Build a Holiday Light Display [Project Based Learning] PBL – December Activities




Welcome to Building a Holiday Light Display! Holiday Light Displays are always a fun place to visit especially since we can’t see them all year long! Students can create their own business using math skills (decimals, area, and perimeter) to make an aquarium become a reality.


Building A Holiday Light Display is a project based learning activity. It puts all of the learning and responsibilities on the students and less on the teacher. This PBL focuses on students using their creative side while also using real world math skills, communication /collaboration with others, building a business, and of course their imagination. The template is provided to the students however, their creativity is needed in order to have success.

Students will create a business plan for their business, select the displays and design their displays, identify their expenses, and then build a mini 3D version of their park.

The project is broken into four sections:

1. Build Your Business

  • Creating a business name
  • Designing a Logo
  • Design your Store Front
  • Business Hours
  • Slogan
  • Newspaper Ad Creation
  • Radio Ad Creation
  • TV Ad Creation
  • Skill: Advertising and Persuasion

2. Design

  • Selecting Displays
  • Organizing Displays

3. Expenses

  • Working through Aquarium Expenses
    • Daily Expenses
    • Monthly Expenses
    • Using Grants to help offset costs

Skills: Adding Decimals, Multiplying Decimals

4. Build the Holiday Light Display:

Students will build a mini version of their park.

Skill: Area, Perimeter, Geometry

Time Frame:

The time frame for completing this project will vary. If you are planning on completing it in a week, give 45-60 minutes per day–but it still could take longer. Personally, I give the students about 15-30 minutes per day and it takes them about 3 weeks to create this. Time can vary based on many factors. One area that may take longer is creating the aquarium.


Please Encourage Creativity!! Push your students to try new ideas. It’s not often that students can just experiment and have fun with their ideas and get creative. Allow them to get creative and enjoy the process!



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