This past Monday and Tuesday, I celebrated Christmas with my students at Fuchuen Elementary School. Initially, Nana and I planned on teaching our Christmas lesson during the week of Christmas, but I unexpectedly got the flu. (I neglected to get my flu shot this year, so it was my bad. Plus, being around a ton of sniffling/sneezing kids during flu season doesn't exactly help.)
Despite being sick, I was really looking forward to the Christmas lesson and craft I had planned. I started collecting ideas for lesson plans/crafts in early November! (Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.)
We decorated the classroom with Christmas decorations. To my surprise, I discovered a dusty, plastic Christmas tree hidden inside the cabinets behind the piano in our classroom. Nana was equally surprised to see it there - so we took it out and had students bring their own ornaments and Christmas cards to decorate the tree throughout the month of December.
The students' Christmas cards were cutely decorated with stickers, drawings, and personal messages to teachers.
First, Nana and I started off the lesson by teaching some basic information about Christmas -- for the lower grades, we limited the intro to key vocabulary words and pictures (e.g. Christmas, Santa, elf, Christmas tree, gifts, candy cane, and bell). For the upper grades (4-6), I made a longer presentation about Christmas traditions in the U.S., and even included some Christmas pictures of my family! (See below).
The PPTs I made also included "quiz" sections where students could answer questions in order to win Christmas stickers. The lower grades go berserk over holiday stickers (1-4), but the upper grades (5-6), not so much -- although there are exceptions!
As proof, see the photo below of my 3rd graders sifting through the sticker books:
Then, the Christmas crafts began!
For 1st grade, students made candy canes using green pipe cleaner, red and white beads, and alphabet letter beads to spell out their names.
For 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade, the kids made Christmas trees using construction paper, glitter, and glue.
For 4th and 6th grade, we made Christmas trees out of popsicle sticks, glitter, and used a small golden bell for the "star" at the top of the tree! (This was by far my favorite activity, but the most expensive in terms of the supplies).
I specifically wanted to showcase this popsicle stick Christmas tree.
This was made by one of my 5th graders, John. He's really into all things science-related: he designed his desk name tag with multicolored beetles, a magnifying glass, and different plants.
His popsicle stick tree was the most meticulously designed out of all my students: he measured every stick with a ruler to draw a vertical line precisely down the middle. Then, he aligned every stick atop the base before gluing. I was really impressed by his work! I can see him becoming a scientist one day.
As for my own Christmas celebration, I got together with a few of the other ETAs in Taichung to make Christmas morning crepes! (Kudos to Tawni for her crepe batter recipe!)
We made both savory...
...and sweet crepes (yum, Nutella!) I'd say it was a success.
The most creative crepes were undoubtedly Willie's - he used sliced pineapple, mini marshmallows, and honey-roasted peanuts on his. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of his creation!
Making crepes while listening to classic Christmas music (e.g. Nina Simone) was a pleasant way to celebrate the holiday while away from home. I think it'll be a nice Christmas tradition in future years with friends and family! The crepes are very simple to make and fun to decorate.