Engaging Spanish Christmas Activities for your Bilingual Classroom

Spanish Christmas Activities: How to celebrate Christmas in your bilingual classroom

As a bilingual or Spanish immersion teacher, you’re expected to also teach cultural units. The Christmas season is approaching and you know you’re supposed to teach Spanish Christmas activities. 

But how are you supposed to do that? 

You have curriculum for math, language arts, science, social studies, maybe even for health and character development. But you don’t have anything for your cultural units, including any Spanish Christmas activities. 

Not only that, but you just don’t know what you’re even supposed to teach for a Christmas cultural unit. The legend of the poinsettia? Nativity scenes? Wait, isn’t’ that all really religious? Can you even teach that in a public school? Why didn’t anyone tell you what to do?

You feel frustrated because you want to do your job well and you believe in the cultural education aspect of being a bilingual teacher. You just don’t have the resources to feel successful nor do you have the time to research and create them. 

Spanish Christmas Activities for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

My experience with Spanish Christmas Activities

I remember feeling so frustrated by the lack of materials for cultural units. I was up to my ears in curriculum. Seriously. I had math in English, math in Spanish, reading in English, reading in Spanish, and so on. I had so much curriculum that I had it stashed inside every cabinet, drawer, and even inside of random extra desks.. My student teachers used to laugh that if they opened any given space they would find curriculum inside.

So here I was drowning in materials, but I had absolutely nothing for the biculturalism part of our dual language program. I had approximately 3,785 math books but there wasn’t a Spanish Christmas activity in sight anywhere!

Spanish Christmas Activities: How to celebrate Christmas in your bilingual classroom

Unsure what to do, the first year I read a book about poinsettias. It was ok.

The following year I introduced a book about Christmas around the world. I picked it on a whim, but honestly it was really successful! My students were really interested in the book and we did a lot of comparing and contrasting about the traditions in the book and the traditions in their own families. 

Unfortunately the book I had was only in English, but that’s ok. It sparked an idea in me. What if I created a Spanish Christmas activity centered on traditions in Latin America?

And that’s exactly what I did!

Spanish Christmas activities for bilingual teachers

Your Spanish Christmas Activities Solution

If you’re lost and frustrated on trying to teach Christmas traditions in your bilingual class, I have the solution for you.

I created a set of reading passages, in both Spanish and English, that explore the cultural Christmas traditions in six Spanish-speaking countries: Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Cuba.

Each reading passage has color photographs that engage your students and brings the content to life. 

Not only are they engaging for your students, but they couldn’t be easier for you. You can choose from a simple print-and-go pdf or you can assign the digital version via Google Slides as you can see in the image below. Plus each reading passage has 5 comprehension questions so you can easily assess your students’ understanding of the material. 

Benefits of the Christmas in Latin America reading passages:

  • Designed to be culturally sensitive
  • Create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment in your classroom
  • Convenient ready-to-use passages

When you use these reading passages, your students will:

  • Read about how Christmas is celebrated in 6 different Latin American countries in both Spanish and English
  • Learn about food, decorations, gift giving, and other traditions
  • Answer 4 multiple choice questions per country
  • Respond to 1 open ended question per country
  • Make connections with the real, full-color photographs
Spanish Christmas Activities for Bilingual Classes

How can you use these Spanish Christmas reading passages?

While there are many ways you could use these Christmas in Latin America reading passages in your classroom, I would suggest:

  • Reading them together with the whole class
  • Using them in small groups
  • Incorporating them into your ELD or SLD block

You can also take the reading passages a step further by making some of the crafts and food mentioned in the reading!

Get started!

When you’re ready to say goodbye to the frustration of not having the materials you need for your Christmas cultural unit, shop my Christmas in Latin America resources! Click the links for English, Spanish, or the bilingual bundle with both or click the image below.

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