What a fun and crazy time of year! Between preparing for our Christmas Program and making parent gifts, sometimes December in the classroom can feel like I am not getting any academics done at all. I am always looking for good ways to combine Christmas activities with learning. That’s why I love doing the “Christmas Tree Sight Word Challenge” every year with my kindies.
By this time in the year we have introduced 16 sight words. In my teacher brain, I know that we have 30 more sight words to learn 2nd semester so I want the kiddos to know the first 16 really well. This challenge is a great way to encourage sight word practice but also have a little fun.
First the kiddos trace a christmas tree on a large piece of green construction paper. They cut out the tree and add a star on top.
I have printed pages of ornaments with a sight word on each one. Astrobrights is my favorite paper to use, I love the way the colors POP! Each kiddo gets all 16 sight word ornaments.
The kiddos cut out the ornaments and glue them to their “Sight Word Christmas Tree”. Super cute, right?!?
Then comes the “challenge”! The kindies take home their tree over Christmas Break and I encourage them to practice those sight words everyday. When they come in January and read all 16 sight words for me, they win a special surprise! It’s amazing how much the kiddos buy into this fun little challenge. They are super excited to come back after break and show me how hard they have worked.
The great thing about this activity is that you can also differentiate it for specific students. When I have a student that’s behind, they might focus on 5-10 sight words instead. Or I might have an advanced student work on a new set of sight words if they have the 16 already mastered. You can definitely make this work for each of your learners.
Usually I hit up the Target Dollar Spot to find cute presents to be the special surprise. My favorite finds are often the bubble wands or light up bouncy balls. They are always a hit!
I include the note below home stapled onto the tree so my parents can help their little learners practice. Click on the pictures to download the Parent Note and the Ornament Template.
If you give this activity a try in your classroom, I would love to hear how it goes!
Merry Christmas and Happy Teaching!