Turn your classroom into a winter wonderland celebration with 19 holiday story prompts. Make holidays around the world come to life with the tip of your students’ pencils.Home » TeacherWriter.co Blog and News » Teaching Writing »
Your students buzz with excitement as they enter your classroom in December. The minute you enter the room, your students want to tell you about going out for hot chocolate and a Christmas tree, decorating their house for Hanukkah, or the epic snowball fight they had with their cousins.
December is such a glittery, colorful, magical time of year for young students, even after they think they’re too old (or too cool) to pretend to be excited about it.
Why not take advantage of the avalanche of excitement, energy, and hopefulness, and channel it into holiday story writing? Wouldn’t it be fun to share stories as part of your classroom routines before the end of the year? You could create your own winter wonderland bulletin board featuring their creative narrative writing.
If you have the energy left for it, you could publish a classroom collaborative holiday story book. Follow the same ideas as you’ll find in the Halloween collaborative writing post.
I’ve gathered 19 holiday writing prompts for you that will give you and your students plenty from which to choose. You might consider doing a prompt a day to keep them writing every day right up to the break.
These prompts cover holidays from several traditions. There are prompts for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali, Christmas, and simple stories of giving.
Speaking of giving, you can grab some free holiday writing paper from the Members Vault for your students to use. While you’re there, download the free Christmas cards. I’ll include the link to the Members Vault at the end of this post, along with a few more special things for you.
Holiday stories with imaginary elements
These prompts turn the creativity on high. There’s something for everyone here. Ignite your students’ imagination to create their own winter wonderland.
- Snowman’s Adventure: Once upon a time, in a forest far away, lived a lonely snowman. He decided to go on an adventure and make some friends. What did the snowman do? Where did he go? Who did he meet? Tell the story.
- Snowman’s Wish: Write a story about a snowman who dreams of experiencing different seasons and goes on an imaginative adventure to make his wish come true.
- Magical Reindeer Games: How do Santa’s reindeer fly? How do they go so fast? Write a story about the magic abilities Santa’s reindeer have and what sorts of magical games they play when they’re not busy pulling Santa’s sleigh.
- Reindeer School: How do reindeer know how to pull Santa’s sleigh? How do they stay in shape when it’s not Christmas? Write a story about the fun exercises and classes Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen do with Rudolf to prepare for their big night of dashing through the stars on December 24th.
- The Wishing Tree: One day, when you’re walking home from school, you discover a tree that’s magical. It lets people hang wishes on its branches. You grab a piece of golden paper and write your wish. Tell a story about what happens next.
- Kangaroo for Hire: In Australia, sometimes kangaroos help Santa deliver presents. Tell a story about a kangaroo who wants to apply for this job and what he does to garner the attention of Santa and his elves.
Holiday story prompts about traditions and activities
Traditions vary from family to family, town to town, and in countries around the world. That’s what makes these prompts special. Each story will be unique depending on the perspective and experience of your young author.
- Cats Love Christmas Too: Tell a funny story of a family who decorates their beautiful Christmas tree. After they finish, their cat Fluffy decides he wants to climb the tree. But all of a sudden, the tree is tipping over! Tell what happens, and how the family handles this situation. (This story prompt comes from an actual event. The cat knocked the tree down, and we had to wire it to the wall!)
- The Brightest Snowman Contest: Your town is having a snowman contest. Whoever builds the best snowman wins hot chocolate for a year! Tell a story about what type of snowman you build, and how you brighten it up. Do you win the contest?
- Guardians of the Snow Castle: Last night it snowed and now two feet of chilly whiteness blankets the ground. It’s perfect to build an ice castle with your friends. Just as you finish construction, some other children arrive. They want to challenge you to a snowball fight. The grand prize? The winners get to play in the snow castle. Tell the story about this epic snowball adventure.
- The Kindest Gift: You find out someone you know will be alone during the holidays. You help this person and give them something. They say it’s the kindest gift they ever received. Write a story about what you do and say to make this person so happy.
- Kwanzaa Traditions: You’re celebrating Kwanzaa for the first time this year. What things do you like the most? Does anything surprise you? Do you have some favorite things to do?
- Diwali Delights: A young child is learning how to make a Rangoli, or sand painting. The Rangoli bring good luck. Write a story about the colors and designs of this child’s Rangoli, and what kind of good luck it brings.
- Lost in a Christmas Market: Germany is famous for its outdoor Christmas markets. You’re in Germany with your family at a Christmas market full of fabulous foods, glittering lights, and exciting new toys. You’re looking at one, when all of a sudden, you realize your family isn’t with you. You realize you’re lost! What do you do, and how do you find your family? (You can use magic in the story if you want!)
- Carols by Candlelight: In Australia, Carols by Candlelight is a popular tradition. People go outside to parks and other public places to sing Christmas carols together. Write a story about getting ready for this big occasion and which carols you would sing.
Magical holiday story prompts
Since the holiday season is already full of magic, why not sprinkle it like glitter in a few stories? The wonderful thing about using a magical writing prompt is anything is possible!
- The Snowflake Garden: Tell a story of a child who loves cutting out paper snowflakes. Every day they make more and more and hang them all around their house. One morning, they wake up, and all the snowflakes in the living room are real! They have a winter wonderland inside their house.
- The Magical Menorah: Once upon a time, a family had a menorah that would light itself each night. Tell a story about why this happened and what the family did.
- Hanukkah Dreidel Magic: When a family is decorating their house for Hanukkah, one of the children pulls an old, worn, dreidel from a box. When they spin it, something magical happens, and this child can have anything they can wish for. Tell the story about the child and the dreidel’s magic.
- The Bottomless Stocking: Tell a story about a child who hangs up their stocking while decorating for Christmas. Every morning the stocking is full, no matter how many times they take everything out. Tell a story about what happens.
- The Magical Jingle Bells: A child finds a magical string of jingle bells in the back yard. Each time the child rings them, one of Santa’s elves appears. Tell a story about what happens with the elf and the child.
These winter wonderland topics should ignite the imagination of your students. If it doesn’t, then perhaps it’s time to go outside and have an epic snowball fight.
That should do the trick.
Do you have other favorite holiday story starters? If you do, please share them in the comments. The more writing prompts we have, the better!
More ideas for the holidays in your classroom
- Christmas Around the World Activities for Bright Learning
- Merry and Bright School Christmas Activities
- Santa Claus Tracking With Reindeer, Radar, Satellites, and Jet Fighters
- Do you want to unlock more creativity? Try this list of 52 writing prompts.
- Norad Official Santa Tracking Website