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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is upon us, and we are all struggling to keep our young writers engaged. Sounds like you? Well, fear not! I have three fun and creative Christmas writing activities in Spanish that will keep your upper elementary students on task.
Make Christmas Writing Activities in Spanish Fun and Impactful!
I know how it goes! We have so much content to cover in the upper grades, that taking the time to work on a holiday writing activity often seems impossible. We see all the “cutesy” stuff the lower grades get to do, and we are doing benchmarks and common assessments. But let me tell you a secret. You can still work on some Christmas writing activities in Spanish with your students as long as you make them impactful.
We all know how distracted students can get around the holidays. That is why I like to bring the holidays to the classroom! Writing can be such a laborious task, that breaking it up with some holiday fun may be just what your students need. And you don’t have to compromise the quality of your instruction to do that.
Keep your Christmas Writing Activitis in Spanish Standard-Based
The best way to make sure that we are still covering the standards is using activities that… you guessed… teach or reinforce the standards! You may be tempted to choose cutesy activities, but always ask yourself if those activities are helping your students practice the skills they need to master.
I always try to choose Christmas writing activities in Spanish that match the genre of writing we are already working on in class. This way my students are still working on the writing standards, and I get to include some holiday magic into it.
Since there is no universal schedule for teaching writing, the three ideas I will share in this post focus on completely different standards. That way, you can choose the activity that best fits your needs.
Creative Winter Writing Activity in Spanish
Stuck in a Snow Globe Holiday Writing Activity
This is by far my favorite winter writing activity. There are so many reasons why I love it. First, it can be done with any group of students. I am very sensitive about not choosing activities that are specific to one holiday. Yes, we are talking about Christmas writing activities, but it is possible that not everyone in your class celebrates Christmas, and we need to respect that.
Second, I love how creative my students can be with this activity. Telling your students they will be working on Christmas writing activities in Spanish can be a little intimidating. A lot of your dual language learners are probably just learning to speak Spanish. But an activity that gives students an opportunity to express their creativity will help to bring down the anxiety.
The third reason why I love this winter writing activity is that my students get to practice fiction writing in a fun and engaging way. In this activity, my students have to come up with characters, a setting, and a plot for their stories. I also encourage students to come up with a lesson that their characters will learn at the end of the story to tie in theme. In addition to fiction skills, we take time to talk about writing a lead that hooks the reader, word choice, and editing. All of these skills get summed up in this mini writing unit. There is so much learning condensed into just a few days.
The best part about this activity is that it includes a snow globe craft. I recently wrote a blog post about ways to motivate students to write with writing celebrations. Allowing students to create a craft when they are done writing is a great way to celebrate their hard work.
How to Make the 3D Snow Globes
To make the snow globes, you will need:
- Cardstock paper
- Clear plastic plates or bowls
- Hot glue
- Glitter and Styrofoam beads (optional)
- A picture of your students (optional)
For the background, I just use cardstock paper. I make sure to trace a circle that is the same size as the plastic plate or bowl we will use to cover it. (I will explain more about this step in a second.) This step is important because anything your students draw outside of the circle will get cut off when we assemble the snow globes.
I often just let my students illustrate their snow globes because they are not always a character in their own story. In fact, some of my students come up with some very creative characters. In the past, one of my students had Godzilla, Spider-Man, and an elf trapped in the same snow globe. No picture could illustrate that! But, you could also take a picture of each student pretending they are trying to break out of the snow globe and place that inside of the snow globe instead.
Once my students are done drawing their characters and background on the cardstock paper, we start assembling the snow globes. Students cut along the circle we traced on the cardstock earlier. They bring their backgrounds to me, and I hot glue the plate or bowl over the cardstock along the edges. This goes without saying, but your students should NOT be handling the hot glue gun!
If you want, you can bring some Styrofoam beads and glitter and add them in before you hot glue their snow globes. One year, I forgot the Styrofoam beads, and my students made tiny paper balls to put in their snow globes instead.
Not enough time?
If you don’t have enough time to create the 3D snow globes, you can have students create the foldable that is included with this resource. These make a beautiful display for your Christmas bulletin board.
Personally, I like to create both the 3D snow globes and the foldable with my students, but you don’t have to.
Write a Winter Poem
Another great writing activity for winter in Spanish is poetry. Poems are a great way to celebrate the holidays season in your classroom. I love asking my students to write a winter poem because we are still celebrating the season without writing about a specific holiday.
But is it standard-based? Absolutely! There are many different types of poems, and with each type, you can focus on different skills. Personally, I love to work on diamante poems with my students.
Diamante poems are a great opportunity to review nouns, verbs, and adjectives with my dual language learners. Nouns, verbs, and adjectives in Spanish are much more complicated than in English. English-dominant students struggle to understand that, in Spanish, nouns, verbs, and adjectives all have to agree in gender and/or number. So taking a few days to show students how to write a winter poem gives us a chance to review other skills as well.
How to Write a Diamante Poem
Before we begin working on our diamante poems, I like to quickly review nouns, verbs, and adjectives with my students. I remind them that, in Spanish, these words need to agree. We create a list of possible nouns, verbs, and adjectives that could be used for our poems. Diamante poems follow a very specific pattern, so I like to use these graphic organizers to help us make sure we are on the right track.
If my students are struggling to come up with words for their poems, we use the website inspirassion.com/es. On this website, students can type a word and get nouns, adjectives, and verbs that relate to that word. Not all words will work for their poems, but this often helps to get their brains going.
Once my students have all of the words for their poems, we make sure those words agree in gender and/or number. We spend some time editing, and then we publish. This activity can be done in two or three writing periods, but it packs a punch. Not only do my students love this winter writing activity, but we review a lot of important grammatical concepts in Spanish.
Write a Persuasive Letter
Another option for Christmas writing activities in Spanish? Ask students to write a persuasive letter to their parents explaining why they should be given a specific gift for Christmas. This is the one activity you should avoid if you have students that don’t celebrate Christmas or other holidays that embrace the tradition of gift-giving.
How to teach this lesson
For this activity, I like to start with a book. Some of my favorites in Spanish are “Oye Hormiguita” and “El día que los crayones renunciaron.” I love these books because the characters do a great job supporting their arguments. It is a great model for our students.
After we read the book, I explain to students what it means to be persuasive, and how the characters in the story supported their argument. Then, we are ready to start.
This holiday writing activity is great because it takes students through the entire writing process – from brainstorming to publishing. It also gives students an opportunity to practice writing arguments and supporting details. I don’t know about your students, but mine often struggle to support their opinions, especially in Spanish. This is the perfect way to practice that skill.
There you have it…
My three favorite Christmas writing activities in Spanish. These Christmas writing activities for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will keep your young writers engaged amidst the craziness of the holidays. Which holiday writing activity will you be trying in your classroom this year?