Storytime Puppet Show
Christmas is perfect for reading to your students. Make your reading area a comfortable space with lots of cushions and Christmas-themed throw blankets. Sit in a rocking chair and don a Christmas hat while reading a traditional Christmas story. Some favorites are "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens or "Christmas in the Barn," by F. Arnstein. After the story, for an activity, you could let the children build a puppet stand from cardboard boxes and use the puppets to act out the stories. You could give students paints, markers and construction paper, divide your classroom into groups and have the students on work on puppet stages together. This can be a great format to teach teamwork and group creativity. Puppets can made out of paper bags or socks. When they are finished, the students can take turns giving their puppet shows.
An activity your class will enjoy is decorating a Christmas tree. Give the students a history lesson by showing them what old-fashioned decorations would look like. Put a small- to medium-sized artificial tree in your classroom and let the children decorate it with an old-fashioned theme. This would be a great activity for an art lesson. Third-graders could make construction paper chains, paint wooden beads for stringing and string popcorn. Don't forget to use air popped popcorn and leave off the buttery salt. Students could make ornaments out of recycled materials, too. Toilet paper roll drums and aluminum foil angels make perfect ornaments for a Christmas tree.
Dim the lights of your classroom and light the Christmas tree. Lead your children with a bucket of musical hand instruments. Teach classic songs like "O Christmas Tree" or "Jingle Bells." You might rehearse a few times, then have your class show off their musical abilities at your next open house. Use a music CD as a background track. Alternatively, you could teach your students some simple hand movements to go with these Christmas songs. You could also show the third-graders how to make reindeer antlers so they could wear their antlers while they perform.