Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, and Classroom Management Tips

Holidays Around the World Unit

Holidays Around the World Unit

World Holidays unit

Getting Started

Overview: During this unit, my students "visit" several countries around the world and learn about how winter holidays are celebrated there. Before the unit begins, I assemble a suitcase and passport for each of my students to "take with them". The activities located below are ideas for you to incorporate into your own unit.

Which countries will you "visit"? Before beginning a holidays around the world unit, it is a good idea to decide which countries you will visit and how much time you wish to spend on this unit. For kindergarten, I would suggest that visiting 5 countries or spending a week on this unit is an appropriate amount of time.

Making Suitcases: The suitcases can be made several different ways. The way I have found is easiest is to take 2 sheets of large (12x18) construction paper and staple them together on 3 sides forming a pocket. After stapling, cut a handle into the top of the pocket. You can have the children decorate their suitcases any way you would like. Here are some ideas for decorating:

  • Glue a world map labeled with the countries you will study.
  • Instead of stapling the edges, let students sew together their suitcases using a hole punch and yarn.
  • Have your children add "travel sticker" drawings to the suitcase (small sticker-like pictures naming other travel destinations such as Australia, Paris, Hong Kong).

Making a Passport: I use a passport blackline master from Mailbox Magazine however it is easy to make your own. The children get their passports stamped after we "arrive" at our country of study. Use the patterns below to make passports for your students.

Plane Tickets: Each day, we pretend we are going on a plane to visit countries around the world. The children take their suitcases and we pretend we are getting on a plane. They hand me a paper ticket before boarding. Once on the plane (seated at their chairs on the carpet, lined up like the rows of an airplane), I wear an apron and serve the children their choice of peanuts or pretzels.

Countries and Activities

  • Christmas traditions of France (click here)
  • Nativity Scene:
    • Click here for printable directions
  • Map of France
  • Flag of France
  • Christmas traditions of Germany (click here)
  • Christmas crafts from Germany (Scherenschnitte heart, Weihnacht angel)
  • Map of Germany
  • Flag of Germany
  • Christmas traditions of England (click here)
  • Christmas crafts from England (Christmas cards, crackers, and pomanders)
  • Map of England
  • Flag of England
Holland/Netherlands *
  • Christmas traditions of Mexico (click here)
  • Printable Poinsettia activities:
  • Poinsettia Fan craft:
    • Click here for directions
  • Cone Cup Pinata:
    • Click here for directions
  • Map of Mexico
  • Flag of Mexico
  • Paper Poinsettias:
    • Printable poinsettia pattern - .pdf format
This poinsetta uses hole punch dots in the center.
This poinsetta uses crumpled tissue paper in the center.
  • Christmas traditions of Africa (click here)
  • Kwanzaa Kinara:
    • Click here for printable and directions
  • Kwanzaa Candle:
    • Click here for printable and directions
  • Kinara Color by Letter:
    • Click here for printable
  • Map of Africa
  • Links to African Flags

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