6 Delightful December Interactive read-alouds!
We have 6 delightful December read-alouds for you to use in your classroom. Embrace the Christmas spirit during the crazy month of December with these stories. We promise your students will fall in love with all six of these books. We read and re-visit each read-aloud 3 to 4 times with each read happening on a new day in our classrooms. The students love reading the stories multiple times for a different purpose. You will be shocked when you find your students begging you to read the same story again and again!
Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian
Our first read-aloud story for December is Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian. We read the story (which the students loved!) the first time through and then discussed the correct sequence as a class, using the countdown times from the book. Once we figured out the correct sequence for the countdown times, the students cut and pasted the events in the correct order. After they finished, they found a partner to retell the story with, using their countdown page as a guide. The second time we read through the book we guided students to focus on the craft and structure as we asked text dependent questions. We focused on text evidence about Santa Claus’ character. Throughout the story, the elf shares fun facts about Santa. We discussed all the things the elf said were Santa’s favorites and the students wrote them down. Then, the students thought about their own favorite things about Christmas and wrote about them. Finally, during the third read-aloud, we asked some text dependent questions that cover the integration of knowledge and ideas core standards. We finished up this story in a fun way! Throughout the story, the elf takes “elfies” of himself so we had students draw a “selfie” of themselves and displayed their work on a bulletin board. Click here to read more about The Memoirs of an Elf Interactive Read-Aloud.
Catch that Cookie by Hallie Durand
Our second book choice is Catch that Cookie by Hallie Durand. Marshall’s class is making gingerbread men during class. After making the gingerbread men they run off and the students have to follow the clues to find them. Marshall doesn’t believe that gingerbread men can run away until he sees the clues himself. This book will have your students glued to the pages as they guess whether the gingerbread men are real or not. This is such an engaging book, right up to the very last page. After we read the story the first time the students completed a first, next, then, and finally graphic organizer. The second day we revisited the text and used the sequencing organizer from the previous lesson, but this time we added how Marshal was feeling at each point in the story. This was a great way to meet the RL.1.4 core standard. The story ends leaving you wondering what will happen next. For the final read-aloud lesson we revisited the text for the last time and then we wrote a ‘part 2’ of the story. The kids really enjoyed writing a second part to this story and completing the cute gingerbread craftivity. Once their stories were finished, the class went on a gingerbread scavenger hunt around the school. They LOVED it!
Turkey Claus by Wendi Silvano
We can’t get enough of the character Turkey so we just had to add him to our December read-alouds. Our students loved him in Turkey Trouble and Turkey Trick-or-Treat, they couldn’t wait to see what happens to him in Turkey Claus. We dove right in by asking some rigorous text dependent questions (to find out more about text dependent questions click here) during the first lesson and we put the events from the story in order with a fun cut and paste activity. During the second lesson we dove into the phrases from the story. Most students don’t get the story’s humor when reading it for the first time. Discussing specific phrases really helps the students understand what makes the story so funny. They love it when they finally realize what the phrases really mean and how they’re similar to the phrases in the other Turkey books. For the final lesson students decided how they would dress Turkey to help him get into Santa’s house and then they wrote about it. Their ideas were so thoughtful!
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
How DID Santa get his job? I’m sure every kid has thought about this question at least once. When we found this book we quickly realized there were so many fun possibilities we could do with it. We knew students would love brainstorming how Santa got his job and we knew this book was complex enough to do an in-depth close read, so it was perfect! After the first read the students wrote down the jobs Santa had before he got his job as Santa Claus. During the next read they revisited the text to recall what problem he had at each of those jobs and how they prepared him for his job as Santa Claus. Finally on the third read we had students apply for a job at Santa’s workshop and create the adorable Santa craft to accompany the application.
Sad Santa by Tad Carpenter
Sad Santa by Tad Carpenter puts a spin on traditional Christmas books because it’s about Santa being sad once Christmas is over. Mrs. Claus, the elves, and the reindeer all try and make Santa happy again, but nothing they try seems to work. A story mountain pairs perfectly with this book because of the turning point in the story that makes Santa happy again, which is exactly what we did after the first read. We also asked the key ideas and details text dependent questions after the first read. During the second read the students answer the craft and structure text dependent questions and then we discussed what the characters did to try and make Santa happy again. The students loved writing how they would help sad Santa after the third read and answering the integration of knowledge text dependent questions. They especially liked the sad Santa craft. These activities made the cutest bulletin boards!
Samurai Santa A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk
We can’t begin to tell you how much we like this book. Of course we are a little bias because we personally know the author, but.. we really, really like this book! It’s about a ninja who wants to have an epic snowball fight, but the other ninja’s are busy practicing their ninja skills. A secret samurai comes into town and starts an epic snowball fight. The ninjas are all surprised at the end when they realize the secret samurai was really Santa. We thought the structure of this story was perfect to use a ‘somebody, wanted, but, so, then’ graphic organizer after the first read. Then the class discussed the ninja, Yukio’s feelings throughout the story and finally we had students write a letter to Samurai Santa after the third read. The read-aloud lessons couldn’t end without an epic snowball fight, so the students crumpled up scrap paper into balls and the class had their own snowball fun!