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Christmas in Italy Unit Study

by | Oct 13, 2021 | curriculum, holidays | 0 comments

In this free unit, your child will learn how Christmas is celebrated in Italy. In addition, they’ll learn about the geography of Italy, as well as a little related history and language arts. Unlike other “free” unit studies, you won’t have to buy or search for a bunch of required books. Everything you need, except the ingredients for a recipe, is available for free online.

This unit study is designed to last five days and can be used with a wide range of ages, making it a fun activity for the entire family to do together. With younger children, read the assignments aloud to them, and skip the written work if they aren’t ready for it. Older students can read their assignments independently. If you have teenagers, you may want to have them research Italy and its Christmas traditions further, either at the library or online. Then they could present what they’ve learned to the rest of the family.

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Day 1: Introduction to Italy and its Geography

Watch Geography Now! Italy.

Read facts about Italy at Ducksters.

Have your children find Italy on a map or globe. Have your older children label Italy and the countries that border it (Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, and France) on this map. Here’s an answer key.

Day 2:  Christmas in Italy Part 1

Read about Christmas in Italy at

Watch Rick Steves’ European Christmas: Italy.

Have your children start working on this Italy worksheet and coloring set. The activities are aimed at lower elementary-aged students. If you have younger children that aren’t writing yet, skip the writing pages, and only have them do the coloring and drawing. If your children are too old for this set, instead have them write a letter to a friend or family member, telling them what they’ve learned about Christmas in Italy. They can use this template or notebook paper.


Day 3: Christmas in Italy Part 2

Watch La Befana in Rome – Italian Christmas Traditions. In the video, a mother and her daughter talk about the Italian tradition of La Befana and visit a Christmas market.

Watch The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie DePaola, an Italian Christmas folk tale.

Have your children continue working on the worksheet set from Day 1, which includes a writing prompt about La Befana. With older children, you may want to have them write a paragraph summarizing Italy’s La Befana tradition instead of using the writing prompt from the set. If you’d like another coloring sheet for the younger children that aren’t writing yet, there’s a picture of La Befana in this post.

Day 4: Christmas in Italy Part 3

Watch Best Italian Christmas Traditions YOU Can Enjoy in Italy.

Watch Merry Christmas, Strega Nona. In this story, Strega Nona abandons her usual pursuits to prepare the annual Christmas Eve feast for her entire town.

Listen to Italian Christmas songs as your children color a “Buon Natale” (Merry Christmas) coloring sheet. This website is in Italian. To print a coloring sheet, click “Versione in PDF da stampare” under the image. Next, click the arrows and choose “print” from the menu. Or, your children can continue to work on the worksheet and coloring set from Day 1.


Day 5: Christmas in Italy Recipes

Prepare torron (nut and nougat confection) or panettone (Christmas bread).


More Christmas Around the World Unit Studies

If you enjoyed this unit study, don’t miss our other Christmas Around the World units. We have several countries to choose from!

Free Christmas in Italy Unit Study

Note: This post was originally published on October 21, 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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