Twelve Days of Christmas SitesDecember 12, 2012 | Keith Ferrell
Here's a collection of holiday and winter sites for kids and teachers that should help make your last week of school festive and productive, and give kids some fun places to go on those cold, wintry days.
In this über-popular game from Mini-Clip, your mission is to help Santa Claus collect the presents and get them ready for delivery on Christmas Eve. To do this, you need to draw a pathway of least-resistance, collect all the presents and finish at the checkered flag.
EdTech Ideas: Although mostly fun, the rules of physics play a part here and students must think and plan out a pathway that does not defy gravity. Also a good game if you have students who have not completely mastered the mouse.
Here's a challenging game from Kaboose which is kind of like a mash-up between Tetris and Concentration. In Santa Flibriks, students are to help Santa find the matching tiles without hitting the bottom of the game area.
Journey to the Northpole.com for loads of great activities for kids. Students can write letters to Santa, read stories, have stories read to them, create personalized stories and many other activities.
EdTech Ideas: Beyond having students explore and learn with this site, there is the Elf Pal Academy, which connects teachers to a plethora of printable Google Docs geared to lower elementary students and English-language learners.
Another great game from Miniclip. Your mission is to slice through the ice and save the frozen Vikings by getting them back to their longboat! You really have to contemplate and plan out your moves in this highly challenging game.
There are tons of ideas, lesson plans, book activities, links to reprintable stories, teacher sharing ideas and more.
EdTechIdeas: The Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers would be a good place to start if you're looking for winter inspiration.
Who doesn't like Mad Libs? Classroomjr.com has a collection of three winter Mad Libs, along with three Christmas Mad Libs, some winter word puzzles, Christmas math worksheets and some printable Christmas mazes that'll keep students productive all winter break.
Each year, Norad tracks Santa by using four high-tech tracking systems: radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets. This site allows kids to watch as Santa is tracked while he delivers all of his presents. On Christmas Eve (but not before), students can click here to track his flight live in Google Earth.
EdTech Ideas: Norad Tracks Santa is a great site to learn about geography and places around the world. Students could chart the stops in Google Maps, calculate distances and speed required to make all of the stops possible, write a creative story about his adventure, compare and contrast Santa's trips in the past using population data . . . I could go on forever!
8. ABC Teach
A great site for teachers, ABC Teach has downloadable bookmarks, border paper, word scrambles, coloring pages, some holiday book comprehension, holiday activity pages and more.
Education Place has a plethora of activities for teachers of grades K-8: winter memory books, weather studies, seasonal comparisons, winter quizzes, word finds, snow sculptures and more. If you're looking for learning activities to do during the winter months, this is a good place to start.
Google Maps Antarctica allows you to take a walk around parts of the white continent. A very small portion of Antarctica has been covered (for obvious reasons), but the views are amazing! With Google's typical subtle humor, the normal yellow street view man in street view Antarctica is replaced by a penguin.
EdTech Ideas: I realize it's not "Christmassy" and Santa lives at the North Pole, not the South; but there's some great images here not to be missed. Students could write stories about what life would be like if Santa lived in Antarctica. They could pinpoint where his home would be and find a suitable area for a landing strip.
Students can learn about different Christmas traditions in several countries. While the title of the site sounds grandiose and all-encompassing, there are only eight countries highlighted. However, for kids learning about some different traditions, it's not a bad place to start.
Storynory is a site that lets kids listen to free audio stories that are read by storyteller Natasha Gostwick. The stories can be streamed live or downloaded to be played anywhere.
EdTech Ideas: Storynory would make a great listening center and a place story starting ideas. Students can create their own audio recordings and turn them into podcasts for other students, parents and teachers to enjoy.