pop culture / Teaching Ideas

Unwrap Literary Magic with a Comparative Holiday Song Analysis Activity

Holiday song analysis activity

‘Tis the season for festive tunes and merry moments with this ELA comparative holiday song analysis activity!

If you’re looking for a holiday song analysis activity that is festive yet secular, I’ve got you! In this post, I outline how students can compare two secular songs that are perfect for the “cozy cup of coco in front of a cutie book tree” winter season vibe.

A Comparative Holiday Song Analysis

Sesame Street's "Holiday Song"

Both songs focus on winter and the holiday season. They are not specific to one holiday or a religious practice and are chalk full of literary analysis opportunities! 

Give students an opportunity to engage in a first- and second-watch of both videos. If possible, provide a digital or printed copy of the lyrics, so they can annotate it later.

Depending on the grade and skill levels of the students you teach, you can dive into a complex literary analysis or use it as a means to refresh foundational literary devices.

Here are some literary devices you’ll find in the songs: alliteration, anaphora, metaphor, symbolism, imagery, personification, etc..

Let students know ahead of time that both songs focus on the winter/holiday season, but their analysis aims to answer how their meanings differ.

Below are some examples of guided questions you can include.
❄️ What literary devices can you find in each song? Highlight and label examples you can find.
❄️ Analyze 3 literary devices from each song. Consider why the artist would include it in their song.
❄️ What is the mood of each song? Support your response with evidence (i.e. lyrics or observations from the music video) from each text.
❄️ What is the theme of each song? Use a T.A.G. (title, author, genre) to properly introduce each text.

There are so many ways your students can engage in this holiday song analysis!

I always find that this time of year is a bit tougher to engage students. Using media literacy helps a TON!

Depending on the activity, it also gives me time to get my grades in shape, so I do not work over my winter break.

Here are some more media literacy activities that are perfect for the before-break-blues:
15 TV Episodes can pair with this independent TV Episode Review activity
15 songs for ELA can pair with this independent Theme in Music activity
✨ Our NEWEST resource, 15 Pop Culture Analysis Activities, engages students
Terminus and/or Burnbridge are fantastic digital escape rooms that involve NO prep

Survive and thrive the rest of this school year with some seasonal teaching tips

You are ALMOST there, friends! 

Happy teaching ☃️