5 Adorable Christmas Read-Alouds for Kindergarten and First Grade
Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold
This first story is one of our very favorites (and the students love it too!) Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. otto Seibold is a clever tale about Olive the dog, who mistakenly sings the wrong words to the classic tune, “All of the other reindeer…” and believes she must be a reindeer too. She quickly heads to the North Pole to assist Santa on his busy trip around the world. Luckily, her dog skills are just what the team needs to overcome the troubles they encounter along the way. After our initial reading of the book, we will discuss the problems and adventures presented throughout the story and look closely at how Olive helped to correct each problem. In our next lesson, we will revisit some of the words and phrases that elicit feelings, define what they mean, and discuss what type of feeling each word or phrase represents. During the third lesson, we will compare and contrast Olive’s and Santa’s character traits by finding evidence in the text and illustrations that demonstrate what each character says, does, thinks, and feels throughout the story. To complete our lessons, the students will write their opinions about other animals that might be able to help Santa pull the sleigh and will also complete a cute craftivity to display their writing.
When we spotted Ninjabread by C. J. Leigh, illustrated by Chris Gall at our school’s Scholastic Book Fair, we knew we had to include it in our December lesson plans. This adorable spin on the classic Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth will definitely be a hit with our students. We thought our kids would enjoy making connections with the original tale, so we chose a classic version by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Barbara Mclintock for this comparison. To begin, we will read the Gingerbread Man and ask our students text dependent questions. We will discuss story elements and our students will complete a basic story map. The next lesson, we will read Ninjabread Man and discuss the same story elements, using the same graphic organizer. The Ninjabread Man has some fun vocabulary, so we planned a simple vocabulary lesson in which the kids will illustrate the meaning of some of the unfamiliar words from the story. The last lesson, students will be ready to compare and contrast the Ninjabread Man with the Gingerbread Man. We decided to create two differentiated versions to cover this skill. One option will be a Similarities and Differences Chart, the other a Character Comparison. As a culminating activity, students will have the opportunity to create their own version of a _______bread Man.
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner
We can’t resist any of the Snowmen books by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner. Snowmen at Christmas is no exception. This magical story depicts the imagination of a sleeping boy on Christmas Eve. As he dozes off, he wonders how snowmen celebrate Christmas. The rhyming story and beautiful illustrations will surely enchant our kids as they learn about the various ways the snowmen celebrate the holiday. After our first read, we will have students complete a simple snowman graphic organizer to recall key ideas and details from the story. After revisiting the story in the second lesson, we will use a “what it is, what it is not” sheet to define and dive into some difficult vocabulary words. For the third lesson, we thought it would be fun to have students compare and contrast the way snowmen celebrate Christmas with the way they celebrate Christmas. Students will create a snowmen scene as a fun art project that represents the story.
Hurry, Santa! by Julie Sykes
Our last pick is an old favorite from the Julie Sykes Santa collection. ‘Hurry, Santa!’ is an enjoyable read. When Santa’s alarm doesn’t go off on Christmas eve, it’s just the start of his problems. He trips over his pants, can’t find his reindeer because they are off playing in the snow, and he crashes his sleigh. Students will enjoy brainstorming and writing about the things that cause Santa to be late after reading the story the first day. The second day lesson plans will guide students to look at what the text is saying compared to what the illustrations are showing. To finish up with this story students will write a letter to Santa and tell him what they would get him if they were to buy him a present and complete a cute craftivity. We also included an optional compare and contrast activity so students can compare late Santa to the traditional Santa.
Sneezy the Snowman is such a cute story about a snowman who is always cold and keeps causing himself to melt. The rhymes just roll off your tongue as you read and the pattern and repetition help the kids follow along and predict what’s going to happen. After reading the story to the class for the first read we will have students think of the cause and effects that happen throughout the story. They will love writing why Sneezy melted. The second time we read the story the students will write what the text said and compare it to what the illustration showed. For the third read the students will write a different snowman ending. They are going to love this cute story and they will be excited to make the melted snowman craft.