How to Create a Free Christmas Around the World Unit Study
Our free Christmas Around the World unit study series now includes Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, and Sweden. These unit studies each last five days. Other than a recipe on the 5th day, they require zero prep or purchases. There are no books to buy; everything is free online.
I plan to add more countries to the series next year, but with approximately 200 countries in the world, I won’t be able to create unit studies for all of them. So, I decided to write a guide that you can use to create your own Christmas Around the World Unit study for any country.
Introduction to the Country & Its Geography
Before diving into a country’s Christmas traditions, I like to spend a little time learning about the country’s history, geography, culture, and other general information. Ducksters and National Geographic Kids both offer short informative articles about many different countries. If you want something more detailed, check out Britannica’s Countries of the World articles. Most of these articles are free, but some are only available with a paid membership.
I also search YouTube for videos and documentaries about the country. Geography Now is one YouTube channel that offers good videos about most countries. Your family may also enjoy taking a virtual field trip to a destination in the country. You can find a list of virtual field trips here.
Next, I have my children find the country on our globe or a map. I also usually print out a map worksheet from Seterra. I have them label the country and the countries that border it. Seterra also offers online map quiz games.
Now, it’s time to start learning about the country’s Christmas traditions. WhyChristmas.com is a great place to read about the traditions of most countries. After getting an overview from WhyChristmas.com, I search for YouTube videos and online articles that expand more on the country’s Christmas traditions. I try to find sources that talk about how people in the country celebrate the birth of Jesus, as well as some of the more secular customs they may have. I also like to listen to Christmas music that’s popular in the country. You can usually find Christmas music videos on YouTube.
I like to include children’s storybooks about Christmas in each country. Do some online research to find out what stories or folktales are popular in the country you’re learning about. You may find these books at your local library, or I can often find a video of someone reading the book on YouTube. You may not be able to find storybooks about every country your family studies. But when you can, they are an excellent addition.
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If you’d like your children to record what they learn throughout the unit study, here are some free printables to use.
- Country Research Project Handout – Record facts about the country.
- Christmas Around the World Worksheets & Passport – Includes many different countries.
- Christmas Around the World Unit Study – Lapbook printables for recording information about ten different countries.
- Christmas Around the World Printable – An anchor chart and Venn diagram for comparing countries.
- Writing Paper for Kids – Includes space to draw and write about any topic.
- Notebooking Pages – Includes 26 different layouts that can be used for any topic.
- My Book Report Form – Can be used to document any books read during the unit study.
Preparing a Christmas recipe from the country you’re studying is a fun way to wrap up the unit study. I search for recipes using Google or Pinterest. Whenever possible, I try to use recipes written by someone who has lived in the country or has family from the country. Often they will include additional information about the recipe’s history or significance to their culture or share family memories related to the recipe and Christmas traditions.
Have a Merry Christmas! I hope your family enjoys learning about Christmas Around the World.