With winter and the holidays approaching, front loading students with vocabulary that is not often heard, except during the holidays, is a way to help them feel part of the different festivities that take place.
As we all know, incidental learning is something that does not happen for our students. Therefore, purposefully exposing them to winter and holiday terminology is a good way to broaden their word knowledge. Furthermore, making real life connections between these words and what they may experience during the holidays is a great way to make learning these words more meaningful. This can be done both in the classroom and in speech therapy.
Here are some words and activities that can be done in class and some that can be done at home to continue the lesson.
Carol Frosty Jolly Plum pudding
Candy canes Fruitcake Kwanzaa Poinsettia
Cider Greetings Latkes Sleigh
Chimney Grinch Menorah Snowflakes
Christmas Ham Mistletoe Stocking
Cranberry sauce Hanukkah Mittens Tamal
Dreidel Holiday Navidad Tinsel
Eggnog Holly Naughty Toboggan
Elves Icicles Nutcracker Reindeer
The list can be longer or shorter, depending on what is allowed in your school district. No matter the words, the activities are the same.
These words can go on your existing Word Wall. This can be a temporary addition or not or you can decide to make a word wall for holidays.
Depending on the age, you can create Word searches or you can find a pre-made one.
Have students create their own book to read at home. Depending on the age of the child, it can be a drawing with the word underneath or a story, or even a poem.
Of course, everyone’s favorite BINGO. Great way to also get some informal assessment into your lesson to see if they recall the sign or recognize the word/picture.
To incorporate some ”play” time, interactive games such as hangman, headband, and charades can be done in class as a transition or ideas for the students to take home.
With the holidays comes gatherings with family and friends, which means FOOD. As we partake in these gatherings let us truly enjoy our food by practicing MINDFUL EATING. What does this mean? It means enjoy the food you are consuming. Pay attention to the textures and flavors in what you are chewing. Therefore, truly enjoy the act of eating, remember, you now have more than 30 minutes to consume your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Listen to your bodies. Do not eat if your body is telling you it is full. Converse with those around you and who knows, maybe you’ll have room for dessert.