Traditionally, Christmas, the most well-known event in the Christian religious calendar, is all about giving. It’s the time of year when people pause and reflect on what they can do for others. Friends and family get together and exchange gifts and cards. We think of others all year round of course, but Christmas, like the festivals of other religions, is a special time.
Now, if you’ve read our first Popplet Christmas article, which was more about getting more than giving, you’ll appreciate this second set of Popplet Yuletide activities, where we focus on what is for many, the true spirit of Christmas, and how it can be of value inside and outside the classroom.
The Nativity Scene: Storytelling and Writing
Who can resist the warm glow of a nativity scene? These traditional religious spectacles take many forms: plays, paintings, exhibitions. However, the type nativity scene we are talking about is the one to be found in the homes, and sometimes in the public buildings in town centers in places where Christmas is celebrated. Popplet can be used to create nativity scenes and is a good way to introduce learners to the story of Christmas and develop story-telling and writing skills.
You’re going to need images to add to the Popplet Nativity Scene, and an ideal solution is to have students take photos of actual figurines using their iOS devices and then to add these images to their popplets. Or, you could download an image of a nativity scene (or photograph your own) and take screenshots of the principal characters, which is what we did for the above popplet.
You don’t have to use The Nativity, you could use The Story of Santa Claus or any other popular Christmas story. When the students have their finished popplets, they can use them as a plan for writing a story or for storytelling.
Christmas Reading: A Christmas Carol
Popplet has many uses when it comes to the reading class: analysis of plot, character study, cause and effect…and what better a text to study at this time of year than this classic cautionary tale. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, contains one of literature’s most enduring characters: the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge, whose legendary miserliness and Dickens’ fine portrayal of it, have all but eliminated the first name Ebenezer from the English language, and made the word Scrooge entirely synonymous with being mean. There are countless adaptations of this evergreen tale so it’s even suitable for very young learners. There’s nothing miserly about the abundance of Popplet activities students can create using this wonderful tale:
- Character studies – Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim…
- A factual popplet about the novella’s author Charles Dickens
- What happened to Scrooge to make him so mean?
- How do we know Scrooge is mean? – students could quote or add images of sections of text
- A fact Popplet about the three scary visitors that visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve – The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Students could work in groups collaborating and presenting their Popplets
- English language students can use the text for reading comprehension or grammar – past, present, future, conditionals…
- Or, students could simply tell the story, using the main points
Christmas Greetings Popplets
Now that we have well and truly entered the digital age, people are doing things differently: emails instead of letters, messages instead of telephone calls, online shopping… and a whole lot more. It’s certain that other ways of doing stuff will change too. One of the things that might change is that the Christmas card, a traditional festive staple, will become digitalized. Of course, Christmas GIFs and funny videos that can be sent digitally have been around for a while, and we think it’s about time Popplet joined in the fun. It’s simple:
- Begin by creating a popplet and call it something Christmassy – depending on your taste, and maybe think about who is going to receive it
- Next, add a “to” section in a separate popple
- Then, you could add a photo of yourself and your family – be sure to include any pets!
- When that’s done, add your “special Christmas message” popple – no need to say too much, but heartfelt greetings are what you’re looking for here
- After you’re satisfied with the basic look of your popplet, add a little Christmas decoration – again this is very much dependent on your own taste
- Finally, when you’ve got everything looking just right, choose how you want to share you’re digital card by clicking share in the top right-hand corner of the popplet:Christmas greetings are personal, so we suggest that you check the make this popplet public, but don’t show it in public popplets box, and then copy the link from the browser address bar.
- Your Christmas Greetings Popplet is ready to send
Have you created any Popplets about Christmas or any other religious festivals? If you have, we would really like to see them. Share your ideas with the Popplet community on Twitter, and on our Facebook page.
Also, for more Christmas activities, check out our previous article: Popplet Christmas Activities: Santa Claus, Presents, Letters and Lists.