I love this time of year. Excitement for season is everywhere. Students begin talking about gifts, special activities, travel plans, and food the day they return from Thanksgiving break. I take advantage of this. We read Christmas themed books, and I teach language arts using holiday activities. Students write using Christmas prompts which are displayed on holiday bulletin boards. Students really love it, and so do I!
I recently presented a workshop for a group of teachers about writing. A small part of the presentation was holiday related. I presented a number of Christmas writing prompts and showed teachers how to make a super simple bulletin board to display student writing.
Here are the handouts:
Christmas Writing Ideas
Explain to Santa how you have been good.
Why should you be selected for the lead role in the Christmas pageant?
Why do you deserve that special gift your parents say is too expensive?
Describe your Christmas tree.
How does your family decorate for the holidays?
What does the table look before you sit down for a holiday meal and after it is over?
Instructions for —
decorating a Christmas tree
making Christmas cookies or hot chocolate
building a snowman or snow fort
Compare and Contrast
Interview an elderly person. Write a compare and contrast essay comparing holiday traditions from the past and now.
Compare and contrast two holiday movies, stories, or characters.
Making a Large Bulletin Board Graphic from Clipart
I am constantly amazed at the fantastic clipart artists on Teachers Pay Teachers. Many wonderful pieces of clipart are free! Here are a few links to some great Christmas pieces:
So!! How do you go from the small pieces of clipart to a large bulletin board? Here are the steps:
Step 1 – Open up PowerPoint. Choose a Blank Presentation.
Step 2 – Insert the Picture of your choice from your computer.
Step 3 – Change the dimensions of your PowerPoint slide to fit your image. Do this by clicking on the Design tab and then select Page Setup in the far left.
The ruler at the top of the image will help you determine the size of your image. After typing in the correct width and height, click OK.
Step 4 – You will need to adjust your image to fit the page.
Step 5 – Resize the PowerPoint slide again. This time adjust the width and height by the same percentage. For example, you can double both dimensions, one and half times, triple, etc. Step 6 – Save your page as a pdf.
For Power Point 2007 for Windows:
Click the Microsoft Office button, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF from the Save as type dropdown list.
Type a File name.
For PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:
Click the File tab.
Click Save as.
In the File Name box, enter a name for the file.
In the Save as type box, click PDF (*.pdf).
Printing Your PDF File
Open your PDF and click File then Print.
Choose Poster. You will see dotted lines breaking up the page.
Print your page.
Cut off the extra pieces. Line up the sheets and assemble. By using clear tape on the back of the pieces, you can adjust if your pieces don’t line up.
Laminate for durability.
Be sure to come back next Thursday for another bulletin board writing activity.