Unique customs make Christmas in Germany a magical time of year with many fun things to share with your students! In this post, I share easy and fun activities, teaching ideas, crafts, and even where to find lesson plans for teaching all about Christmas in Germany. Take your students on a virtual field trip to learn all about unique customs and holiday traditions in Germany at Christmastime.
Christmas in Germany Holiday Traditions
On the fourth Sunday before Christmas, many families in Germany place an Advent wreath in their living room. The wreaths have four large candles and are traditionally decorated with pinecones and berries. Each week before Christmas a candle is lit to count down the days until Christmas Day arrives.
Every December Christkindlmarkles or Christmas markets pop up around the city. Filled with booths and shops selling holiday foods, gifts, and famous lebkuchen (gingerbread). There is usually a giant Christmas Pyramid in the center of the market.
Blown Glass Ornaments
Christmas ornaments were invented in Germany? Skilled German craftsmen began making hand-blown glass ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts. The insides were made to look silvery using mercury or lead.
Christmas in Germany Classroom Activities
Take a Virtual Field Trip
Take your students on an exciting adventure to see first-hand photos of all the Christmas traditions and holiday events in Italy. I have a ready-to-use teaching PowerPoint in the ATK shop that I use to teach the holiday customs, traditional Christmas foods, special events, and much more during Christmastime in Italy and many different countries.
Write letters to Weinachtsmann (The German Santa Claus)
One beloved German tradition is a special post office where every letter to Weinachtsmann, the German Santa Claus, is opened and answered as long as it arrives ten days before Christmas. Hundreds of thousands of letters arrive each year in many different languages.
🎄Try this classroom activity: Have your students write letters to Weihnachtsmann at the special Christmas post office in Germany. Send the letters the last week of November so they arrive well in advance of the third Sunday of Advent, which is the deadline for letters to receive a reply. Be sure students include their home address or your school’s address for the whole class to receive their replies.
📬 Send your letters to:
An den Weihnachtsmann
Make a Lebkuchen Gingerbread Man Craft
If your students are “traveling” around the world, have them write a postcard to their families! This gingerbread postcard craft is part of the Christmas traditions in Germany lessons we do during our holidays around the world unit.
Our students travel to different classrooms to learn about the unique customs and holiday traditions in countries around the world.
🎄Try this classroom activity: Make a gingerbread boy or girl ornament! Make an ornament by punching a hole at the top and tying yarn through.
Bring in gingerbread cookies for students to taste test. Occasionally I have found large ones to decorate at Costco and my local grocery store, but they don’t seem to have them every year. In the off years, we decorate paper “cookies”.
🎄Try this classroom activity: Incorporate math by making gingerbread cookie glyphs and decorating for data! Each piece of the gingerbread boy or girl represents something about the child who made it.
Christmas in Germany Lesson Plans
Are you looking for Christmas in Germany lesson plans? I’ve created a 14-country unit for teaching winter and Christmas holiday traditions around the world. Each country has detailed, scripted lesson plans with a travel suitcase, passport, teaching PowerPoint with actual photos of the countries, and even a short quiz as an exit ticket before students depart!
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Christmas in Germany Reading Comprehension
Add comprehension practice with leveled passages about holiday traditions in Germany! These passages also include a digital version that you can project on your whiteboard and use during a lesson or make it a partner game during your literacy center time.
Holidays Around the World Math Games
💡Try this classroom idea: Set up holiday-themed math centers around the room so students can “travel” to different countries and practice math skills!
With these holiday math centers, (available in three grade levels) students carry a “mathport” and stamp it when they finish the game at each country’s table. Pictured is the 2nd grade Germany game to practice subtraction on a number line.
For a fun day with your students, use the games for a math around the world holiday party! This post has some fun holiday math party ideas to do with your students!
Books About Christmas in Germany
I hope you’ve enjoyed these holiday traditions in Germany! Save this post so you can find it when you plan!