Short Stories and Other Teaching Resources for Christmas

December 9th, 2013

Christmas is just around the corner! Incorporate the holiday spirit into your class before your students leave for break.  Here are our top ten resources for an educational Christmas in the classroom:

1. How do you change a tradition while also preserving its meaning? Read “Old Folks’ Christmas” by Ring Lardner and consider the tension between tension and change.

2. Compare Christmas celebrations in the early 20th century to Christmas today with photographs from the Chicago Daily News archive.

3. ELA teachers can utilize PBS’s American Masters series and their provided lesson plan to teach characterization in writing through “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote.

4. Continue your class’s short story exploration with Willa Cather’s “The Burglar’s Christmas.”

5. Peruse through Thinkfinity’s holiday lesson plans! Topics include “A Christmas Carol” and more!

6. Read O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” complete with discussion questions, from EDSITEment!.

7. Capture the spirit of Christmas with this heart-warming story by Pearl S. Buck, “Christmas Day in the Morning.” 

8. How did the celebration of Christmas change during the Civil War? Consider these articles from the Civil War Trust and Smithsonian Civil War Studies.

9. Analyze the political evolution of Christmas through a comparison of Christmas Presidential Proclamations. Search the American Presidency Project for copies of these proclamations, addresses, and videos.

10. Look at famous authors from a holiday perspective. Have your class discuss Mark Twain’s “A Letter from Santa Claus.” How does this compare to his other work?

What are your favorite resources for teaching the Christmas holiday? Share your ideas in our comment section below!

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