Teaching ideas Sinterklaas – fun activities for the classroom
The ‘Sinterklaas period’ is often a pleasant period at school and is ideal for all kinds of fun and educational lessons and activities around Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. For example, you can tinker and calculate or do a set assignment to your heart’s content. But what about a technical assignment or a music lesson around Sinterklaas? Many things are possible for those looking for suitable teaching ideas.
In this period when the weather can be very drizzly and dark, it is wonderful to dream away in class with a good book. Every year, and in the past, many nice picture books are made especially for the Sinterklaas period, including by famous Dutch people. The colorful picture books are often available at supermarket promotions, but can also be bought at a thrift store for a reasonable price. By searching on the internet you can often view / read Sinterklaas picture books digitally or find various worksheets. Picture books for Sinterklaas are particularly suitable for children up to the age of ten. For older children, various reading books about Sinterklaas can be found online and in bookshops. Think of a book like ‘DWARS through the chimney’ by Henk Hokke and ‘Sinterklaas en de poor kindertjes’ by Herman Finkers. A must, especially for the younger children or children who have difficulty reading, are the narrated stories of SinterklaasFM. Go to the SinterklaasFM website and click on ‘stories’ in the menu.
There are always active people who make the most beautiful, thematic workbooks. Also around Sinterklaas. When you enter ‘Sinterklaas workbook’ in the search engine, you will undoubtedly come across a number of useful booklets per construction. It is possible to copy the whole booklets and distribute them in the classroom, but of course also to use a number of worksheets. The workbooks are often filled with math assignments, puzzles, word searches and stories. When students have finished a particular assignment in class, they can then get started with their workbook. The workbooks can be found and downloaded frequently on the websites of Yurls and Schoolbordportaal.
Petes are very active. A Pete gym class is therefore very fun to do. Think of several activities that the students can perform, such as swinging on ropes, jumping over the buck (chimney), throwing cubes (presents) into a hoop, etc. At the end of the lesson, the students can receive a special Piet diploma that they can do at home. show.
In the classroom you can dance and move a lot around Sinterklaas. On YouTube you can find a lot of Sinterklaas songs, sometimes with movements. The songs of the dance piet (Club van Sinterklaas) are very suitable for the students to move at the start of the day or just between classes. The songs from Kinderliedjes.nl are also very nice. The students can easily sing along from the digital whiteboard.
Playing a Sinterklaas game in class? Have the students throw a package (tennis ball or light object). Keep an eye on the time and play the game again. Are the students able to improve their time?
Sinterklaas living memory is nice too. Let the students form pairs and together come up with a movement / action that suits Sinterklaas. Two students go into the hall and have to find out which students are linked together to get the most memory sets.
Who am I? is a very popular game with students. Make notes with all kinds of words that belong to Sinterklaas. Attach them to the back of the students with a piece of tape, and have them ask each other questions to which they can only answer “yes” or “no”. If the correct word has been guessed, a student may come and get a new note.
The Sinterklaas Journal is of course very well known. Many teachers and masters show the last episode of the Sinterklaasjournaal before the break. In this way, the students stay informed of the latest developments around Sinterklaas. Some primary schools are also adapting their own storyline for December 5 to the storyline of the Sinterklaasjournaal. The storyline can be read in full on the website. Did you know that there are also many fun activities and games to be found on the website of the Sinterklaasjournaal? Especially for the slightly larger students it is very nice to work with Sinterklaas behind the computer or tablet.
World orientation and technology
It doesn’t have to be difficult at all to match the theme of Sinterklaas with your regular lessons. For example, in Geography you can pay attention to export / import. From which country or countries does cocoa come from? And how are chocolate letters made? Suitable videos can be found on the website of Klokhuis and schoolTV. Of course you can also go further into the history of Sinterklaas. Where does the Sinterklaas story come from? What do students know about Spain?
You can let students think / investigate how and why things work around technology. For example, is it really possible to get gifts into a house through the chimney? How many gingerbread cookies can fit in a homemade paper boat before it sinks? Or let the students use building blocks to try to make as wide a ‘bridge’ as possible (from one table to the other) with which Sinterklaas can move from one roof to the other.
Here is a list of assignments and activities that are even more fun / educational to do, especially around the theme of Sinterklaas:
- Create wish list with pictures from toy books
- Bake gingerbread cookies
- Make a pet hat or miter
- Obtaining Piet’s diploma (Pietengym)
- Making a web of words around Sinterklaast theme (this is allowed in the upper school properly)
- Dress up the class nicely
- Calculate with gingerbread cookies
- Wrapping gifts (preschoolers)
- Write a letter to Sinterklaas
- Create or maintain a Sinterklaas (countdown) calendar
- Play Sinterklaas bingo