One of our most favourite and popular Christmas lessons are our Christmas Compliment Wreaths. But we are often asked, how do we actually go about teaching this lesson.
This post is going to take you through each step we take to make these special keepsake wreaths.
"This activity was such a nice way to finish off our school year and to spread kindness in our class. I love that they had to write positive things about their classmates." Karli
Depending on the age of your students and if you decide to do a detailed introduction on how to give a compliment, this lesson should take approximately 1 hour.
We personally prefer to break it up into 2 parts. We begin by teaching a lesson about giving compliments and have students work on writing compliments during a reading group rotation. Then we complete the wreaths during a second lesson.
You could also write the compliments during one lesson and then put the wreaths together in a follow up lesson. This is a great option for afternoon sessions that can be a little shorter at some schools.
Resources you will need:
1 x Leaf template per student
1 x Bauble template per student (optional)
Paper plates - painted green (or a green circle)
1 x bow per student
Student name letters (optional)
Glue, scissors, green crayons or pencils
The lesson (step-by-step):
1. As a class, discuss what a compliment is and how a compliment makes someone feel about themselves.
2. Practise giving authentic compliments by modelling and then asking the students to role play.
Encourage students to compliment a classmate on something they genuinely like about a person.
Aim to focus on a person's achievements more than physical traits. Everyone likes to feel seen but the best compliments are when someone notices personal qualities or amazing accomplishments.
Try to give different compliments to others - not the same one such as ' You have a lovely smile.'
Optional: Give students the compliment bauble template to brainstorm compliments they can give each other. They can use this template as a scaffold to complete the next part of the task.
3. Give each child a set of compliment leaves, ask them to record their name in the place provided and then leave their leaves on their desk.
4. Next, students move from desk to desk, leaving compliments for each other on the leaf templates. We have found students moving around allows them to see who needs compliments and saves some students getting lots, and others only getting a few.
5. When all the compliments have been given (everyone’s templates are full), students go back to their desk and decorate their leaves. You may want to take this time to get students in small groups to paint a paper plate green for their wreath. Another alternative, is to give student as a green circle and you can skip the painting step entirely!
6. Students use their leaves, name letters and a bow to decorate their compliment wreath.
"My students loved this. It was pleasing to see their smiles once the compliment wreath was constructed!" S.B
The Finished Product:
Students can keep their wreaths on their desk, take them home or you can display them together in a special place in your classroom during the festive season.
We love seeing the finished products on instagram. We have seen compliment wreaths:
Hanging in school hallways
Hanging up in classrooms
On a class Christmas tree
Send home as a special gift / keepsake from their class mates
Teacher tip: If you have a class Elf on the Shelf, get them to introduce the compliment wreath lesson by leaving a compliment on each students desk as an introduction to the lesson.
Christmas time is about the gift of giving, but it doesn’t always need to be physical gifts. Giving and receiving compliments can really make someone feel good.
Teach your students the art of giving compliments with this simple lesson and beautiful Christmas display - everything you need to spread a little more kindness in your classroom during the festive season.
"This was a fabulous lesson to tie in with our end of year learning. We had worked hard all year to be kind to ourselves and others and this was a great way to reinforce how to give a great compliment. I loved watching my students write compliments to classmates that they weren't necessarily friends with and the comments from my students as they read what their classmates wrote about them was truly heart warming. Every child in my class was motivated, engaged and excited with this activity." Alicia
Get your hands on a copy of the Christmas Compliment Wreath here.
Lacking in Christmas inspo for your classroom? Grab a copy of our