At a time when those of us in the southern hemisphere are coming to the end of the academic year with access to the library being restricted as resources are returned for all the end-of-year stuff we have to do, it’s nice to be able to put on a fun hat that reaches out to the students and helps maintain the magic of the season.
So this post is focused on the things we do to celebrate the season and everyone is invited to contribute. Our gift to each other may be a new idea that we can use or adapt.
Create a literary countdown for the Christmas season. Wrap a season-centred book for each school day, create a display that entices anticipation and invite teachers and parents to be guest readers during a lunchtime session. You need to start collecting titles early so there is diversity from those shared in the classroom. To help you I’ve added the tag Christmas Countdown to appropriate reviews on The Bottom Shelf and with new reviews in the pipeline, there is a range of titles from Australia and beyond. I’ve also collected them on a Pinterest board with links to the reviews on The Bottom Shelf.
If you have a book fair at this time of the year, dress it up like Santa’s Bookshop. Apart from the thrill it gives the students, parents are encouraged to bring their preschoolers in to share the magic.
Classes were given cheap umbrellas to convert into Christmas trees.
The TL at this school invited all the faculties to create a Christmas display to emphasise who they are and what they do. Read more.
Put up a small bare Christmas tree and as part of the lead-up, have students add a decoration a day.
Create a display
There are lots of ideas on this Pinterest board from Jackie AlSaffar
The Giving Tree
Be the focus of your school and community’s Giving Tree.
I try very hard to give the kids a new, or new to you book. At the end of the year I hold a Book Swap. Kids bring in their books from home, receive a ticket they can redeem for another book.
I also over Christmas, give the kids a new book to have for their own library.
Colette D. Eason
Just thinking that if I was makerspacing then this would be an ideal time to have craft decoration sessions at lunchtime. If you focus on making recycled decorations then costs will be low too. For instance paper chains made out of advertising catalogues, plastic ornaments made out of colourful plastic containers, ornaments made from foil wrappers.
. I started my Share a Holiday Memory Contest 2 years ago – I have attached 2 photos to kind of give you an idea of what it looks like – basically I ask students to write down a memory (good or bad some have made me laugh out loud and some brought me to tears) of any winter holiday – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, New Year’s etc. on some pretty holiday paper I get at the Dollar Store – once they’ve written it down they post it on one of 2 bulletin boards then they put their names on an old catalog card and are put in a drawing for a plate of homemade holiday cookies – yes, I’m the baker. Students seem to enjoy it and I make a big deal of having their picture taken and posting it in the school paper.
I encourage students to check out books over the summer break. I have a permission form the parent signs saying how many books the student can check out for the summer. We are a small system (4 schools) and all of our students go from one school to the next through high school. The librarians cooperate so that even students changing schools can participate.
I wrote about five different crafts you can do with books that I actually have done 🙂 Sometimes the best gifts are handmade 🙂
Umina Campus Library has been the venue for an overnight sleepover for past few years.
Student Council, teachers, & self, volunteer to “give up their beds” to raise funds for homeless – who sleep out EVERY night. They are given cereal and toast in the staff common room by the morning shift of volunteer teachers. Yes; there is also an afternoon shift (outside games) and evening shift (trivia etc) of teachers. Also the local police are notified and do extra drive-bys.
Oh yes, spooky stories were read to all once the lights were dimmed. Torches are essential.
The students get sentimental when they reminisce.