Holidays unite people around ideas, beliefs, and customs. As schools and classrooms prepare for winter break, many students will celebrate holidays. Explore these Discovery Education resources to learn more about winter holidays around the world and check out some fresh takes on familiar traditions.
Holiday Content Collections
Content Collections, Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Audio, Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Canadian Subscribers
A reading of O. Henry’s classic holiday story celebrating the spirit of love and giving as a poor but devoted couple sacrifice their most valuable possessions to buy gifts for each other.
Video Segment, Grades 6-8, Canadian Subscribers
The Mythbusters want to build a Rube Goldberg machine that lights up a Christmas tree. In this segment, Adam explains and tests the mechanics of their machine.
Video, Grades K-2
The 1993 children’s book by Andrea Davis Pinkney comes alive in this iconographic program narrated by Alfre Woodard. This unique African-American holiday commemorates the strength of family ties, respect for ancestors, commitment to the growth of community, and gratitude for life’s bounties. Children and adults share their thoughts, songs, stories from the past, dreams about the future, and a delicious feast.
Grades K-2, 3-5, Canadian Subscribers
An animated story of Hanukkah shows how the ancient Jews recaptured their temple and re-established their religious freedom. A Jewish family makes Hanukkah foods, plays holiday games, sings holiday songs, exchanges presents, and has a holiday feast.
Video Segment, Grades 6-8, 9-12
Sure, students may know about the infamous ball drop in Times Square, but what about the Potato of Boise (ID) and Bologna of Lebanon (PA)? This video segment highlights the various items that are dropped on New Year’s Eve and provides the history of the ball drop in New York.
Full Video, Grades 3-5, Canadian Subscribers
It’s the last day of school before the winter holidays and Wanda plans to see The Nutcracker ballet. But during a trip to Murph’s recycling plant, the toy soldier she needs to get into the theater accidentally becomes a plastic pellet! Ms. Frizzle activates the Bus’s Un-Recycler, taking the class and Murph on a song-filled field trip, where they learn how everyday items are made from recycled trash.
Instructional Idea, Educator, Canadian Subscribers
Paper Chat is a teaching strategy that allows students to develop critical thinking and communication skills, while ensuring that every student’s thoughts and opinions are heard. On a large sheet of paper, write an essential question, such as, “Why is it important to learn about holidays and celebrations around the world?” or “What do celebrations around the world have in common?”. Have students respond to the question, and then continue the conversation, by communicating on paper about the selected topic.
Collaborative Project, Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, Canadian Subscribers
(Grades: K-8) Every year, citizens around the world celebrate a variety of holidays commemorating people, events, places, or things. This collaborative project will look at the most celebrated holidays around the world and the elements that make those holidays unique.