I know I am pretty delayed in this post, but I just had to share the rest of the Christmas activities my kids and I did!
The first is the Kindness Tree. I drew a large Christmas tree on posterboard (minus the ornaments), cut it out and taped it up to the wall by my desk (I covered the entire tree with clear contact paper so little hands couldn’t rip it down).
I then sat my children down for a Circle Time and we read How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We have read the story together before, but I took a little extra time going over the explanation of why the Grinch hated Christmas. The answer, in case you are unfamiliar, is that the Grinch’s heart was two sizes too small.
After we finished reading, I closed the book and we talked about why the Grinch couldn’t be kind to the Whos. I asked them if it was important to be kind to their friends, and they agreed. That is when I explained the concept of the tree. Whenever they did something kind for their friends, and I saw it, I would add a heart with their name on it to the tree.
Initially, my students all did kind things just to get their names on the tree. But after the first day, the excitement of the tree faded a little, and I was able to witness genuine acts of kindness. I am very proud to say that by Christmas, I couldn’t even see the tree anymore because it was so covered in hearts.
I didn’t get a picture of the final results, but I madr sure to let my class know how happy they made me and how I proud I was that they could be so kind to their friends.
The last activity I want to share is our other Christmas critical thinking activity. We read How the Grinch Stole Christmas again (I promise, they do actually request this book, so it isn’t torture for then to hear it over and over!).
After we read the story, I asked the students if they thought The Grinch smiled very much. They said no, of course. I then asked them what they would do to make The Grinch smile. I wrote each answer down and made a little display on the wall of their answers.
Christmas is over, and I am excited to see what new activities we can get into in the new year!