Here is a festive list of Christmas-themed History lessons for all secondary school year groups!
You can also download these 25 'baubles' of historical events that took place over the Christmas season to make your very own Xmas (his)Tree!
|Yr7: A Boy Bishopping Medieval Christmas!
In this activity students will learn how people celebrated Christmas in the Middle Ages. In particular, the class will re-enact the ceremony of the "Boy Bishop". This ceremony will provide one student with special religious powers. In particular, that student will have the power to marry pairs of people in the class (although in church law these marriages will only be valid for 24 hours)!
|Yr8: A Puritan Christmas!
This lesson covers how and why the Protestant Reformation led to the emergence of a ‘Puritan’ movement which banned Christmas altogether. Students will research how various Christmas traditions that we take for granted actually have very little basis in the Bible. In role, and as charmingly as possible, the teacher will start the lesson as a 'Ghost of Christmas Past': a loyal follower of Martin Luther who has taken power in England after overthrowing a King suspected of being a Catholic....
This lesson makes use of a student worksheet | teacher answers | image
|Yr9 Lesson 1: The Victorian Invention of Christmas! | Teacher Answers
In this activity, students consider how the Industrial Revolution almost destroyed Christmas altogether - until three real-life "Father Christmas" figures came along to save it! This is part one of a two-part lesson and makes use of images of the first Christmas Cracker, the first Christmas Tree and the first Christmas Card.
|Yr9 Lesson 2: Ebeneezer Scrooge: Hero or Villain? | Teacher Support Sheet
In this activity, students learn about, then are encouraged to challenge, the traditional interpretation of the Dickens Classic "A Christmas Carol".
|Year 10: Gifts and Christmas Cards of World War One
In this activity, the teacher will start by delivering this ActiveHistory Teacher Presentation (which comes complete with a useful video clip) to outline some of the gifts that were marketed to soldiers in World War One. The main task involves deciding how to categorise these 30 Xmas cards from World War One. Students should cut them out, organise them into meaningful categories, and then turn their findings into a large classroom display piece or a 3D Gallery at ClassTools.
|Year 11: "Have Yourself and Very Nazi Christmas!"
In this activity you will consider how effectively the Nazis used propaganda to manipulate the message of Christmas so that it promoted Nazi ideology. You will consider which aspects of Christmas traditions that Hitler would particularly dislike (and so remove) and which aspects he could use for Nazi propaganda (and so keep). You will then formulate your own 'rebranding' campaign for a "Nazi Christmas". This activity should be accompanied with the associated ActiveHistory Teacher Presentation.
Year 11: A World War Two Christmas
|IB/A-Level: Christmas in Stalin's Russia | Teacher Answer Sheet
This lesson gets starts with a team-based quiz challenge, and then moves on to look at how Stalin unexpectedly revivied Christmas for his own propagandistic ends. It forms a useful addition to students' understanding of Stalin's use of propaganda, and his policies towards religion, and as such is educational as well as suitably festive! Students end by designing their own Soviet-style winter greeting card [sample card].