December brings changes in seasons, holidays, and excitement as students prepare for upcoming winter breaks. You can make the most out of this time of energy and anticipation with writing center ideas that rely on the wintry, holiday atmosphere that December instills in your classroom.
1. Holiday Writing Journal
One potential writing center activity is a holiday journal. Students may record special holiday activities, winter fun, or visits in their journal. This can be a daily writing activity or one reserved for special moments in the season. Journaling allows students to develop their own voice and own opinions. Students can also explore narrative style writing in this format. For younger students, pictures and drawings may help illustrate their journal.
2. Nature Observation
December is full of seasonal changes in most parts of the country. Teachers can use this time of year to allow students to explore nature and record their findings. This writing activity can range from Thoreau-style nature contemplation to scientific observation of plants, animals, and the surrounding world.
3. Letter Writing
December is a great time to practice letter writing, proper letter writing format, and how to correspond with others. Students can write letters to friends and family, to pen pals, or even to Santa if they celebrate Christmas. Let students choose topics of importance to them but be sure to help them check for grammar and spelling. Letter writing is also an excellent chance for students to write for a genuine audience and practice their revision skills.
4. Holiday Traditions
With December being a break for many families, the month is usually filled with special traditions centered around the holidays or other family activities. Allow students to write descriptions of their holiday or family traditions. These writing pieces can make wonderful sharing pieces for students to share with the class or in a small group.
5. Charity Writing
For many people overseas or living in difficult conditions, receiving a cheerful holiday letter can be a bright spot. Many charities run letter-writing campaigns in December. Look to local groups, armed forces charities, or groups that fund-raise with “Letters to Santa” to offer your students a letter writing experience that will have a real-world impact.