Activity Overview

There are a lot of stories surrounding the winter holidays, both familiar and obscure. After reading stories or articles in the classroom, have your students create a summary or retelling of the story. Use a traditional or a timeline storyboard to lay out the events.

  • Origins of the Holiday

  • Notable Occurrences on the Anniversary of the Holiday
    • wartime battle
    • wartime cease-fire
    • natural disaster
    • social issues

  • Favorite Characters
    • Santa Claus
    • Mrs. Claus
    • elves
    • Frosty the Snowman
    • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    • Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen

  • Books
    • Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
    • Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis
    • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    An extension of this activity could be for students to write their own holiday story using a traditional storyboard, preferably a story on a holiday they do not celebrate.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Summarize the story of your chosen holiday in the description boxes.
  3. Add illustrations using appropriate scenes, characters, items, and dialogue.
  4. Save and Exit

Lesson Plan Reference


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Sequence of Events Rubric
Create a storyboard that shows a sequence of events. Below each cell, type in a description about the importance of that part of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Each of the cells represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end.
One cell is out of order, or the storyboard is missing important information.
Important information is missing and/or two or more cells are out of order.
Cells include images that accurately show events in the story and do not get in the way of understanding.
Most images show the events of the story, but some are incorrect.
The images are unclear or do not make sense with the story.
Descriptions match the images and show the change over time.
Descriptions do not always match the images or mention the importance of the event.
Descriptions are missing or do not match the images.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is very inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is very difficult to understand.

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