In this post I will share how using STEAM stations will excite your students and build knowledge of traditional ways to celebrate Christmas in Texas in a cross-curricular way. If you are teaching Texas History or communities this set of stations is a great way to make connections to the state of Texas while celebrating our winter holiday.
What Do The Stations Have?
This set of five stations are meant to be completed in about 30 minutes each. They are a great way to encourage students to be creative.
Each station comes complete with:
✓Informational Reading Passage- These are great to use with the stations as well as for reading instruction
✓Photo Examples When Applicable
✓Answer Key When Applicable
✓QR Code Links for Further Information
What Celebrations Are Included?
The San Antonio Christmas River Parade
Students read about the event and then use their own artistry to design and create their own river barge float.
Growing up in a suburb of San Antonio this annual event is near and dear to my heart. I highly recommend watching a video of the beautifully decorated river floats as a way to engage students.
The Austin Trail of Lights
Students read about the event and then engineer and create their own light display structure for the event.
This annual event that takes place in the urban park of our capital city seems to grow larger every year, but the staple display is the light tree built on a moontower.
The Johnson City Light Display
Students read about the event and then solve math problems with a lighting theme.
The Pedernales Electric Company covers the city square in lights each year, so in this station, students must figure out math situations about lighting that relate to real life.
The North Pole Express in Grapevine
Students read about the train ride and then follow directions to create their own crystal ornaments.
These classic Borax ornaments are a crowd-pleaser that makes a great take-home gift that will sparkle. Watching the crystals form overnight is also exciting!
Christmas Traditions in Texas
Students read about three unique traditions that have been brought to Texas over the years, complete a graphic organizer about the events, and then write about their own family tradition.
All of the topics included are covered in a completely secular way, so students are focusing on the event of Christmas, not the religious holiday. With this being said, we need to keep in mind that our classrooms are diverse and Christmas should not be the only winter holiday celebrated. I would encourage you to invite your students’ families into the classroom to share their own traditions with the class.
These stations are easy to prep but do require a few outside materials including construction or colored paper, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, borax, and string. Please check out the preview for a full list of materials for all five stations.
Differentiating Christmas in Texas Stations
These stations can be completed in traditional station format or a more structured format. You may choose to complete these stations:
- In a small group where students rotate through
- In table teams
- As a whole class
In the past, I have invited families to the classroom to complete the stations with multiple adults at each station to assist students. This is most important when creating the Borax crystals as you need very hot water to make the process work.