Why I Use Holiday Themed Materials in the Secondary Classroom

  1. Teenagers are still big kids. Especially in middle school and early high school.  Halloween is a great opportunity for scary and creepy stories and discussing the fun in being scared.
  2. Even if the holiday material is in line with current lessons, it still feels like a break. It’s always nice to take a break.  One strategy I’ve used is to make it seem like it’s unplanned.  “Oh, we finished that other story early, so instead of starting something new before Christmas Break, let’s just do a Christmas Carol.”  They feel like they’re getting a break or a bonus, while I’ve long ago planned it to fit at that point.Why I Use Holiday Themed Materials in the Secondary Classroom
  3. I can usually use it to slip in a movie or movie clip, which can help engage students otherwise distracted by a holiday or a break.  The Disney version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a fun one, especially when compared to the Washington Irving story.  The short week before Thanksgiving is one great place to use a movie for engagement– and learning.
  4. By recognizing the holidays, it makes our classroom feel less isolated from the rest of the world.  In the secondary school, holiday decorations and celebrations may be minimal or absent.  Having been there, it makes things seem separate from the rest of the world rather than part of the world.  Makes the student analogies about school being a prison a little too accurate that way.  A few holiday or seasonal pieces of literature work nicely as a tie in– from Christmas Carol literary analysis during the weeks of being inundated with them to Snow Themed poetry when the world is blanketed,  it’s nice to feel connected.
  5. It’s nice for me, too, to shift gears and do something special for a day or so. Even if it’s planned, it still feels like a break.  Because these activities or stories are short and not necessarily part of a larger unit, they tend to have something of a different feel.  Short and sweet, I suppose– like writing about Easter Candy (which is also a perfect excuse to bring in some Easter treats in those days before Easter/ Spring Break.)


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1 Response to Why I Use Holiday Themed Materials in the Secondary Classroom

  1. Pingback: Texts Activities for Women’s History Month | Ms. Dickson's Class

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