Secret Santa for your Classroom

This is the time of year for lessons on gratitude and generosity, holiday cheer and happiness, and what better way to spread those ideas than with a class Secret Santa activity.


Every year about this time, when I taught elementary school, I would have my sixth graders partake in a Secret Santa activity.  We would run our Secret Santa's for two weeks before revealing them at our class Christmas party.

The first thing I would do is explain the rules.  There weren't a whole lot of rules to the festivities.  In my class, students were required to give two gifts per week, but gifts did not require any money to be spent.  They could gift class dollars, the promise of fulfilling class jobs in the new year, a sweet note, or anything along those lines.  Of course they were also allowed to gift candy, treats, soda, books, school supplies, toys, etc.  Secondly, they just couldn't tell anyone their Secret Santa identity.

The second thing I would do is give the students a questionnaire to complete.  It was a simple ten questions about their favorite foods, treats, books, movies, and the like.  Once these were turned in, I would scramble them up and pass them back out as my way of assigning Secret Santa's.  When completing this task, I had a checklist which I would complete with the student's name and to whom they were assigned to be a Santa.  I would then use this checklist to mark off the days that students received gifts to ensure we had no Scrooges in the class.  I also kept a small stash of Dollar Tree type items wrapped and ready to go just in case a student was being snubbed by their Santa.

Finally, during our class Christmas Party we would play a guessing game and reveal our secret identities.  For this final reveal, students were asked to bring a gift up to $5 in value.  I would then have every student find their final gift from a big pile made earlier in the day.  Before they could open it, students were given 3 opportunities to guess the identity of their Santa.  Raucous laughter would usually ensue if the Santa was able to escape the guessing without being named.  Once all the presents were open we would partake in a potluck feast and share some fun and fellowship with one another.

If you would like a copy of my Secret Santa activity papers, which includes my rules, questionnaire, checklist, and party flyer, please click here to receive them for free.

I hope you have a marvelous time celebrating the holidays with your students.

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