December 2020 - Ideas for Every Day

Welcome Leaders! How are you? While normally this time of year is tough for teachers, (see our post, "You’re NEVER Alone," if you feel this) we all know 2020 is NOTHING like normal; it’s like we’ve reached another level of “toughness” this year. Our school district got moved back to remote learning until AT LEAST through Christmas break. If this is you too - or perhaps you’ve been remote, or perhaps you're in-person or living in the thick of it through homeschool - whatever your situation is, I think we can all agree: this year’s been TOUGH! I think we’re all trying to make it through to a break so we might just breathe and remember what that feels like again for awhile - to just breathe.

Well, as November draws to a close, we hope to breathe some joy into your daily routine with our December calendar.  We pair daily holidays with learning activities for Preschool to Sixth grade learners across multiple subject areas so that you have an idea for every day. This month, we’ve marked the quick-and-easy, print-and-teach, or push-play-and-walk-away activities with asterisks. Let me say that again for the people in the back:

No-prep activities are indicated with an *asterisk.

Trust me, we know right now what you need is something quick and easy with little to no thought required. You’re in survival mode; so are we. That’s where the asterisks come in hand. If you’re just looking for a quick plug-and-play lesson, scan for an asterisk that appeals to you.

If a certain day piques your interest but you want a different activity, check out our Pinterest board, you might just find something new there for you. 

Also, if you want to check out Wolfe Stew recommended, and in some cases personally crafted, December activities from last year, consider visiting our, "Holiday Spirit," post. Our original ideas there include: "Bless a Learner a Day," "Holiday Spirit Prompts," "Christmas Kindness Challenge," "Caught Being Kind Notes," and "Verses to Pray Over your Learners." But there's more! So if you want just general December classroom ideas, head to our, "Holiday Spirit," post poste haste.

Here's our December 2020 Idea for Every Day Calendar. You'll find Preschool to Sixth Grade family and classroom activities to complement daily holidays. Pin it, print it, bookmark it, paper clip it, keep it handy. Then, when you're looking for a fill-in activity, or an activity that's a break from the routine, give it a glance. We have an idea for you!

Daily holidays with link pairings for preschool to sixth grade families and classrooms.
Click here for your December 2020 Calendar (above is only a graphic.)

And, if you’re interested in downloading a blank calendar so you can print and plan, here’s one waiting for your wonderful ideas:

Waiting for all your fabulous ideas.
Click here for your BLANK December 2020 Calendar (above is only a graphic.)


Now, the list approach (with asterisks included) here follows. This might be perfect to browse with your blank calendar handy. Then, you can jot down what days you want to do which activities. Bookmark the corresponding sites on your browser in a December folder and you’re good to go! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Here are some quick links to get you to the part of greatest interest to you:

 And now, without further ado, check out the December Ideas for Every Day we have planned for you:

Week One – December 1, 2020 to December 5, 2020

Daily holidays paired with ideas for Preschool to Sixth Grade families and classrooms.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – Rosa Parks Day

Preschool to Kindergarten

Check out this lesson plan about Rosa Parks from Bright Hub Education. Includes a circle time walkthrough (with book recommendations), a painting project (using this picture, featured at Poets.org), making a timeline and information on what happened next.

*First to Third Grade

Watch a BrainPop Jr. video about Rosa Parks as a spring board for discussion. BrainPop Jr. also features related online activities including an easy and hard quiz, word play to practice relevant vocabulary words, a writing prompt, a related comic, a drawing prompt, a social change activity, and a discussion prompt.

Fourth to Sixth Grade

A writing opportunity at Scholastic asks students to step into the role of Rosa Parks, or other Civil Rights activists, through researching and drafting an essay (organizational template provided). They will also fill out a cause and effect graphic organizer (provided) that details events leading up to the Civil Rights movement. Extensions suggest writing a newspaper article and reading about the history of jazz. All research links are housed within Scholastic.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020 – Special Education Day

One easy and thoughtful thing you can do today is to thank and celebrate special education teachers at your school.

*Then, with your learners, open the conversation for understanding disabilities with a picture book from this list at Mrs. D’s Corner. For each grade level band, we think the following books sound interesting:

  • Preschool to First GradeDon’t Call Me Special written by Pat Thomas, Narrative by Sylvia McGrath - YouTube read aloud by Writing Mama
  • Second to Third GradeUniquely Wired: A Story About Autism and Its Gifts by Julia Cook, illustrated Anita DuFalla. YouTube read aloud by Official FSUFSD.
  • Fourth to Sixth GradeEmmanuel’s Dream a book about overcoming physical disabilities by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls. YouTube read aloud by Snakofa Read Aloud.

Thursday, December 3, 2020 – National Roof Over Your Head Day

*Have your learners (of any grade) Fill a house outline (from Coloring.ws) with statements or pictures that express appreciation for the roof over their own head. 


Friday, December 4, 2020 – National Cookie Day

There are two activities we think would be a fantastic, and rigorously appropriate way to celebrate National Cookie Day. First, you could host a cookie debate. Each group prepares arguments, presents them to the class, and then votes (with this ballot from Oh So Delicioso) for their favorite cookie type (lists of cookie types from Real Simple). But they cannot vote for own.

Or have learners fill out a character profile (template from Super Coloring) for various cookie types (list from English Study Online). They can either choose their absolute favorite cookie, or you could assign them one from the list. You might want to do a model before hand so they can have an example from which to work.


Saturday, December 5, 2020 – Coats and Toys for Kids Day

Donate coats (The Bustle suggestions) and toys (Money Crashers suggestions) to kids in your community today.

 

Week Two – December 6, 2020 to December 12, 2020

Daily holidays for which we provide Preschool to Sixth Grade ideas for families and classrooms

Sunday, December 6, 2020 – St. Nicholas Day

Browse and choose at home celebration ideas from St. Nicholas Center.  Probably the easiest is to place some small surprise in your children’s shoes overnight as described in this Celebrate St. Nick’s Day article by Beth Bales.

 

Monday, December 7, 2020 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

In remembrance of Pearl Harbor, there are several activities which you might do. We’ve organized them into recommended grade level bands below:

  • Preschool to First GradeFish for Jimmy (YouTube read aloud by Shannon Baker) by Katie Yamasaki as recommended by Pragmatic Mom (more books also listed)
  • Second and Third Grade – Read I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor (links to its Scholastic page) by Patricia Brennan Demuth, illustrated by John Mantha & Tim Tomkinson
  • *Fourth to Sixth Grade - Watch a Pop-up YouTube of the infamy speech. Pictures with captions appear throughout the video to explain details related to the event. Or experience an eyewitness account from Smithsonian’s American History page.
  • ADULTS (PG13) - You could watch the movie (links to its IMDB page). Check out a book about Pearl Harbor from this list found at Early Bird Books.
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 – National Christmas Tree Day

*Learn about the History of the Christmas tree in one of these three resources:

Make some Christmas Tree Crafts

The Spruce Crafts offers twenty for your consideration. For each grade level band, we like the following:


Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – National Pastry Day

Bring pastries in for your colleagues, your team, your class, your family or yourself. When we talk pastries, we’re usually thinking donuts. That’s likely what we’ll get. Donuts or those pastries with the cream or fruit filling dolloped in the center and icing zig-zagged over top. Not sure what those are called but - YUM!

 

Thursday, December 10, 2020 – Nobel Prize Day

*Preschool to Second Grade

Focus on Bob Dylan. Did you know he was a Nobel Prize Winner? I didn’t. But there are also five picture books that he’s written. Check out these Bob Dylan books for kids at Children Books Celebrities. Perhaps even get your hands on one and read one. Or have them listen to a YouTube read aloud:

  • Forever Young lyrics by Bob Dylan, illustrations by Paul Rogers (read by Kathy Ottersen)
  • Man Gave Names to All the Animals lyrics by Bob Dylan, illustrations by Jim Arnosky (uploaded by Leeds Jewish Welfare Board)
  • If Dogs Run Free lyrics by Bob Dylan, illustrations by Scott Campbell (read by Ms. Becca’s Adventures)
  • If Not For You by Bob Dylan, illustrations by David Walker (read by Ashley Greer)
  • Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan, illustrations by Jon J. Muth (read by Alder Family Homeschoolers)

After reading the book, pull facts from his biography (at the Nobel Prize website) to teach them about who he was. Finally, they should know why he won which is best detailed at the Nobel Prize website.

Second Graders and Up

Choose their own Nobel Prize Winner of interest. Alternatively, assign or have learners randomly choose a Nobel Prize Winner. Take biographical notes  on the Nobel Prize winner of choice (or assigned). Afterward, you could choose your favorite biography project (ideas from Kids Love to Know) to finish, or leave it as a lesson in note-taking.

Fourth Grade and Up

Teach a Nobel Prize Lesson featured at the Nobel Prize website which is already updated with 2020 information. You can choose from lessons by year (2019, 2018, 2017), on the history of Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize or by topic (sustainability, women in science, civil rights, human rights). Lessons come with a complete teacher’s guide, from preparation to conclusion, with all resources included.


*Friday, December 11, 2020 – National App Day

Let learners spend some time on their favorite educational apps. Maybe even discover a new one with this list of free educational apps from Family Education. Or, have them work on making their own app with these tips from Grade Infinity.


Saturday, December 12, 2020 – Gingerbread Decorating Day

Make your own (recipe and how-to from Sally’s Baking Addiction) OR buy a kit and get to decorating.

 

Week Three – December 13, 2020 to December 19, 2020


Sunday, December 13, 2020 – Worldwide Candle Lighting Day

Light a candle in remembrance of a loved one. Find out more at Memoria.

 

Monday, December 14, 2020 – Monkey Day

 Preschool to Kindergarten

Teach the Five Little Monkeys with the help of DLTK. Find the nursery rhyme as a printable, coloring and tracer pages, felt board figurines, finger puppets, word wall words, monkey crafts and an online jigsaw puzzle. With DLTK, you are set to teach the Five Little Monkeys!

*First and Second Grade

Compare spider and howler monkeys with these informational pages from National Geographic on this Venn Diagram from Education World.

*Third and Fourth Grade

Read about monkeys doing math in this Live Science article. Then, watch this video regarding monkeys’ math skills from Newsy Science via YouTube. Have students synthesize information by writing a paragraph about monkeys doing math, creating a poster that reflects the learning in the article and video, or complete a Venn diagram (from Education World) that compares and contrasts the article and the video.

Fifth and Sixth Grade

Write math word problems using monkey fact pages from the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. First, discuss the anatomy of a word problem (lesson plan to support from Thought Co). Then, decide which specific operations should appear in their word problems, or just have them write their own.

 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 – Bill of Rights Day

Preschool to Second Grade

Make a picture book featuring the Bill of Rights as succinctly summarized at Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government. For each amendment, draw or make a collage of pictures captioned by the freedoms the amendment protects. You could assign teams different amendment or have each group (or student) make their own picture book.

Third to Sixth Grade

Use this lesson plan from the National Constitution Center to help learners understand the freedoms each amendment protects. They’ll start by reading Carl the Complainer by Michell Knudsen & illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler (links to a YouTube read aloud by TMO Learning Journey). The lesson continues as learners match amendments to related situations and wraps up with learners writing their own petition. All resources are included along with extension activity suggestions.

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 – National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

*Preschool to Second Grade

 Use the sentence frame: “If I could cover anything in chocolate it would be…  because…” to complete a draw and write (from Wolfe Stew). Consider stapling them all together to make a class book.

Third Grade and Up

May either construct arguments that a (chosen/assigned) chocolate covered food (list from The Travel) is delicious. Or start reading  Chocolate Covered Ants by Stephen Manes (links to its Goodreads page).

 

Thursday, December 17, 2020 – Wright Brothers Day

Start by reading about the Wright Brothers with The Wright Brothers by Elizabeth MacLeod, Illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski in Preschool to Second Grade (links to a review at Kids Can Press) or The Wright Brothers for Kids: How they Invented the Airplane by Mary Kay Carson in Third to Eighth Grades. The latter book includes "21 activities to explore the science AND history of flight."

Then, issue a paper airplane steam challenge with the help of Nerding.

 

Friday, December 18, 2020 – Flake Appreciation Day

*Learn How They Form

In this “Where do Snowflakes Come From?YouTube video from SciShow Kids for your Preschool to Second Grade Learners or in this It’s Okay to Be Smart The Science of Snowflakes” video also via YouTube for your Third to Sixth Grade Learners.

*Make One

In a SciShow Kids How to Make a Paper Snowflake!” YouTube video for Preschool to Second Grade Learners or via templates at First Palette for Third to Sixth Grade Learners. At First Palette, your learner will even have the opportunity to design their own.

 

Saturday, December 19, 2020 – Wreaths Across America Day

Learn the history at Wreaths Across America and discover ways to contribute.

 

Week Four – December 20, 2020 to December 26, 2020

Daily holidays with ideas for Preschool to Sixth Grade families and classrooms.


Sunday, December 20, 2020 – Games Day

Play ones you have already or get a new one by considering the suggestions on this list of best family board games via The Strategist. We think we’d like to try Exploding Kittens. What game would you get?

 

Monday, December 21, 2020 – Winter Solstice

Guess what?  Today, days officially start getting longer! 

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”

 – John Steinbeck

 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 – National Cookie Exchange Day

If you want to host a cookie exchange, you might want to head over to Cooking Light for their “4 Easy Steps” for a cookie swap party. Of course, if you’re reading this close to the time of your cookie swap party, you’ll want to head directly to “Step 4: Prepare for the day of the party.” They’ll offer appetizer options, games suggestions and even links to cookie recipes.

 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 – National Roots Day

Record your genealogy. Make a family tree (with the help of Archives.gov) and record some histories with five tech tips suggested by the New York Times contributing author J.D. Biersdorfer.

 

Thursday, December 24, 2020 – Christmas Eve

Enjoy the traditions of your family.  Looking for new ones?  Check out some of these suggested by Uplifting Mayhem. We like the Christmas Adam sleepover idea. Have you done it before? What’s your favorite Christmas Eve tradition?


Friday, December 25, 2020 – Christmas

Enjoy the time with friends and family.  Celebrate in ways that mean Christmas to you.

“He who has not Christmas in his heart, will never find it under a tree.”  
- Roy L. Smith

 

Saturday, December 26, 2020 – National Thank You Note Day

Consider taking the time to write handwritten notes for gifts received.  I think those in your life will appreciate the sentimentality behind this “old fashioned” tradition.

 

 

Week Five – December 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020

Daily holidays with ideas for Preschool to Sixth grade families and classrooms


Sunday, December 27, 2020 – National Fruitcake Day

Bake up “Everyone’s Favorite Fruitcake” from King Arthur Baking Company.

Or spend time with friends.  Afterall:

“Friends are the fruitcake of life – some nutty, some soaked in alcohol, some sweet."

-  Jon Ronson

 

Monday, December 28, 2020 – National Card Playing Day

Get together some friends and family and play your favorite card games (links to Playing Card Decks for more suggestions).

Or, you can always play solitaire. Here, The Spruce offers nine variations.

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020 – National Pepper Pot Day

A stew with an interesting history?  You know we had to choose this day.  Read about the history and try out the recipe at The Guardian.

 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020 – Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

It’s the last day to accomplish your 2020 resolutions. Spend one last day resolved to do it.


Thursday, December 31, 2020 – New Year’s Eve

However you count down to the New Year - watching a ball drop (links to Times Square Ball’s page), singing Auld Lang Syne (links to Scotland.org for the words and history of the song),  writing out resolutions (links to Upper Elementary Snapshots’ guide to writing SMART resolutions), or toasting, (links to Next Avenue’s list of New Year toasts – see our favorite below), know we’re celebrating with you. Happy New Year! 

For last year’s words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. 
-T.S. Eliot

Before You Go, We’d Love to Know

  1. What is your favorite tradition this time of year?
  2. What is your greatest hope going into 2021?

 We'll be back with our January calendar toward the end of December. But keep dropping by, we love having you here. If you'd rather have Wolfe Stew delivered to you, consider subscribing. Until next time, leaders, we're sincerely hoping you find the JOY in every day.

Merry met and merry part, we drink to thee with all our heart.

At Your Service,

Seasoning life with a Christian husband and wife.

Interested in even more educational resources?  Then stop by our Learning Lab.  It's here where we store all the educational resources we've cooked up to date.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Victoria: The STEAM Team Technologist

Silas: The STEAM Team Scientist

Mission Born: Space Twins - Chapter 18