During this time of year, students and teachers alike start counting down the days until the next school break. Teaching about late fall and winter holidays with Listenwise podcast lessons can help keep your students engaged throughout the holiday season.
Our podcast lessons about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, and other religious holidays can build students’ listening and literacy skills while increasing their knowledge of science, history, world cultures and religions.
Teaching about the diverse holidays of the world provides natural teachable moments for students to practice SEL competencies like self awareness and social awareness. After listening to a variety of podcasts from the lists below, secondary students may enjoy Analyzing the School Calendar, a lesson from Learning for Justice. Elementary students may enjoy creating a calendar with a symbol for the holidays they have learned about on the appropriate dates. PBS has informative videos to help younger students learn more about holidays.
Teaching about holidays in a way that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion may require some thoughtful reflection and planning. You can find helpful tips and resources to use as you prepare in our blog. You can also read Colorín Colorado’s blog post about “Culturally Responsive Instruction for Holiday and Religious Celebrations” and resources from Learning for Justice to support “Rethinking Winter Holidays” in ways that are inclusive, respectful, and equitable.
- Kid News: The History of Halloween
- The Rotting Pumpkin Mystery (ELA & ELD versions available)
- Honeybee Scare
- Wanted: Chief Candy Officer
- The Best and Worst Halloween Candy
- The Income Gap, Illustrated with Candy Corn
- Vampire Bats
- Scared by “The Jumbies”
- Mary Shelley and Frankenstein (ELA & ELD versions available)
- A Different Kind of Ghost Story
- Edgar Allen Poe’s Mysterious “Raven”
- Toni Morrison’s Writing Inspired by Ghosts
- Talking With Ghosts: Spiritualism in America
- Witches Throughout History
- How the Weather Influenced Frankenstein
- Debate: Should Thanksgiving Be Taught Differently
- Wampanoag Chief Shares Thanksgiving Recipes
- The Wampanoag Story of Thanksgiving
- Saving the Thanksgiving Turkey
- Cranberry Crisis Sparks Innovation
- Chief Flying Eagle’s Thanksgiving
- Weird News: Too Much Holiday Cheer
- Electric Eel Lights Christmas Tree
- A Scientist Explains Santa’s Christmas Eve Journey
- What Do Muslims Do on Christmas?
- Not All Santa Suits Are Created Equal
New Years Celebrations
- Debate: Should We Make New Year’s Resolutions?
- Kid News: Happy Lunar New Year
- Lunar New Year Brings Red Envelopes with Cash
- Celebrating Persian New Year
Other Religious & Cultural Holidays and Traditions
- Observing Ramadan Traditions in America
- Diwali Around the World
- Diwali Celebrates Family
- Holi, a Festival of Colors
- Celebrating Dia de los Muertos
- Passover and Kosher Grape Juice