Popplet Christmas Activities: Santa Claus, Presents, Letters and Lists

Do you believe in Santa Claus? You remember: a 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 employer of elves, who is known to ride a sleigh driven by celebrity reindeer. 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 popplet.

Jingle any bells? Well, if doubt has pushed tender childhood memories of Dear Old Father Christmas from your mind and you have forgotten him, he hasn’t forgotten you! Dear Old Father Christmas. So fear not! To participate in these traditional festive Popplet activities all you really need is Christmas Spirit, Good Cheer if you will, and presents – let’s not forget the presents, they’re important. You’ll also need Popplet. So let’s make that the first thing on our list shall we?

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!

Now, we know what you’re thinking: 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.

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 some thought to the whole matter: 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 speak to classmates and 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 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.

What more could you ask for? 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.

11 Ideas For Using Popplet In The History Classroom

Mapping the events of the past is an investigative process linking people, places, and other significant information to moments and periods in time. In an ideal climate, historians seek the truth by shining a light back across the years and show us what they see. It is a constant, continuous process that helps us understand who we are. History, like the sciences and the arts, is an indispensable and natural part of anyone’s education. It’s where children learn about traditions and cultural differences and gain an understanding of why our world is how it is, what their place in it is, and where they want to go.

Popplet has features that make it especially helpful in the History classroom. The addition of text, images, and video; connections and color coding; collaboration and presentation features; all combine to make Popplet a first rate tool for recording and presenting historical facts. We have put together a few examples from History educators and students that demonstrate how they are finding Popplet useful in their classrooms.

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10 Ways To Use Popplet In The Math Class

We have had a number of requests recently from the Popplet community for more math work. It was even suggested that our most current blog posts displayed a literary/language bias. We did the math, and the results spoke for themselves – time to balance this content equation we think.

So, using a string of examples, we will now set out to prove that Popplet is a popular and effective tool in the math class. We will even show our working!

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Popplet Helps Teachers Make Better Lessons

Simple, intuitive and effective, the results of using Popplet in the classroom are often immediate and remarkable. Popplet’s ease of use combined with an impressive set of features: text, images, drawing, presentation and real-time collaboration mean that Popplet has applications over a broad range of subjects and classroom activities.

So versatile is Popplet, that its usefulness has attracted educators of all disciplines, from kindergarten teachers to college professors. A true all-rounder, Popplet can be put to work in every part of a lesson:

  • Lesson Planning and Objectives
  • Warm up
  • Presentation/Modeling
  • Practise
  • Checking and Demonstrating learning
  • Homework and Further Learning

Lesson Planning and Objectives
Popplet can work for teachers even before a class begins as an uncomplicated graphic organizer for lesson planning. Add images, text and links. Take notes and make visual connections, always keeping learning goals in sight, as in this EFL lesson plan:

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Popplet Ideas for ESL Teaching

Popplet is a user-friendly tech tool that is popular with teachers and students of all ages and disciplines.  It is a mind-mapping application for the iPad and the web that lets you capture and organize your ideas. Popplet is versatile, with an easy to use interface and a comfortable level of functionality, but with robust features that are especially suited to learning environments.


With Popplet you can instantly add editable text, links, images, colors and drawings to connectable bubbles called popples, and connect these popples to create visually informative landscapes of information. Teachers and students can collaborate in real time, and finished work can be presented using one of Popplet’s Presentation modes.

Popplet has steadily been gaining traction with ESL educators and language teachers. It’s hands-on, visual nature lets students form connections between facts and ideas in various ways. Dynamic and fun, it has the ability to make even the dryest of grammar points much more palatable – students become a lot more interested in the finer points of the Reported Speech  if they get to make a Popplet about it on their iPads or laptops!

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Top of the Popplets! – September 2016

September has seen more than its fair share of inspiring ideas and we endeavor to bring the best of them to you here. In Top of the Popplets, our monthly roundup of the popplets shared by the Popplet community. This month the cycle of life is explored in How an Apple Tree Grows, there’s a Soccer Lineup, we learn all about Johnny Appleseed, and young grammar fans will love learning more about Proper Nouns.

How an Apple Tree Grows

Photographs of student drawings (easily uploaded to Popplet) and text come together naturally to form a simple, informative visual in this lifecycle popplet. This popplet looks like it would be a lot of fun to make. Lifecycles and processes look good on a Popplet board, and you can make a popplet about almost anything. Thanks to Mrs. Bunch’s class for sharing this fine example on Instagram:

We used the app @poppletny to show how an apple tree grows!

A photo posted by Mrs. Bunch (@mrsbunchsclass) on

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Top of the Popplets! – August 2016

Good, practical Popplet ideas have been the hallmark of August, and we have chosen the best of the bunch for this month’s roundup of inspiring Popplet ideas. Our favorite August popplets are The Mexican Revolution, Orchestra Instrument Families, Storytelling with Popplet, and Using Emojis. And if none of these popplets grab you, there are a lot more on our Twitter, and Facebook page, and in Public Popplets.

 

Storytelling With Popplet: The Fisherman and his Wife

Storytelling

The very first thing you have to do is click this seesaw link. Done that? – Ok. Now that we’re all on the same page, there really isn’t any need for me to explain just how awesome this storytelling popplet is. The Fisherman and his Wife; created by one of Miss Larnerd’s 2nd-graders breaks down easily into Characters, Setting, and Plot. Add to this mix some very cool drawings (you could try the Popplet Drawing Tool for these) uploaded as images, the text of the story, and last but not least an impressive narrator’s soundtrack – provided by the student of course – and the result is an impressive, creative audiovisual presentation. How much fun is this? Thank you so much for sharing.

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Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom

Have you ever wanted a book about teaching with the iPad that is light on jargon, gentle on the brain, with tried and tested lesson plans, valuable didactic information, and clear advice all included?  Did you even know that such a book existed? Well, it does, and it’s called Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Digital Learning – if only all technology books for teachers were like this one. Innovate with iPad is an immensely practical, but at the same time considered work that is immediately accessible to all Primary School (K-3) teachers, whether they are beginners or experts in the world of iPads and digital classroom technology.

“Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom is the book you and every educator with access to iPad needs to make a fast transition to using iPad for learning.”

/Users/genesiskohler/Desktop/ITWiPad/Final cover/ITWI cover w pi

Don’t skip the Foreword and Introduction because like the main body of the book, they are worth the time. The Foreword is only a few paragraphs and sets the tone nicely. In the Introduction, the creators of Innovate With iPad, experienced primary school teachers Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen, share their thoughts and explain the layout of the remainder of the book. So far, so good, that didn’t take long at all, and we really wanted to read more.

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Top of The Popplets! – April 2016

April has been and left its customary showers, and along with the welcome spring rain came floods of attractive new Popplets. We won’t go so far as to say that it was raining popplets, but we will say that the Public Popplets, Twitter and Facebook pages were positively drenched in energetic and innovative Popplet creations. From a character analysis of a well-known pushy pigeon to a challenging study of homelessness, we picked out some of the best this month had to offer.

Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus: Describing Characters

What’s blue, funny, begs and really, really wants to drive the bus? Yes? No? Pigeon of course, from the award-winning children’s book, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems. An image of the infamous bird takes the center spot, surrounded by simple description words that provide some savvy insight into the character of the pigeon protagonist. A fun and earnest introduction to literary analysis. Thanks again to Kara Bunch and her Kindergarteners for sharing this on Twitter and Instagram.

Describing Characters

POPPLET TIP: This popular Popplet activity is adaptable for all age groups. Students could even upload a video of the character, or add text (take a photo of the relevant sentence or paragraph in the book) to support their descriptions.
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Top of The Popplets! – March 2016

With batteries charged and everyone well and truly back from the Easter break, it’s time to check out what’s been happening in Popplet world over the last four weeks. The month of March,  like every other month,  has witnessed generous and unrestrained sharing of quality popplets from the four corners of the globe. So spoiled for choice were we that heated discussions simmered, healthy debates raged: Precisely which amazing popplets – shared by the Popplet community on Twitter, Facebook Public Popplets… –  would be selected for this month’s very public viewing? From pirates to polygons, hippopotami to sloths, and a very professional Popplet presentation about cats, we bring you Top of the Popplets! – March 2016.

Piratas! (Pirates!)

Piratas

Part fun, and part historical fact we have Pirates: a very colorful contribution to Public Popplets from Rachel. We say fun, because the identity of the female member of this jolly band of brigands – the “very attractive” Raquel from Veracruz, Mexico – isn’t a real pirate at all, but a fictional character. Raquel’s companions on the other hand are real pirates, and they really were a bit scary in their day. Realistic “likenesses” of the pirates themselves, maps of their origins and a few important details all combine to make this an attractive and interesting visual, which could easily be adapted to other areas of historical interest. Thank you Rachel.

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