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Lesson Plan: Festive Celebration Trees

  • Kids 
  • 90 min
What you need:
For a full list of required materials, refer to the 'Materials Needed' heading down below.

Lesson Overview

Get the festive feeling this year and transform your classroom into a magical forest of celebration trees! At the end of term, these trees become fantastic keepsakes for students to take home to their families. Throughout this lesson, students will learn about the history of Christmas trees and will then get to decorate and assemble their own 3D celebration trees. These trees can be sprinkled with sparkle, coloured with creativity or decorated with natural seasonal materials.

Teaching Focus Year Level

Years 3-4 (Middle Year Primary).
This activity can be easily adapted to suit a F-2 class or to go further with Years 5 & 6. 

Australian Curriculum Connections

Visual Art: Years 3 & 4
Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111). 

Cultural Considerations

Christmas may not be celebrated by all students. It does provide an opportunity to learn about different cultural celebrations and promote understanding of others during this time. Refer to the below Australian Curriculum webpage for further details.

Learning Continuum of Intercultural Understanding

  • Investigate culture and cultural identity: Identify and describe variability within and across cultural groups.
  • Explore and compare cultural knowledge beliefs and practices: Describe and compare a range of cultural stories and events.
  • Develop respect for cultural diversity: Identify and discuss the significance of a range of cultural events, artefacts or stories recognised in the school, community or nation.

Resources & Downloads

Prepare these helpful resources before the lesson begins.

If time permits, have 4 tree panels pre-cut and ready for a student demonstration. 

Device capable of playing videos. Play the Why do we have Christmas trees? video by Reading Through History.

Christmas-themed storybook.
Share a classroom favourite Christmas-themed storybook with your students.

Celebration Tree Template

2 copies per student (total 4 tree design templates). Print on A4 cardstock or thick paper (150-250 GSM). 

Click here to download!

Materials Needed

Gather these items before your session begins for an easy, stress-free lesson.

  • UHU Glue Stics
  • Faber-Castell colour pencils
  • Faber-Castell crayons
  • Faber-Castell Connector Pens or other Faber-Castell colour markers
  • Celebration Tree Templates, 2 printouts per student (4 tree panels total), printed on A4 cardstock or thick paper, 150-250 GSM
  • Scissors, 1 pair per student
  • Paperclips, 3-4 per student
  • Sparkly Christmas materials, such as recycled tinsel, etc.

Lesson Process

An engraving published in the 1840s of the British royal family celebrating Christmas.
An engraving published in the 1840s of the British royal family celebrating Christmas.

Step 1: Learn About Festivities

Watch the video ‘Why do we have Christmas trees?’ with your class or read a Christmas-themed storybook. Hold a quick chat about the clip or story. Do any of your students have other ways that they celebrate Christmas or festive times in their homes? What other types of traditions are followed? Invite your students to participate and share their experiences at festive times. Encourage your class to be inclusive and represent different cultural ideas.

An animated GIF of a black and white Christmas tree with an arrow pointing to a coloured Christmas tree that wiggles in place.

Step 2: Creating Celebration Trees

Provide each student with 2 copies of the celebration tree template so they have 4 tree panels each. Carefully decorate the tree panels. Encourage the students to take their time in decorating the tree. They could use patterns, colour shading, or collage to create their designs. Ask them to think about what they add to the tree as a representation of their celebrations.
An animated GIF that shows the sequence of how 4 folded Christmas tree cardboard panels should be glued together to create a 3D Christmas tree.

Step 3: Assembling the Trees

Show the students how to cut around each of the four trees. Then, fold each of the tree panels in half, lengthways, so that the coloured design is on the inside. To start, put glue on the back of one half of the folded tree panels. Carefully line it up with a different panel, press them together until they stick, and secure with paperclips top and bottom while it dries.

Repeat this process with the other two panels until all are stuck together, creating a 3D tree. Leave to dry.
Three 3D Christmas trees, made from cardboard, sitting on a white background,

Step 4: Displaying the Trees

Once dry, the trees can stand up on their own as a table or desk decoration, or have a hole punched in the top for hanging on a piece of string for a wonderful classroom display.

Terrific Tip

If you are planning to use the celebration tree as table decoration, the base may need to be secured.

You can do this by:

  • Cutting additional slits front at the bottom and sticking it onto an additional piece of paper
  • Embedding the base of the tree in a generous blob of UHU White Tac and sticking it to an additional piece of paper