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I'm delighted that you have taken the time to drop anchor here at my little teaching blog: Sailing Though 1st Grade! Oh, the places we will go! Enjoy the voyage.

Dec 9, 2012

Holidays Around the World

Happy Holidays! I trust you are all enjoying this busy but festive time of year! As evident by my lack of postings, I have been crazy busy ... just like you!

Despite all of the 101 things we are trying to cram into each day, my students and I are having a marvelous and truly magical time as we travel the globe learning about the many traditions associated with each country on our travel itinerary... as we explore Holidays Around the World.

Each day throughout the month of December, the children complete their boarding pass, grab their suitcases, and wait in line to go through security. They love this! I first check their boarding passes, then pretend to scan them with a plastic handball racket and hoola hoop. Occasionally, someone sets off the alarm and needs to be pulled aside and re-scanned. Next, they drag their suitcases across an empty table- pretending to run it through the x-ray machine. They then board the plane and take their seats. Once they are all aboard, I close the door and give the official airline announcements -including stowing their carry-on luggage and turning off electronic devices.

I did the research a week ago, and created a "real" itinerary that includes airport names, air miles, and flight time for each leg of our journey.  The kids love it!

Then we watch our in-flight movie (a PowerPoint presentation all about the holiday traditions and celebrations of our destination city/country) Usually a snack is served that is related to the country as well.

Flight instructions are read again as we land, then passports are stamped and our suitcase pages for that country are completed.
A local craft and/or activity follows. What fun!

The highlights so far have been: finding a burlap sack of goodies at our doorstep - following a surprise knock on December 5th - and clogs filled with little gifts on the morning of the 6th. We also drew names for a "Sinterklass Surprise" exchange and are currently making homemade ornaments for our "Secret Sinterklasses" at home. Our St. Lucia procession led by the oldest girl in our class was also a memorable moment. Too precious! I can hardly wait for next week.

Thanks to a number of creative teachers and the TPT website, I had almost everything I needed to make this unit come to life for my students. But, of course I always have to tweak or add that little extra. So,I created my own suitcase (folder) for the scrapbook pages, travel itinerary with flight instructions, boarding passes, passport page, map, and flags, and am working daily to create PowerPoint shows a day in advance. Thus - the hecticness of it all! But well worth it!!!!

If you are interested, you can find the following "Holidays Around the World" supplemental materials in my TPT store:

Suitcase for Holidays Around the World

Christmas in the United States

Christmas in The Netherlands

I also some FREEBIES:


  1. wow! You're doing so much for Around the world! I wish I could fit all that in! :) Were starting our around the world tomorrow!


  2. Hi, Debbie:

    I wanted to send you a private message, but I couldn't find your email address. Would you mind shooting me an email?



  3. Congrats on your TpT shout out today!! I have been a follower for a little over a year and LOVE your stuff. You deserve it!!

    A Day in First Grade