Mystery Christmas Carols

Mystery Christmas Carols lesson plan

Everyone has a favorite Christmas carol. Illustrate a carol and then try to identify each other’s songs!

  • 1.

    Christmas carols have very interesting histories. Share books with students in a read aloud format such as "Silent Night: The Song and Its Story" by Margaret Hodges or "Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story Behind Our Favorite Christmas Carol" by Myrna A. Strasser to learn the history of that carol. How did caroling get started? From what countries are the carols a tradition? Invite students to do investigate the history of Christmas carols. Provide them with a variety of text and electronic resources for this activity.

  • 2.

    When research is complete, ask students to choose a favorite carol and find out the story behind it. On construction paper, write the carol title, a brief history, and the words to at least one verse and the chorus with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils.

  • 3.

    On the other side of the paper, ask students to sketch a picture that illustrates the verse chosen. Color the drawing with Crayola Twistables® Crayons.

  • 4.

    Students display their drawings. Challenge classmates to identify the name of each others’ carols from clues in the illustrations.


  • LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • LA: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.
  • LA: Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
  • VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.


  • Students create a flip book which illustrates an animated version of a scene from favorite Christmas carols.
  • Working in small groups, students compose original lyrics to a favorite Christmas carol melody. Students practice their lyrics in preparation for presenting the song to classmates. The school's music teacher may assist with this writing activity if available.
  • Students investigate other holiday songs and illustrate their messages.