Full Engagement: A Holidays Around the World Project for Elementary Students
Pack your bags, grab your passport and boarding pass, and let's go!
If you don’t know already, I LOVE to travel and I love sharing about the different countries I’ve visited with my students. So when the holidays come, teaching about different holidays celebrated throughout the world is fun not only for my students, but it makes teaching before winter break a lot of fun for me.
This year I’ve made the entire experience digital, not just PDFs that students read and fill in the blanks, but a digital adventure designed with digital buttons and passport stamps, links to videos, and even Google Earth (which my students think is the coolest thing ever).
Everything has already been created: the content has been written, REAL images used, and the links are already set. All I have to do is share the activity with my students through Google Classroom.
This is the best time of year to have activities that are ZERO-PREP, am I right? 😅
Holidays I teach about:
How does it all work?
The first slide of the Google Slides presentation is a postcard introducing students to their adventure. Before I assign the activity in Google Classroom, I customize the postcard with my name and school details.
Before students take off on their trip, they’ll choose their luggage and insert images of three things they’ll bring along. My students love inserting images. The image search in Google Slides makes it so easy for them.
Next, they’ll grab their boarding pass and type in their information. I have a guide to the left of the slide that tells them about choosing a window, middle, or aisle seat. Of course they’ll quickly start planning with friends which row they’ll all be in!
Before they take off, they’ll take their selfie for their passport. The passport is where they’ll collect their digital stamps after visiting each country. I’m slightly obsessed with the stamps.
When their passport is ready, they’ll click the world icon and take off on their journey!
One of my favorite parts of this activity is that it feels like a real adventure for students with the clickable buttons. They’re not just scrolling down the slides on the left-hand side. Every button takes them where they need to go, back and forth throughout the presentation.
They can travel to whatever destination they want first, giving them some freedom.
When students get to the country, they’ll be greeted in that language. They’ll see a map and read a paragraph about where the holiday is celebrated. I made sure to tell students that these holidays are not just celebrated in certain countries. People all over the world celebrate each holiday, including in the United States.
The slides are packed with content, which I love. Headings, bold words, pronunciations, photos, and captions help me teach nonfiction reading with multiple text features, too. The time before winter break CAN be meaningful and fun.
The last slide for each country is probably my students’ favorite. It’s where they get their passport stamp and also the place where they can travel to the country via Google Earth.
If your students haven’t gotten on Google Earth before, now is the time. It is such an engaging tool where students can be on the ground looking around in a different country.
Students can also click on the links at the bottom of the slide to watch a video or learn how to make a traditional recipe for that country.
After visiting a country, I have my students write in their travel journal. I have them choose one thing they thought was really interesting about the holiday. They can add images and captions as well.
Then they’re off to their next destination!
Extra Activities for Students
At the end of the slides presentation, I give students some extra slides in case they finish early or want to research a holiday of their own. They can:
Assessing Students with a Google Form
After students have finished the Holidays Around the World Google Slides activity, I share a Google Form where they answer 10 multiple choice questions about the readings.
I created the quiz in a way that reiterates some of the things they read about (after all, this can be a lot of new information) and also checks for understanding.
There are 10 self-grading (yes!!), multiple choice questions, but you could always change the questions or add more if you’d like.
I hope this gets you excited about teaching before the holidays!
I don’t know about you, but it’s starting to make me think about my next trip, too. 🤔🌏✈️