La Befana (A Christmas Tradition in Italy) Literacy Unit

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This is a fun, holiday-themed literacy unit that focuses on the Italian Christmas and Epiphany tradition of La Befana, the Christmas witch. La Befana in Italy is much like Santa Claus in the United States and other places.

Because it also focuses on Epiphany, which falls on January 6th, it could be used in your classroom after a traditional Christmas break.

This unit includes a teacher read-aloud (a secular and non-secular version), a reader’s theater play (a secular and non-secular version), expanding vocabulary practice (a matching game and worksheets), hands-on activities, differentiated lessons, stationary, and more. My students find it motivating and engaging, especially right before or after the holiday break.

    I.         Traditional Tale
                                  Version 1 (includes religious references)
                                  Version 2 (secular)
  II.         Reader’s Theater
                                  Version 1 (includes religious references)
                                  Version 2 (secular)
III.         Expanding Vocabulary Activities
                                  Vocabulary Cards
                                  Vocabulary ABC Order and Match Up
                                  Word Maps
                                  Vocabulary Sentences

IV.         Graphic Organizers
                                  Select Two and Reflect
                                  Venn Diagram
                                  Story Map

  V.         Writing Prompts
                                  La Befana and Santa Claus (compare and contrast)
                                  Letter to La Befana (friendly letter)
                                  Story Summary

VI.         Differentiated Resources
                                  Story Sequence (cut and paste)
                                  Venn Diagram (cut and paste)
                                  Story Summary (with transition words)

VII.         Stationary
                                  Primary Lined Paper
                                  Intermediate Lined Paper

I hope you find this product helpful! I have found it really helps get my students excited about the research process and stay organized in the process. I give each of my students a manila file folder as their “special research folder” during the project as well, and they love using it!

If you have any questions, please email me at

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