menu   Home About Me Home freebies My Store  
 photo 3am_AB_f1_zps652b0c0f.png    photo 3am_ab_gplus_zps3ab6fefc.png    photo 3am_ab_pin_zpsbfebd6d2.png    photo 3am_tpt1_zpse91e0740.png   photo 3am_ab_email1_zpsebc98a17.png

Search My Blog

Holiday giving ... With a Science Twist!!

Your students will have a blast with this dichotomous  classification key!

(It's educational ... sort of ....)

Very rarely in my high school biology classes do we have the time to devote to a holiday activity.  I make an exception each year for this fun, but very important activity.  I do this activity each year to remind my students of the importance of community service and “giving back” to our community. 

The purpose of the activity is very simple:  To put together stockings of candy and Ziploc bags of toiletries that can be donated to a local charity.

This is a free download from my TpT store, and is suitable for grades 5-12. Click here to download.

Just before Thanksgiving, I place a donation box in my room.  I explain to my students that I am collecting their spare change for a service project that we will do just before school is out for the holidays.  I talk briefly about being thankful for what we have, and that we have an obligation to help others who are less fortunate than us.  I ask them to place their donations in the collection box whenever they have a bit of change in their pockets to spare.  I encourage them to give what they can, and that all donations are a personal and private matter.   I accept the donations for about 3 weeks prior to the activity.  The students are not allowed to ask each other how much they donated, etc.  I use this change to purchase the items needed for the activity.  

Students will use the dichotomous classification key to identify each of the candies and each of the toiletries seen above.  Each item has been given a very special and unique name for this fun activity!  Ok, I'm going to admit that the science is a little "shaky" in this activity, but the students deserve a break from time to time, and they do love doing this activity.

The end result is that you have stockings of candy and bags of toiletries to donate to a food bank, a nursing home, a homeless shelter, or other charity of your choice.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your students and families!


  1. Amy, I love how you paired service and science! You rock!

  2. Perfect! Sometimes we just have to be creative in connecting worthwhile ideas to our list of must-dos. I bet they have a great time with this! Have a lovely holiday, Amy!

  3. Amy, I only wish I had known about this earlier! I am definitely going to do this with my own classes! Fantastic!

  4. Such a wonderful of those lessons that are the most important to teach! Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a clever and engaging activity. Just what is needed to keep kids on task and teachers sane in December. Thank you for sharing.

    Happy Holidays,

  6. Such a great way to teach kindness and generosity with a core twist! I always held the position that as teachers, we are not truly wanting our students to learn and live our content areas to 100% accuracy; we really just hope they learn and live the skills we teach them, and human kindness tops the list!

  7. This is perfection! What a great concept! I love how students are actually learning and doing such a great deed. I'm so glad you do this every year. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to pass this on to my bio teacher friends :)