Free December Unit Studies and Lessons
Planning lessons around holidays, historical events, and seasonal themes can be a fun way to homeschool. It’s an excellent way for kids to learn about the world around them, including topics that aren’t usually covered in a textbook. Our family has enjoyed occasionally adding seasonal and holiday-themed lessons to our homeschool routine.
Below is a list of free unit studies, lesson plans, and activities for December. All of the holiday dates given are for 2023. Because the dates of some holidays vary, I will update this post each year. If you are looking for other months, check out our monthly unit studies and lesson plans page.
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Free December Unit Studies and Lessons for Month-Long Themes and Observances
Advent (Sunday, December 3rd through Sunday, December 24th)
Advent is a time when many Christians prepare for Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which can fall anytime between November 27th and December 3rd, and always ends on Christmas Eve.
National Write to a Friend Month (all December)
National Write to a Friend Month is set aside as a time for writing notes to friends.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– friendly letter PowerPoint lesson
- Teachers Pay Teachers– friendly letter templates
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable Christmas cards
Free December Unit Studies and Lessons for Week-Long Themes and Observances
Hanukkah (sundown on December 7th to sundown on December 15th)
Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is an 8-day Jewish holiday that celebrates the second-century rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees’ victory over the Syrian army. During the rededication, it is believed that while there was only enough oil to keep the menorah burning for a single day, it miraculously burned for eight days. Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which falls sometime between late November and late December on the Gregorian calendar.
- NJOP– informative guide
- Teachers Pay Teachers– mini-unit
- Learn in Color– printable Hanukkah trivia game
Las Posadas (December 16th to December 24th)
Las Posadas is a Christian celebration commemorating Joseph and Mary’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a place where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. Las Posadas is celebrated in Mexico, other parts of Latin America, and by many Hispanics in the United States.
- The Night of Las Posadas– video read aloud
- Sadlier Religion Blog– printable village templates for Las Posadas reenactment
- Teachers Pay Teachers– worksheet
Kwanzaa (December 26th to January 1st)
Kwanzaa is a 7-day celebration of African-American culture. The holiday was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 and is modeled after African harvest festival traditions.
- Homeschool Helper Online– lapbook
- DLTK’s Crafts for Kids– activities
- Woo! Jr. Kids Activities– lesson and printables
Free December Unit Studies and Lessons for Holidays, Historical Events, and Fun Days
Rosa Parks Day (December 1st)
Rosa Parks Day honors an American Civil Rights leader. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Some states observe Rosa Parks Day on February 4th instead because that’s her birthday.
National Christmas Lights Day (December 1st)
National Christmas Lights Day celebrates the decorative strings of lights. Celebrate by hanging lights on your Christmas tree or home or by going for a drive to look at Christmas lights in your community.
- Teach Engineering– Christmas light circuit activity
- The Savvy Sparrow– Christmas light scavenger hunt
Eat a Red Apple Day (December 1st)
Eat a Red Apple Day is the perfect time to enjoy the tasty and nutritious fruit.
- Family Consumer Sciences– activity and cooking lab
- Family Consumer Sciences– activities and recipes
- Living Life & Learning– apple life cycle worksheets
Saint Nicholas Day (December 6th)
Saint Nicholas Day recognizes the saint (in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths) who was an inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus character. Saint Nicholas was known for selling everything he owned and giving to the poor. He died on December 6, 343 AD.
Illinois’s Statehood (December 3rd)
Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818.
National Cookie Day (December 4th)
National Cookie Day is a fun excuse to bake a batch of cookies to share with family and friends.
- Family Consumer Sciences– cookie baking unit
- Kid Sparks– preschool cookie-themed printables
- Woo! Jr. Kids Activities– Christmas sugar cookie recipes
Thirteenth Amendment Ratified (December 6th)
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, was ratified on December 6, 1865.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7th)
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed in the United States to remember and honor the 2,403 Americans killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
Delaware’s Statehood (December 7th)
Delaware was admitted into the union on December 7, 1787.
National Brownie Day (December 8th)
National Brownie Day is a fun day to bake and enjoy the chocolate dessert.
- Family Consumer Sciences– plating brownies lesson plan
- Special Ed Lesson Plans– brownies in a mug lesson plan
Christmas Card Day (December 9th)
Christmas Card Day is the perfect time to mail Christmas cards to friends and loved ones. Craft homemade cards or buy a box of cards to send.
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable Christmas cards
- The Joy of Sharing– DIY Christmas cards
- Artsy Crafty Mom– DIY Christmas cards
- Teaching Ideas– Christmas card templates
Mississippi’s Statehood (December 10th)
Mississippi became a state on December 10, 1817.
Indiana’s Statehood (December 11th)
Indiana was admitted into the Union on December 11, 1816.
Pennsylvania’s Statehood (December 12th)
Pennsylvania became a state on December 12, 1787.
National Poinsettia Day (December 12th)
National Poinsettia Day celebrates one of the most recognizable plants of the holiday season.
- Pool Noodles & Pixie Dust– unit study
- Bright Hub Education– lesson plan
- Legend of the Poinsettia – video read aloud
Alabama’s Statehood (December 14th)
Alabama was admitted into the Union on December 14, 1819.
Gingerbread Decorating Day (December 12th)
Gingerbread Decorating Day is a great time to bake and decorate a batch of gingerbread cookies, which are a favorite treat this time of year.
Gingerbread House Day (December 12th)
Gingerbread House Day is a special day set aside for building gingerbread houses. It’s probably no coincidence that it is on the same day as Gingerbread Decorating Day.
- Simply Recipies– gingerbread house making instructions and template
- Science Buddies– gingerbread house STEM challenge
- Family Consumer Sciences– gingerbread house project
National Cocoa Day (December 13th)
National Cocoa Day is a fun excuse to enjoy a cup of steaming hot cocoa.
- Taste of Home– hot cocoa recipe
- Family Consumer Sciences– hot cocoa mix comparison lesson
- Fantastic Fun and Learning– hot chocolate math and science activities
Bill of Rights Day (December 15th)
The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, was ratified on December 15, 1791.
- Lean in Color– unit study
- Bill of Rights Institute– lessons, videos, and other teacher resources
- Scholastic– lesson plan
- iCivics– lesson plan
National Cupcake Day (December 15th)
National Cupcake Day celebrates the delicious small cakes.
- Family Consumer Sciences– homemade vs. box mix cupcake lab
- Allrecipes– vanilla cupcake recipe
- Live Well Bake Often– red velvet cupcake recipe
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day (December 15th)
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day gives us a chance to wear our ugliest, tackiest Christmas sweaters. Many people celebrate by having ugly Christmas sweater parties or contests.
New Jersey’s Statehood (December 18th)
New Jersey became a state on December 18, 1787.
The Boston Tea Party (December 16th)
The Boston Tea Party, which occurred on December 16, 1773, was a protest by the American Colonists against the British government’s unfair taxes. They boarded ships in Boston Harbor and threw the ships’ cargo of tea overboard into the ocean.
- Liberty’s Kids: Episode 1– video about the Boston Tea Party
- Teacher’s Pay Teachers– worksheets for Liberty’s Kids video listed above
- Soft Schools– reading comprehension activity
National Maple Syrup Day (December 17th)
National Maple Syrup Day is a great time to enjoy maple syrup on your pancakes, waffles, French toast, or biscuits.
- New York Agriculture in the Classroom– worksheets and activities
- PennState College of Agricultural Sciences– lesson plan
- Homeschool Share– lapbook and activity
A Christmas Carol (December 19th)
A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, was first published on December 19, 1843. The first edition sold out by Christmas Eve.
- DIY Homeschooler– unit study
- Peanut Butter Fish Lessons– unit study
- Internet Archive– ebook
- Easy Fun School– comprehension questions for the book
First Day of Winter / Winter Solstice (December 21st)
The winter solstice, which marks the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, is the shortest day of the year. The Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at noon. After this date, the amount of daylight begins to increase, and the days start getting longer.
- The Homeschool Scientist– snowflake lesson
- Real Life at Home– winter science worksheets
- Kristin Moon Science– wind chill lesson and activities
National Flashlight Day (December 21st)
National Flashlight Day, the same day as the Winter Solstice, encourages us to turn on some lights during the shortest day of the year.
Christmas (December 25th)
Christmas is a Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus. Most Western Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, while Orthodox Christians celebrate on January 7th.
- Freedom Homeschooling– Christmas Around the World unit studies
- Freedom Homeschooling– Christmas unit studies
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable Christmas Cards
National Pumpkin Pie Day (December 25th)
Pumpkin Pie Day falls on Christmas. This is likely because Christmas is the day, second to Thanksgiving, when the most pumpkin pies are consumed. Celebrate by adding a pumpkin pie to your Christmas menu.
- Education.com– Colonial pumpkin pie recipe
- The Mailbox– pumpkin pie playdough recipe
- Teachers Pay Teachers– printable flipbook
Boxing Day (December 26th)
Boxing Day is the day after Christmas. Though it originated as a day to give gifts to the poor, today Boxing Day is mainly known as a shopping holiday. Boxing Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– informational text reading comprehension
- Teachers Pay Teachers– nonfiction reading comprehension
National Thank You Note Day (December 26th)
National Thank You Note Day, the day after Christmas, reminds us to thank those who gave us gifts.
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable Christmas thank you notes
- Teachers Pay Teachers– thank you note templates
National Candy Cane Day (December 26th)
National Candy Cane Day celebrates the red and white striped candies that are so plentiful during the holiday season.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– mini unit
- Teachers Pay Teachers– science experiment
- Homeschool Share– Unit study for The Legend of the Candy Cane
Visit the Zoo Day (December 27th)
Celebrate Visit the Zoo day with a trip to your favorite zoo.
- 123 Homeschool 4 Me– zoo field trip worksheets and animal report
- 123 Homeschool 4 Me– zoo scavenger hunt printable
- Proverbial Homemaker– worksheet set
- Teach With Me– zoo virtual field trips
Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day (December 27th)
Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day encourages us to get out our craft supplies and make snowflakes.
- Martha Stewart– paper snowflakes tutorial
- One Little Project– paper snowflake tutorial with templates
Iowa’s Statehood (December 28th)
Iowa was admitted into the Union on December 28, 1846.
Texas’s Statehood (December 29th)
Texas became a state on December 29, 1845.
New Year’s Eve (December 31st)
New Year’s Eve is the last day of the calendar year. Many people celebrate with parties and fireworks and stay up till midnight to ring in the New Year. Some also set resolutions or goals for the New Year.
- The Best Ideas for Kids– New Year’s resolution printable
- Teacher’s Pay Teachers– reading comprehension worksheets
- Happiness is Homemade– printable party hats and other activities
Have fun learning this December! I will add more free unit studies and lessons next year. Be sure to pin this post so you can find it next December. When you’re ready to start planning for next month, check out our January Unit Studies and Lessons.
Note: This post was originally published on October 25, 2021, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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