Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

The following holiday lesson plan provides fun STEM challenges for whole group activities. In the first holiday challenge, students work with a partner to design a Christmas tree and decorate it. They then attempt to stack it, along with all of the other doodled trees made by classmates, in order to make the tallest tree stack without toppling it over (similar to Jenga). In the second holiday challenge, students will design their own spinning dreidels. Classmates will spin their doodled dreidels to see whose spins the longest. Happy holidays, everyone!

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Lesson Plan


Step 1 - Group Discussion

Start with a group discussion and share the goals. During this session, students will attempt two different holiday challenges using the 3Doodler: Stack the Doodle-Tree and the Doodle-Dreidel game.

Step 2 - The History of the Christmas Tree

Before we start Doodling, discuss the history of the Christmas Tree and family/cultural traditions. This site can provide some helpful information:

Prompt students to share their own holiday tree customs and traditions.

For the Dreidel game: Show a real dreidel and explain how the dreidel is like a top. Then review how to play the game and the meaning of each Hebrew letter.

Prompt students to share their own dreidel customs and traditions.

Step 3 - Discuss the Shape of Christmas Trees & Dreidels

Note the shape of the tree. Place various 3D shapes on the table for students to view. Ask students which shape is most similar in shape to the tree?

Ask students which 3D shape most resembles the sides and point of a dreidel?

Step 4 - Model how to use the cone to make a 3D holiday tree, and the triangle to make a Driedel.

Cover the cone with tinfoil for easy plastic removal later. Place a dot of plastic firmly at the tip of the cone. Press it down firmly with your finger while still warm. Draw lines across the length of the cone to its base. Press line down firmly as you doodle. Fill in one segment at a time. Then decorate with ornaments.
Note that the base must be even on all sides so that the tree will stand.

Demonstrate how to doodle a dreidel, covering the triangular pyramid with tin foil, outlining each side, and then filling. Doodle a Hebrew letter on each side and review their meanings. Doodle a cover and handle to spin the dreidel.

Step 5 - Students make their own trees & dreidels

Divide students up into pairs or groups of three and hand out 3Doodler 3D Pens, cones and pyramids. Have students cover their objects in tinfoil, and then begin to Doodle their trees and dreidels.

Circle to assist and assess as students work.

Step 6 - Let's Play some Games!

Reassemble students to play a Jenga-style game in which a member from each duo must stack a tree on the previous trees without toppling the stack of trees. Coach students to try stacking in different ways.

Have students see who's dreidel can spin the longest. Discuss why some spin easier than others.

Wrap Up

Share the students' Doodle-Trees and Doodle-Dreidels. Test the dreidels. Which one spins the longest? Why? Share the students' Doodle-Trees and Doodle-Dreidels on Twitter. @3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU


The teacher will assess the students by evaluating their participation and understanding throughout all phases of this activity, and also by assessing their Doodle-Trees and Doodle-Dreidels.

Possible Extensions

Students play the dreidel game using either pennies or doodled coins.


  • 3D - of, relating to, or representing something in three dimensions.

  • balance - an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • cone - a three-dimensional shape for which the base, usually circular, extends to a point.

  • construction - the building of something, typically a large structure.

  • data - factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.

  • design - to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans (for a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of an object, building, bridge, etc...

  • engineering - the art or science of making practical application of the knowledge of pure sciences, as physics or chemistry, as in the construction of engines, bridges, buildings, mines, ships, and chemical plants.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, considered as a group of academic or career fields.

  • triangular pyramid - A triangular pyramid is a pyramid having a triangular base. The tetrahedron is a triangular pyramid having congruent equilateral triangles for each of its faces. The edge length and slant height of a regular triangular pyramid is a special case of the formula for a regular -gonal pyramid with , given by.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

In This Lesson

Students will discuss how to build a sturdy, tall structure with their partners, teacher, and peers. Students will discuss how to design the longest spinning dreidel.

Common Core

Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

In This Lesson

Students will build on the talk of others during the whole group and partner work throughout this project.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of building the tallest tree tower and/or the longest spinning dreidel through designing, modeling, and testing.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to construct trees and dreidels.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will doodle their own trees and dreidels.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will work with a partner and peers throughout the doodling, problem solving and creation processes. Students will share their perspectives.

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