Las Posadas is a popular choice when doing a winter celebrations around the world unit. If this is not a holiday you are very familiar with, these facts about Las Posadas and collection of resources will help you plan and prep a comprehensive unit for your students.
Las Posadas in Mexico is an interesting topic to explore with elementary students during the month of December. This Las Posadas in Mexico unit can be used by itself or as part of a larger holidays around the world unit. It includes everything you need to teach your students about one of the most interesting winter celebrations around the world.
What is Las Posadas?
This is an excerpt from the reading passage and student mini-booklet that can be found in the Las Posadas unit:
“Las Posadas is a celebration in Mexico. It takes place during the nine days before Christmas. Posadas take place each night from December 16th to December 24th. During Las Posadas, people walk in a procession. They pretend to look for a place to stay. They knock on doors and sing songs. Some people dress like shepherds or angels. Others dress in traditional Mexican clothes or wear big sombreros. Many people carry lanterns. The procession ends at a church…”
Why You Should Teach Students about Las Posadas
The month of December is a great time of year to teach students about the different winter celebrations around the world. Students are already thinking about the upcoming holidays, so it makes sense to use this excitement to engage them in their learning. There are so many different ways to tie this topic into your curriculum – especially social studies and literacy standards!
Las Posadas in Mexico is a particularly interesting topic to explore because some of your students may have never heard of it before. Students can learn about a culture and set of traditions that are different from their own. Learning about this holiday creates an interesting opportunity for students to compare and contrast this holiday’s traditions and what their holiday traditions look like. For your students who do celebrate this holiday, it’s a great way to invite them to share about their experiences and recognize the value in their holiday.
5 Facts about Las Posadas in Mexico
- Las Posadas takes place during the nine days before Christmas.
- Posadas take place each night from December 16th to December 24th.
- During Las Posadas, people walk in a procession. They pretend to look for a place to stay. They knock on doors and sing songs.
- Some people dress like shepherds or angels. Others dress in traditional Mexican clothes or wear big sombreros.
- Poinsettias, a red flowery plant, are very common to see around Christmas time in Mexico.
Las Posadas Unit
This Las Posadas resource for kids includes the following:
- resource overview that identifies all of the printables included in the product
- teaching ideas that offer suggestions for how to implement the resources in your classroom
- organizational tools to help you keep track of the resources you add to this thematic unit
- book suggestions to help you find relevant read alouds you might like to use as part of your unit
- close reading passage for both teachers and students to learn more about the holiday
- printable book for students to use to learn about the holiday
- two-column notes graphic organizer so your students can organize their ideas and the research they collect
- top-down web graphic organizer so your students can take the information they collected and transfer it into a paragraph framework
- cover pages that students can color in or design their own illustration
- geography map to help students make sense of where the country is in relation to themselves
- flag bunting that looks great displayed on a bulletin board
- flag coloring page that pairs well with the writing project and makes a great bulletin board
- postcards so students can show what they learned in a fun and creative way
- travel scrapbook so students can show what they learned in a fun and creative way
- travel journal so students can show what they learned in a fun and creative way
- art project to engage your students in a fun learning experience based on an academic topic
- recipe for students to bring home, share with their families, and enjoy a hands-on learning extension
- digital version of the product so students can access the materials in school and at home
5 Reasons Why You Will Love It
- This Las Posadas resource includes a bunch of activities, so it’s a great value!
- Many of the Las Posadas resources are completely print and go, which saves you lots of prep time.
- You can customize this Las Posadas unit to fit your needs by selecting which included activities you implement.
- The Las Posadas activities are open-ended, which makes it easier to differentiate and make modifications. It also enables you to use this in multiple grade levels.
- This Las Posadas unit a great way to keep students engaged during a month where that can feel extra challenging!
How to Implement a Las Posadas Unit
Below are suggestions for how to implement a Las Posadas unit.
1. Activate Schema
Locate Mexico on a Map
Like all lessons, you will want to begin by activating student schema and engaging them in their learning. It’s a great way to see if your students are familiar with the holiday, celebrate it personally, or know any facts about Las Posadas. You can do this by:
- Locating Mexico on a map.
- Discussing Mexico’s climate.
- Inviting students to participate in mapping activities that help them understand where your students are in relation to Mexico and the rest of the world.
This Me on the Map project has long been the most effective way I know to teach students where they are located from a global perspective.
Many teachers use it as part of a map skills unit at the start of each school year, but it also works so perfectly as an introduction to your Christmas Around the World or Holidays Around the World lessons.
Read Picture Books Related to Mexico
Learn about Mexico by reading aloud fictional picture books that take place in Mexico and non-fiction books teaching about Mexico.
A couple of our favorite books are The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola and Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. We loved them so much that we added them to our Starts With a Story collection. Learn more about these holidays around the world picture books below!
The Legend of the Poinsettia
The Legend of the Poinsettia is about a young girl named Lucida who lives in a village in Mexico. As the village prepares for Christmas, Lucida’s mother is asked to weave a new blanket for the manger scene. As Christmas Eve approaches, Lucida’s mother becomes sick. Everyone is disappointed that the blanket will not be completed in time. Lucida tries to fix the blanket but it gets tangled. She is so upset. An old woman comforts Lucida and teaches her the gift she brings does not matter, it is the thought that is important. Lucida gathers a bundle of weeds and brings them to the church. Everyone is surprised to see the weeds bloom into poinsettia. From that day on, the poinsettia flowers bloom every Christmas Eve in Mexico. Check out these The Legend of the Poinsettia activities!
Too Many Tamales
Too Many Tamales takes place on Christmas. Maria is helping her mother make tamales. She feels very grown-up wearing her mother’s apron. Maria admires her mother’s diamond ring sitting on the counter. When her mother leaves the room to get the phone, Maria decides to try the ring on. She watches it shine as she kneads the dough for the tamales. Maria forgets she is wearing the ring and goes to play with her cousins upstairs. A short time later she realizes it’s missing. She and her cousins try finding it, but have no luck. Maria must confess to her mother. As Maria is talking to her mother, she realizes the ring is on her finger! It wasn’t missing after all. Check out these Too Many Tamales activities!
2. Engage in the Activities from the Las Posadas Unit
The Las Posadas Unit includes tons of activities to choose from. Read through the resource overview and list of teaching ideas included in the unit to determine which activities you’d like to implement.
Read the Las Posadas Texts and Complete the Note-Taking Activities
This unit includes a close reading passage and printable book that your students can read to learn about the holiday. There is also a two-column notes graphic organizer and a top-down web graphic organizer that students can use to collect information about the holiday.
Analyze a Map of Mexico
This unit includes a map to help students make sense of where the country is in relation to themselves. Our Me on the Map activities is a nice compliment to this activity.
Make a Travel Journal, Scrapbook, or Postcard
Having students create a travel journal, scrapbook, or postcard will invite them to show what they have learning in a fun and creative way.
Send Home a Traditional Mexican Recipe
Send home a traditional Mexican recipe for students to share with their families and continue their learning at home.
Make a Las Posadas Craft
Take some time to do a craft with your students to represent the country you are focusing on, Mexico. It is so hard to fit in creative activities, but a winter celebrations around the world unit is a perfect time to incorporate fun hands-on learning experiences.
Here is what we made when we studied Mexico! Check out these directions for how to make this craft and get ideas for other holidays around the world crafts!
3. Assess Students Using the Resources from the Unit
There are tons of different ways to assess students during and at the conclusion of your Las Posadas unit. You can use the graphic organizers, classroom observations, and class discussions as informal assessments. You can use the postcard, travel scrapbook, and travel journal as formal assessments. You can decide what works best for you and your class of students!
Holidays Around the World Unit
What is Included?
- Holland / The Netherlands
- The United States
- Chinese New Year
- Boxing Day
- Las Posadas
- St. Lucia’s Day
The bundle also includes the following bonus materials:
- Access to a digital portal for easy planning
- Passports and country stamps
- Luggage craft activity
- Boarding passes
- Travel map
- Compare and contrast countries with Venn diagrams
- Craft ideas
- Scrapbook cover
Check Out These Other Related Resources
In addition to the winter celebrations around the world resources spotlighted above, a study about Las Posadas lends itself to a variety of other complementary projects like travel brochures, an animal research project and crafts.
1. Travel Brochures
You could have your students create travel brochures by researching the country. It’s a fun and creative way for students to share the facts about Las Posadas they learned. This can be done in class or as a homework assignment to complement what you are doing in school. These printables travel brochures make it super simple!
2. Animal Research Projects
You could have your students learn about the wildlife native to Mexico. This print and go animal research resource packet can be used over and over again through the school year because it was designed to be used when researching any animal.
If you need ideas specific to Mexico, I suggest:
- Spider monkeys
- Mexican Prairie Dogs
- Vaquita Porpoises
3. List of Las Posadas Books
We’ve curated a list of picture books for each of the countries. Check out all of the holidays around the world books on our list!
4. List of Las Posadas Videos
We’ve curated a list of videos for each of the countries. Check out all of the the holidays around the world videos on our list!
5. List of Holidays Around the World Posts
This post is part of a series designed to help teachers and homeschool families teach kids about the winter celebrations around the world. Other posts can be found below as well as the links to my other posts that you may find helpful in the month of December.
These facts about Las Posadas and resources will help you plan a comprehensive unit on Las Posadas in Mexico. Another helpful resource to check out is this article, which offers suggestions for how to manage a holidays around the world learning experience in your classroom. It will help you with planning and teaching lessons about Las Posadas in Mexico, as well as a comprehensive winter celebrations around the world resource. We hope you found this post helpful!