Do you believe in Santa Claus? A rather rotund, distinguished gentleman with white hair and a big white beard who favors red suits with white fur trimmings? One of the world’s largest employers of elves, who rides a sleigh driven by celebrity reindeer, and only has to work one night a year. He also goes by multiple pseudonyms: Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Papá Noel, or just plain old Santa for short. No? Best you take a close look at this Santa Claus profile popplet.
Jingle any bells?
Many cultures celebrate Christmas differently. In Spain and many other Spanish-speaking countries the big day is 6th January: “La Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages”, or Kings’ Day for short, because this is the day children get most of their presents – not from Santa but from the Three Kings. Students in these countries would definitely be more interested in creating popplets about these three noble gift bearers.
Get Popplet, It’s a Gift
Making a Christmas popplet is just like making any other type of popplet. First, you’ll need a Popplet web account, which you can easily get by signing up on the Popplet homepage. You will discover that Christmas has come early at Popplet and Santa has left you a gift of ten Popplet boards. Alternatively, download Popplet Lite or the Popplet app and create Christmas popplets using an iPhone or iPad. If you don’t have one of those, you could ask you know who!
Christmas is coming soon, that means Santa is getting ready, so let’s get started.
Brainstorming Christmas Present Ideas
Before we begin writing to Santa with our lists of presents, it’s best to give the whole matter some thought: What is it that I really want for Christmas? Almost certainly your students have something special in mind. But even so, it never hurts to share ideas. Teachers could begin a Christmas list activity by brainstorming Christmas present ideas. Have the students work in groups, alternatively project one big Christmas present popplet for all to see and prepare to be overwhelmed by a wave of expectation. Students could even all collaborate on the same Popplet. Be warned, this activity will generate much excitement!
Now, teachers don’t worry if you feel a little out of your depth at this point, you don’t need to know what any of these things actually are. The toy world is not what it was when you were writing to Santa. It’s now a complex maze of things understood only by children and those who work in marketing. Rest assured your students will understand it all perfectly well, and if they don’t immediately recognize their partner’s choices they’ll soon find out all there is to know. Trust your students! Talking seriously about toys in class, how cool is that? Very soon the whole class will be aware of what’s on offer and some may even begin revising or increasing the length of their lists before this part of the lesson is over.
A Letter to Father Christmas: A Letter Writing Activity
From what we’ve heard, Father Christmas, like most other distinguished gentlemen, is a lover of tradition and appreciates the protocols which govern written communication. As such, a lesson in formal/informal language and letter writing could make the difference between a gleeful, fulfilled 25th of December and one which is, well, not so gleeful. Best to err on the side of caution we say and demonstrate to students the ancient art of letter writing. There are a number of ways to do this, depending on the level of your class. Below is a popplet template you could use followed by some classroom ideas:
- The teacher could supply examples of formal/informal language and ask students to choose which statements or phrases are more appropriate.
- Or teachers might elicit the correct language from the class for a formal letter.
- Popplet can also be used to show how a letter should be structured. Again the teacher can supply a structure (above), or ask students to create their own, then correct their work.
- Another possibility is to turn the activity into a popplet puzzle by asking students to organize the different sections of a formal letter.
- Be sure to have students include everything that they have done right this year, and why they deserve to have their wants fulfilled. Let’s avoid any negativity, Father Christmas already knows everything!
Creating Popplet Christmas Lists For Santa
Now we’re prepared for the main event: The Christmas List for Santa. Of course, students could just set to work with pen and paper, but even if that is how Santa is to receive the student’s lists, you can still use Popplet to help you out. Popplet can help you create cracking Christmas lists, guaranteed to grab Mr. Claus’s attention. Here’s how:
- Create a Popplet with your name: “Petra’s Christmas List” in this example
- Next, create a popple for each item on your list (most wanted things first of course). Using the text feature, enter exactly what it is that you want
- Then, add an image of the present. This will help the elves locate your gift (after Santa’s approval of course). Santa’s helpers are pretty busy at this time of year and will be grateful for anything that reduces their workload. For this to work, you will need to have the image stored in your computer or camera roll beforehand
- To add an image click on the square with the two triangles which will say upload things when you hover over it with the cursor:
- Select the image that you want to add:
- Now, if you really want to help out the elves, you can add a link to the list entry:
- When that’s done, repeat this for every item on the list. You’ll end up with an astonishingly attractive, informative Christmas list sure to catch the eye of everyone in Lapland.
- Finally, students might add a photo of themselves and use Popplet Linker to include the letter that they wrote in the previous activity.
Does Santa even own a computer or a tablet? Does he use Popplet? Well, don’t worry about any of that stuff because even if you don’t have Santa’s email address you can print off your Popplet Christmas List when you’ve finished it, and mail it to Lapland in the traditional way.
What are you waiting for? The sooner Santa gets those lists, the happier the world will be!
If you have created any Christmas lists or done any Popplet Christmas activities in your classroom we would really love to see them. Share your ideas with the Popplet community on Twitter, and on our Facebook page.
Check out our second festive article: Popplet Christmas Activities 2: Storytelling, Writing, Reading, and Christmas Greetings