Lesson Plan Title : History of the Mistletoe

Age Range: Grade 6 through grade 8 (Middle School)

Overview and Purpose: We all know we want to stay out from under the mistletoe, but how many of us know how this tradition started? In this activity, students will research how that and many other Christmas traditions started.

Objective: The student will be able to explain why we have the Christmas traditions we do in America.


Internet access for students


Brainstorm a list of Christmas traditions we have in America. These can include hanging up a stocking on Christmas Eve, putting out cookies and milk for Santa, and singing Christmas carols to our neighbors. Have students hypothesize why we have those traditions and how they got started. Have them write the traditions and their hypotheses in their writing journal.

Have each student choose one tradition to research. They should write a one page report stating what the tradition is, where it came from, if it has changed over the years, and when it started. The students can then share their findings with the class.

Wrap Up:

To extend this activity, have students create a new American tradition. They should explain what it is and why we have it. Have the students make a poster promoting their new Christmas tradition.