This primary resource teaches children about the history of the Christmas tree, and why we decorate these evergreen trees with festive ornaments this time of year. Discover the origins of putting up Christmas trees in our homes. Before Christianity, why did people hang evergreen plants over their door? When did German Christians first bring evergreens into their homes? Why were miniature lights invented for the trees?

Pupils will learn about the religious and cultural influences that led to the tradition of decorating Christmas trees, in our National Geographic Kids’ Culture primary resource sheet.

The teaching resource can be used in study group tasks for learning about how festivals / holidays evolve and develop over time. It can be used as a printed handout for each pupil to review and annotate, or for display on the interactive whiteboard for class discussion.

Activity: In groups, ask children to discuss the events in the comic and write them up in a paragraph or two, or create a timeline of events depicted in the resource.

Pupils could use the information in the resource as a starting point to research the influence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had on the way we celebrate Christmas. Pupils could discuss why they had influence on the general public.

Ask the children to research Christmas traditions from different parts of the world. They could use our Christmas around the world primary resource to help them.


N.B. The following information for mapping the resource documents to the school curriculum is specifically tailored to the English National Curriculum and Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. We are currently working to bring specifically tailored curriculum resource links for our other territories; including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. If you have any queries about our upcoming curriculum resource links, please email:


his Culture primary resource assists with teaching the following objectivesfrom the National Curriculum:

2.1 Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

2.5 All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. Schools are also free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.


National Curriculum Key Stage 2 History objectives:

Pupils should be taught about:

  • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain: ‘Romanisation’ of Britain: sites such as Caerwent and the impact of technology, culture and beliefs, including early Christianity
  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066: the changing power of monarchs

 Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.


This Culture primary resource assists with teaching the following Social studies Experiences and outcomes objectives from the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence:

Learning in the social studies will enable me to:

  • develop my understanding of the history, heritage and culture of Scotland, and an appreciation of my local and national heritage within the world 
  • broaden my understanding of the world by learning about human activities and achievements in the past and present
  • develop my understanding of my own values, beliefs and cultures and those of others
  • learn how to locate, explore and link periods, people and events in time and place


Scottish Curriculum for Excellence Social studies Early level objectives:

  • I can make a personal link to the past by exploring items or images connected with important individuals or special events in my life. 


This Christmas primary resource assists with teaching the following Early and First level Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools objectives from the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence:

  • I am familiar with the Christmas story and I know that at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Son of God and Son of Mary.
  • I can recognise Easter and Christmas as special times for the Christian Community.


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