Teaching holiday traditions around the world is a highlight every December. In this post, I’ll show you how to teach holidays around the world on Zoom with some digital freebies to get you started.
How To Teach Holidays Around the World On Zoom
Learning about celebrations different from our own spreads joy and understanding in our classrooms. This is a post you won’t want to skim. It’s packed with digital holidays around the world activities you can easily do on Zoom, that will take your students on an exciting adventure to learn unique customs from around the globe. Grab your virtual suitcase and join me!
Digital Holidays Activities You Can Easily Use Virtually
In a typical year I do all of these activities my classroom. With a little tweaking, and a few digital additions, we can easily do them virtually on Zoom. I created a complete Holidays Around the World Teaching Unit that includes both printable and digital resources with a 14-country PowerPoint & Google Slides, passport, suitcase, crafts, reading passages, and much more. I’ll show you how you can easily use digital components of this unit remotely with your students. The lesson plans and PowerPoint will guide you through a weeks long unit with real photographs taken in the country.
Send your Students a Virtual Plane Ticket
A few days before take off, send your students this FREE holidays around the world Zoom invitation & boarding pass. Make a copy of the free Google Slides document and edit it to add your own info. The departure gate is your Zoom meeting link. This fun digital boarding pass is sure to delight your class!
Click here to copy the FREE Zoom Invites to your Google Drive. NOTE: You do not need to “request access”. If you are prompted to “do so and are on a school computer or email address it means your school has outside downloads blocked. I recommend downloading from a personal email address and computer.
Catch a Flight to Faraway Places
When the day arrives, make it magical by welcoming your students to the airport! Have them meet you at the “gate” and play a video of planes taking off and landing.
Make It Fun With A Flight Script
In a typical year, I go all out and set the premise that our classroom is the plan and our desks are seats. I’ve even put up paper along the walls with plane “windows” drawn on them. You can still pretend over Zoom and this post has a FREE Flight Script that will make your kids giggle! Click here to read the post and get the FREE Flight Script.
Take a Digital Passport
Don’t forget your passport! Use a photo of each child or have parents take one, to add to these digital passports! Students can move stamps from each country on to their passp0ort after they depart.
If children aren’t familiar with the purpose of a passport, explain how they work and their importance when you travel. Show students examples of passport stamps and explain that when travelers enter a country they get their passport stamped.
Make Your Lessons Come Alive With Videos
As you plan to teach holidays around the world on Zoom, make your lessons come alive by showing videos of the countries you visit. Students will learn about special holiday events, traditional foods, and unique customs in each country. I’ve put together an entire blog post with holiday videos and a FREE clickable video guide with direct links to videos from over 20 different countries. The videos highlight each country’s holiday traditions and it’s the next best thing to being there!
Click here to read the post and get the FREE Holidays Videos Guide for Teachers with clickable links.
Discovery Education hosts a virtual holidays viewing party with a video featuring holiday celebrations around the world. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Locate Countries on a Map
Display a world map in the space where you teach and locate each country before you travel. This is a good opportunity to review map skills with your students. Have them name the continents you will be “visiting” and the oceans they will “cross”. Remind them to add a stamp to their passports once they depart!
Make a Digital Scrapbook
Have students record what they learn in the countries they visit with a digital holidays scrapbook. Designed to be flexible, it can be used as a collaborative research project, a class book, or as an individual scrapbook. It includes several pages for each country as well as pages for students to add photos and write about their own family traditions.
Each Google Slide is linked to a website with holiday information about the country. It’s an easy way to have younger students learn to do research. Click here to see the templates for the Digital Holidays Scrapbook.
Compare the Countries You Visit
Talk about the countries you visit with your class. Focus on the unique customs, traditional foods, special events, celebrations and gift-givers in each country. My students always enjoy comparing the different countries so I made a digital activity to use. Students have a choice of 27 different flags to move onto the grid and then type their answers.
Show and Tell Treats From Around the World
You may not be in the classroom with your students, but you can still show them holiday treats from other countries. Look for items from the countries you visit at your local grocery store, Walgreens, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts if you have those near you.
I found all of these at Trader Joes, and I also found large panettone at Walgreens. Little Debbie Swiss Rolls look like Bunche de Noel cakes from France, and gingerbread cookies can represent Germany. Ikea carries a wide array of Swedish holiday treats. Show your students fruit for Kwanzaa, donut holes for Diwali, and gold wrapped chocolate coins for Hanukkah. I have often found those at Target.
Make Simple Souvenirs Students Can Do At Home
After each country we visit, we make simple crafts. In a typical year, we make the postcards. If you are teaching virtually keep it simple and just make the craft. Don’t glue it to the postcard. This holidays unit has one-page craft templates for each country that you can separate from the rest of the PDF and send home to students. Watch a quick video on how to separate individual pages from a PDF and save them as a separate file.
Do Related Read Alouds
By now you may be accustomed to doing read alouds over Zoom or the platform you are using to teach. I’ve written a blog post with links to my favorite books about holidays around the world. I’ve also curated a collection of books about Christmas traditions around the world that you can find on my Amazon page under Books for Teachers.
Read Articles During Your Literacy Time
Extend what students are learning, and build close reading skills, by including digital reading passages and articles during your literacy and reading times.
Use Exit Tickets Before Departure
As a quick assessment before leaving each country use digital exit tickets. They go along with the travel and ticket theme and your students will get a kick out of completing an exit ticket before they depart.
You can find 14 digital reading passages with comprehension questions as well as digital exit ticket assessments in this holidays unit.
As you can see, there are many magical ways to teach holidays around the world on Zoom! Be sure to pin this post for later on Pinterest so you have it when you plan.
For more ideas you can use on Zoom visit these posts:
Happy holidays on Zoom!