Use these Holiday Traditions writing task cards in the weeks before Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or a Holidays Around the World activity to teach your students to add a variety of specific details. This writing lesson with print and digital task cards is perfect for a station or center rotation and can also be used as a whole class lesson. Teach your students elaboration strategies by writing with a variety of specific details as they brainstorm about fun topics relevant to middle school.
Each task card provides a topic sentence about a cultural holiday tradition. Students can research a different culture or use their personal experience to write in three supporting details that could be used in a paragraph with that topic sentence. Writing task cards include a variety of prompts for argumentative, informative, and narrative paragraphs.
- Google Slides presentation with example sentences
- Writing prompt task cards in color or low-ink
- Worksheet for citation of sources with sample bibliographic entry
- Assessment options include checklist or standards-based learning scales
Holiday Traditions Writing Prompts Contents
This product includes a PDF teacher packet with printables and a link to your Google Slides presentation.
2 – Table of contents
3 – Tips for use
4 – Slideshow preview and link to Google Slides
5 – Mini anchor chart/graphic organizer for student notebooks
6 – No-prep worksheet
7 – Task cards answer recording sheet
8 – Cite your sources recording sheet
9 – Rubric Checklist
10-12 – Standards-based learning scales for 5th – 7th grades
13-15 – Holiday Traditions writing prompt task cards (color)
16-18 – Task cards (black & white, low ink)
19-21 – Display posters for writing center or station
1 – Title Slide
2 – What is SAFE-Q
3 – Sensory Language (Imagery)
4 – Anecdotes
5 – Facts and Figures
6 – Figurative Language
7 – Examples
8 – Quotations
9 – Instructions for completing the task card writing activity
10-21 – Digital task cards (one per slide)
For a low prep Holiday Traditions writing activity, these two options don’t require the task cards or color printing:
- Print a class set of the no-prep worksheet and have students write in their own notebooks or on looseleaf paper.
- Choose three topic sentences you want students to work on and write them in the spaces on the answer sheet before photocopying one copy per student; this allows for differentiation if you choose different sentences for different student groups.
To use in a writing center or station rotation:
- Print one copy of the display posters along with the task cards in color or low ink on paper or cardstock. I love these multi-tab file folders because I can store the task cards and answer sheets together for super-easy center set-up. These posters and the task cards can also be posted on a bulletin board or tri-fold display board.
- Print one copy per student of answer sheet and source citation worksheet.
For distance or remote learning:
- You can also select a worksheet for students to print, if desired.
To assign or share just one page from the printable PDF file, you can extract that page in Adobe Reader. First, choose the page number you want to use. Then print that page, selecting Print to PDF rather than your usual printer. Save the file with an appropriate name, and you’re ready to send it to students.
Read more about the SAFE-Q mnemonic and how I teach writing with specific details in this blog post.