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Design an "Ugly" Holiday Sweater

Students will find photos of ugly sweaters and identify features that make the sweaters truly ugly. Then, inspired by that list of those ugly features, they will design an ugly holiday sweater of their own.

PROCESS:

  1. Point out that the article they just read is about ugly Christmas sweaters. But not everyone celebrates Christmas, and ugly sweaters are a tradition that people can enjoy on any holiday of their choice.
  2. Invite students to conduct research to find photos of ugly holiday sweaters. Encourage them to share their examples with the class. As they do, have students identify what they think is the ugliest part of the sweater they found.
  3. Make a list of those ugly sweater features. Then tell students to use that list as an inspiration for ugliness. Have them pick and choose features from the list to design the ultimate ugly holiday sweater. Give students time to brainstorm ideas and draw a picture of their ugly holiday masterpiece.

ASSESSMENT:

Have students post their drawings on the board. Then have the class vote to identify the ugliest holiday sweater in the bunch.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Prior to conducting this activity, find several websites that feature ugly holiday sweaters. Share the sites with the class. As you do, invite students to describe what they think is the ugliest part of each sweater. Make a class list of ugly features. After viewing the final sweater, invite each student to use that list as inspiration as they draw a picture of an ugly holiday sweater.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Have each group search for and select one ugly holiday sweater. Encourage each student to share what they think is the ugliest part of that sweater. After all groups have shared and the class list is complete, invite each student to draw a picture of an ugly holiday sweater.
Grades 7-8:
As a class, compose a list of holidays. Have the class vote to select three holidays from the list. Then divide the class into pairs. Assign each pair a holiday, and have partners search for and select one ugly sweater that celebrates that holiday. Encourage each student to share what they think is the ugliest part of the sweater they found. After all pairs have shared and the class list is complete, invite each student to draw a picture of an ugly holiday sweater. Have the class vote to identify the ugliest sweater for each holiday.
Grades 9-10:
Have students complete the activity on their own. Encourage them to find and share details about the ugliest holiday sweater they could find. Then challenge them to design and draw a picture of the ugliest holiday sweater ever. Encourage students to think big, incorporating features such as gaudy fabrics, flashing lights or tacky holiday messages into their creations.