiday themes while staying on task with their learning.
Bonus Printable: Gift Ideas for Teachers
Looking for cheap and fun gift ideas for your teacher friends? I created this Teacher Goodies Gift Book to show appreciation to all of my teacher friends, teammates, and staff members.
More Middle School Christmas Activities
Beyond the free Christmas printables I’ve shared above, you can find more holiday-themed resources and activities for middle schoolers in the links below. While December can be a bit of a blur, I try to add a little Christmas fun to my lesson plans each week. From reading to writing, there are hundreds of creative resources you can look to for inspiration. Here are a few links of mine to check out:
- Holiday Reader’s Theater Script for Middle School
- 5 ELA Holiday Activities
- Saran Wrap Ball Game
- December ELA Ideas for BIG KIDS
- December ELA Bundle CCSS
Happy holidays from my classroom to yours!