Holiday craziness is on the way!!
One of my favorite holiday traditions in the classroom is the ugly sweater contest!
You see, I was queen of the ugly sweater before they were cool!
Every year, my Grandma bought me a “beautiful” new holiday sweater. And each year, the sweaters became more and more bedazzled and embellished. Read “ugly.”
As a kid, I was mortified to wear them to school.
Now they are a “thing.” And the uglier, the better!
So what better way to kick off my contest than by wearing the ugliest holiday sweater I own. Sorry, no pictures…
What I love about the ugly sweater activity
- It’s creative!! In upper elementary and middle school getting out the markers and colored pencils has become somewhat of a novelty. Kids spend so much time on computers (especially now) that the idea of designing and sketching turns them into giddy little kids!
- It’s academic! Remember holiday parties in school when you were a kid?? Movies and candy!! Now, there is so much emphasis placed on academic rigor, holiday parties are a thing of the past. This ugly sweater activity is a great way to have some holiday fun while keeping it academic! Plus, as the projects near completion, it’s fun to see what topics were most memorable to students during the first semester!
- Instant holiday decorations! My favorite decor in the classroom is “kid made”! These aren’t only pretty, but they show off what our students have been learning! I love to hang these on the frame of my classroom door and sprinkle them on my bulletin boards.
Competition is very good, as long as it is healthy. It’s what makes one strive to be better. Christine Lahti
As the ugly sweater contest has evolved in my classroom, I’ve come up with categories and prizes to award!
Students compete for the funniest, most original, festive, and creative holiday sweaters.
Winners for each category receive a handful of tickets from our schoolwide reward system along with a candy cane and a certificate.
I’m a always amazed to see students award certificates still hanging in their lockers in the spring!
The big question….
Every year they want to know “who’s judging?”
I like to spread our designs out in the library or faculty room for a day and let the teachers select their favorites for each category.
The kids get really pumped to know that other teachers are seeing their hard work!
Seriously – I’m always amazed at how much time some students take to create their sweaters – significantly more than they spend on their homework!
Cue the holiday music
My only real “rule” is that their idea must be original and relate to something we learned this year.
No peeking at memes on the internet kids – that’s cheating in my book!!!
So turn on some holiday music and let the the kids get cozy and creative!
I guarantee the hardest part will be the judging!
Take a look at this no-prep holiday activity! Your students are going to have so much fun, they won’t realize they are learning!