A few traditions for Christmas in Australia include Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve, which is an outside concert where people sing carols together. Many families attend midnight mass at their church, followed by sleep for a few hours and presents in the morning. They have Christmas trees, lights, and presents just like in the United States.
One big difference is how Santa is dressed. In Australia, Santa wears shorts and his sleigh is pulled by six kangaroos. A second difference, when comparing an Australian Christmas to an American Christmas, is the food. Many families in Australia eat salad, fruits, and cold meats. Some have a BBQ, and others have the traditional baked ham or turkey like in the United States.
The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas. Growing up in the United States, you learn the Twelve Days of Christmas with the partridge in a pear tree. I loved this book so much because it still has that familiar jingle, but with all things Australia (as it should).
Wombat Divine is the story about a wombat who loved Christmas and has always dreamed of being in the Nativity play. He tries out for all of the different parts in the play, only to have one of his peers chosen for the part... that is, until he finally gets picked for the perfect part in the Nativity play.
It's a great story to remind students to never give up, especially if you love something. Wombat didn't get discouraged and it ended up being "the best Nativity play ever!"
Emily and the Big Bad Bunyip At first glance you might not think this is an Australian Christmas book. But the saying is true, never judge a book by it's cover! This story is similar to that of Scrooge... the Big Bad Bunyip does not like Christmas and Emily the Emu tries everything to make the bunyip smile on Christmas Day. It's another great story about perseverance!
FREEBIE for you!
This freebie includes an Australia at Christmas tabbed flip book. Inside is a bunch of information about the holiday, with trace-able words instead of fill in the blanks. This makes it the perfect NO PREP activity for you, while letting students know what the key information is at the same time.
It also includes an Australia-shaped booklet that is perfect to use as an exit ticket at the end of your lesson, or to write a summary of one of the stories mentioned above!
Don't forget to grab your free passport cover and the Australia page. Collect all 13 country pages by hopping through the rest of the blogs. :) As you teach your students about different holidays around the world, have them complete a passport page. Each student will have a keepsake at the end of the unit!
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