I am a huge holiday tradition enthusiast, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever makes it into our read-aloud stack almost every November or December. I have read it so many times that I have gotten pretty good at all of the voices if I don’t say so myself. It’s much more fun that way! Because, as you know, you have to personalize the characters for the kids.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever before, I should warn you; you are likely to experience belly laughs! Along with learning some things you wouldn’t likely expect.
But, in short, the Herdmans are a local family that is deemed no good. They are “terrible kids” and known for getting into all kinds of trouble in town. The Herdmans get involved in the church’s annual Christmas pageant, and they have never heard the story of the birth of Christ before. Their perspective is comical and evokes compassion from the reader, making it a wonderful story to revisit each holiday season.
The story is a sweet reminder that not everyone knows about Jesus, and it is also a tender reminder that God loves everyone. I enjoy reading it to my kids and discussing it with them after each chapter. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a great book to share with your children because even though it has us all laughing, it touches on some fundamental ideas worth thinking about each holiday season. And it’s a classic! There is also a hilarious movie adaptation that you can watch with your children too.
Studying The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Chart the Herdmans. Yes, you heard that right. If you have elementary students, you could draw what you think each character looks like. Or make a visual chart of them from oldest to youngest.
Discuss character traits. This book is a fantastic catalyst for talking about positive and negative character traits, etiquette, and manners.
Plan a service project. Planning a service project with your family or a group of friends is perfect for the season. Talk about donating with your children and find a local charity or church that helps meet your local community’s needs during the holidays.
Host a show and tell. Some funny antics occur during show and tell with the Herdmans, and your kids would enjoy a show and tell too! Have an art-based show and tell with friends or your homeschool group where your children can each share their chalk pastel creations.
Compare the book vs. the movie. One of our favorite family activities is watching the movie after we finish the book, and of course, comparing them. This is a wonderful way to allow your children to compare and contrast written text versus movie adaptations. You can discuss the differences orally or have them write down the main differences they see. Ask them to write a persuasive paragraph about which one was better and why.
Writing prompts. Some writing prompt ideas may include the persuasive paragraph above, and so many other ideas come to mind, but here are a few ideas to help you plan.
- Choose your favorite character from the book and explain why.
- How do you think you can share the story of Christ’s birth with others?
- Do you believe the Herdman’s were changed in any way by the end of the pageant?
Homeschool Art Lessons For The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Around the holidays, I also love creating memorable hands-on experiences to pair with our favorite books, movies, and other holiday traditions. My kids love it, and holiday homeschooling is a fun way to break up the routine together. Usually, by November and December, most homeschool families are ready for a break. I know we are, and holiday homeschooling with art is the perfect way to mix things up in your homeschool.
Luckily, Nana has a Christmas Play homeschool art lesson that pairs perfectly with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! I was so excited to do this one with my kids because we love to celebrate the end of a book with art, treats, and Nana.
It is an adorable chalk pastel drawing of the Christmas play star! So cute that it’s sure to make you and your children smile. My kids love to showcase their holiday artwork around this time of year, and they make fantastic holiday decorations.
Additional Holiday Resources For Your Homeschool
If your family is ready to dive into all things Christmas, we have some wonderful choices to add to your holiday fun!
- A Christmas Carol is another perfect option for reading the book or watching the movie and enjoying the accompanying Christmas homeschool art lesson.
- Christmas Tea Time – I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is one of my favorites. A tea time is fitting for this one too! There is so much to learn about the poem and hymn’s history.
- Little House on the Prairie art lesson is super sweet and pairs well with holiday fun for all ages. If you are reading any Little House books currently or in the future, you will definitely want to add this art lesson to your list.
- Charlie Brown Christmas is a must-do! Charlie Brown is another one that is so much fun to read or watch first and then draw along with Nana.
- The Grinch is a classic, and what child doesn’t love drawing him? Add some green sugar cookies, The Grinch Movie, and have a great time creating together!
- Jotham’s Journey Series is a wonderful choice for Advent and Christmas reading with the entire family! If you haven’t read these before, you are in for a real treat.
We hope that this gives you some fresh ideas for celebrating the season with art! Take some time away from your usual homeschool routine to enjoy these hands-on activities with Nana. Your kids will love it, I promise!
Courtney is a Jesus-pursuing, native Texan, homeschool mom of three, and she believes homeschooling can be a peaceful and productive rhythm. At Grace, Grow & Edify she helps families create peaceful homeschooling atmospheres through faith, organizational strategies, and cultivating strong roots at home. She is also the founder of Homeschool Mastery Academy.