Classroom Elf Activities for December

There are many things I miss about teaching first grade, and celebrating the holidays ranks high on the list. I particularly enjoyed the classroom elf activities we did every December. We always had a visitor from the North Pole and celebrated with lots of literacy and math activities! I’ve gathered a list of elf-themed teaching resources to help you plan this holiday season.

Name the Classroom Elf Graphing Lesson

I usually introduced our elf to the class right after Thanksgiving. I hid the elf somewhere in the classroom, along with a poem, and waited for students to find him. As you can imagine, I had to practically scrape my kids off the walls because they would lose their minds with excitement! The poem instructed students to choose a name for the elf. We worked together to brainstorm names, vote, and graph the results.

name the classroom elf lesson
Name Your Classroom Elf | Original Poem and Graphing Activity

Create an Elf Writing Activity

Create an Elf Writing Activity

This writing and craft lesson was a fun way to encourage creative thinking! Students wrote about the classroom elf or created their own elves to make this lapbook.

create an elf writing activity
Create an Elf Lapbook | K-2nd Writing Activity

Write a Letter to an Elf

We always wrote letters to the classroom elf using this graphic organizer and letter writing paper (sometimes the elf wrote back and left each student a little treat the day before winter break started… depending on how busy the elf was;))

write a letter to an elf
Write a Letter to an Elf | Holiday Writing Activity

Elf Interviews

Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, I couldn’t resist continuing the elf fun at home with my kids. I recently created this activity and wish I still had a classroom of firsties to give it a try! Students can use the “Elf Name” handout to determine their elf names. Then they’ll make an elf hat and partner with someone to conduct elf interviews. There are two versions of the interview handout to allow for differentiation for preK- 2nd grade students.

interview an elf craft and writing activity
Interview an Elf Craft and Writing Activity

Elf- Themed Literacy and Math Handouts

These printable worksheets contain lots of options for reading, writing, math, and more. No prep required, so they’re perfect for December sub days!

elf literacy and math worksheets
Classroom Elf Worksheets
elf reading and math worksheets
Classroom Elf Worksheets

Elf Math Centers

I loved using math games in my classroom, so I created several activities that review key math skills to keep my students engaged before the holidays. We often used these in small groups, during math centers, to fill extra time at the end of a lesson, or as “early finisher” activities.

Counting to 10

Elf math center counting to 10
Elf Math: Counting to 10 Holiday Math Activity

Ways to Make 10

elf math center ways to make 10
Elf Math: Ways to Make 10 Holiday Math Activity

Subtracting Within 10

elf math center subtract within 10
Elf Math: Subtract Within 10 Holiday Math Activity

Subtraction Word Problems

elf math center subtraction word problems
Elf Math: Subtraction Word Problems Math Activity


There are so many ways to incorporate elves into holiday lesson plans! Do you have an elf visiting your students this December? I’d love to hear your plans for your classroom elf! Feel free to leave a comment or reach me at Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season! For more teaching tips and lots of freebies, subscribe to my monthly newsletter!

P.S. All of the resources listed above can be found in my Classroom Elf Literacy and Math Bundle. They’re also available separately here.

classroom elf activities
Classroom Elf Literacy and Math Bundle

Published by Little Owl's Teacher Treats

Erika @ Little Owl’s Teacher Treats believes in creating warm, engaging classroom environments that are inclusive of all students. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University in 2008, and a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education, K-6 from Western Governors University in 2016. She also studied Reading Education at the graduate level at the University of Pittsburgh. Erika taught 5th grade for a year, but she found her true calling teaching first grade for eight years.

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