Assigning homework over Christmas vacation sounds like a pretty Grinch-y thing to do, right?
It doesn’t have to be.
Try sending home a project that can actually help bring families together over the holidays. Keep it short and simple, and you can inspire families to spend some quality time together, without all the time pressure that surrounds regular homework assignments. The idea is to get families talking, sharing and laughing — and if kids learn something along the way, that’s all right too!
Check out these take-home project ideas for inspiration:
Oral Family History
Before kids leave for vacation, brainstorm interesting questions to ask a relative about his or her childhood or memorable experiences, then have students interview family members and share their findings when they get back. This is a great cross-curricular activity that incorporates both language and social studies skills. Add a dash of technology by having students use the StoryCorps app.
A Recipe for Fun
Ask students to choose a favorite family recipe to cook with their parents over the break, and be sure to have them snap a photo of the end result. The cooking process is great for math skills around measurement and fractions, not to mention the great home economics experience of cooking. Have students bring in a copy of the recipe to share and include in a class cookbook, which kids can edit and illustrate in January. You could also have students practice public speaking by explaining the recipe and showing additional photos of the cooking process.
One Good Deed
Ask your kids to commit to doing one good deed per day during vacation. It doesn’t have to be big — a single act of kindness is fine. Students can keep a log of how they helped their families over vacation, and the list of kindnesses can serve as the kernel of a writing prompt about their vacation when they come back to school in January. This project can easily be modified to fit a theme, like eco-friendly behavior, charitable giving or an anti-bullying lesson that your class has been working on.
Looking for more great classroom ideas for the holidays? Classroom Direct has tons of great ideas to take your teaching to the next level. For additional inspiration, check out the Pinterest or look for free lesson plans and downloads. There are literally hundreds of great ideas just waiting to be found, so go ahead and get started!