We’re talking about all things Christmas today! I have a ton of Christmas activities, resources, freebies, and ideas to share with you that are completely focused on LITERACY! Let’s jump right in!
Free Christmas Word Work
December goes by so quickly, right? Sometimes we just need something FAST and FUN to get us through the week. I recently updated my December Word Builders Word Work FREEBIE with fresh fonts and adorable new clip art. Your students will cut out the letters at the bottom of the page and create as many words as they can using those letters. Then, the students will write the words they create and build on the lines. Finally, they will unscramble the letters to reveal the secret word. The secret word uses ALL of the letters at the bottom of the page.
You can see that in the photograph above, the word reindeer was the secret word! The piece of clip art also gives students a hint about the secret word. The pack comes with five different word work printables to use. This is the perfect little activity for a center, independent word work activity, or a small group word work lesson. You can download my December Word Builders Word Work pack for FREE!
Christmas Reading Comprehension
Let’s talk about comprehension! Specifically, let’s focus on inference skills. Making inferences is a tricky comprehension strategy for many students to master. Students not only have to use their own schema, or background knowledge and experiences, but they also have to use clues from the text to infer. To make inferencing FUN and super engaging, I created a Christmas comprehension resource I know your students will LOVE! It’s called December Read and Infer: The Christmas Mix-Up, and it’s part of my Lunch Bunch Inference series.
Each month starts off with a story about what is currently happening at the fictitious Kind Elementary School. In the Christmas Mix-Up, the Lunch Bunch Club (eight friends who always eat lunch together) painted ornaments in Mr. Ron’s art class. The students painted a picture and wrote a short letter to the person he or she planned to give the ornament to. However, there was a BIG problem! The students forgot to put their names on the ornaments. Now, the ornaments are all mixed up! Your students will read the letter from each member of the Lunch Bunch Club. Using their own schema and the clues they read and find in the letters, they will match which ornament belongs to which friend.
I’ve included TONS of differentiated recording sheets for your students to use as they work together to solve The Christmas Mix-Up. This resource is differentiated for kindergarten through second grade. Simply choose the recording sheet that will work best for your class or group of students. The recording sheets increase in difficulty by requiring students to write and explain their inference in detail.
You can complete The Christmas Mix-Up as a whole class activity or within a small group. I’ve also included bonus inference riddle cards that you can use as a center, transition activity, or as a mini-lesson all on its own! Take a look at an example riddle below:
You can grab the December Read & Infer: The Christmas Mix-Up resource in my store to get started!
Free Christmas Reading Passage
I have another FREEBIE for you! During the month of December, I like to keep my students engaged and allow them to have fun celebrating the holidays. However, it’s also REALLY important that I continue to keep up the same degree of rigor that I always expect in my classroom. That’s why I love using my Christmas Text Evidence Reading Passages during small group time. These comprehension reading passages are just like my seasonal Text Evidence Reading Passages, but with a Christmas twist! You’ll find Christmas themed topics such as candy canes and reindeer, but you’ll also find a variety of Holidays Around the World passages. Below is a glimpse of the Australia, Italy, and France Christmas Around the World passages. Now, let’s talk about what students do while they’re using the reading passage.
For each passage, students will read it three times to build fluency. Then, there are three text-based evidence comprehension tasks to complete on the right-hand side of the paper. Students will use a crayon to go back into the text and highlight the answers to the text evidence tasks. You can choose to have students highlight just the answer or the entire sentence that the answer is found in.
Finally, a written response question is completed. This written response question spirals through a variety of comprehension strategies and skills. Within the pack, you’ll find everything from questioning, compare and contrast, cause and effect, visualizing, main idea, details, opinions, inferencing, and more! These passages are a GREAT way to keep your readers engaged and challenged during the month of December.
Would you like to try out a text evidence passage for FREE? There is a FREE informational reindeer passage within the preview file of my Christmas Text Evidence Reading Passages pack. Simply download the preview file and you’ll have access to the free reading comprehension passage!
Christmas Fluency Fun
Research has shown us that singing along to songs and reading poetry is one of the best ways to increase our students’ fluency skills. If you’re looking for some “Just Print” fluency activities for the month of December, you’ll want to check out my December Just Print Fluency Pack. It contains five short and manageable passages, five songs/poems, five phonics spinners to work on decoding skills, and five partner plays for additional fluency practice. Let’s learn one of the five songs in the pack. You can sing this song with your students this week by downloading the fluency pack or writing the following song on an anchor chart. This song is sung to the tune, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
I’m a little reindeer on the go
Riding with Santa all through the snow
When it’s Christmas morning you will see
A gift from me underneath the tree!
Oral Language Ideas
Oral language is so important to our students’ overall reading, writing, and language skills. Try adding some fun oral language games into your lesson plans over the next few weeks. Below are several ideas that you can try out with your students.
For your convenience, I’ve added Amazon Affiliate links to a few of the materials you’ll see in this section of the blog. This just means Amazon tosses a few cents my way if you make a purchase with the links – at absolutely, positively, no extra cost to you. These little links help me maintain my website and this little corner of the teaching world!
- Create a Christmas oral language literacy center using Christmas puppets or this Christmas train Little People set that is shown in the photograph above. Students can act out stories they create and participate in some dramatic play. Even older children can benefit from dramatic play activities that spark imagination, plot, and creativity! Our students writing skills are directly related to their vocabulary skills, and this includes their ability to have discussions, conversations, and general speaking and listening skills. Creating an oral language literacy center in your classroom is a powerful way to set students up for language success and help them develop essential skills they will use throughout their future.
- Play Hedbanz with your students at the small group table. Trade the word cards provided in the game with Christmas-themed word cards such as candy cane, reindeer, present, dreidel, poinsettia, bell, etc.
FREE Christmas Writing Printable
With all of the random events, assemblies, and general Christmas interruptions to your classroom routine and schedule, it’s nice to have something quick and simple on hand that you can pull out and use during writing time. This ADORABLE Christmas writing freebie is an amazing solution! Take a look:
The Christmas Writing Word Bank printable contains some seasonal words that your students can refer to and use while they are writing during the month of December. Picture word banks can really help struggling or reluctant writers get started on a writing piece by boosting writing confidence and providing a source of ideas. I’ve also listed five writing prompts that you can use throughout the month to cure any “I don’t know what to write about” symptoms.
The BEST part about this freebie is the self-guided writing checklist at the bottom of the page. After your students complete their writing piece, they will go through each of the five editing checklist items. Your students will look over their writing and self-assess the following:
- Each sentence is a complete thought.
- Each sentence starts with a capital letter.
- Each sentence ends with a punctuation mark.
- I used proper spacing.
- I used my best handwriting skills.
If the student DID complete the task, he or she will draw a happy face on the corresponding picture. You can make this freebie REUSABLE by laminating the page or slipping them into sheet protectors. (I prefer these sheet protectors because there is little to no glare.) Then, students can use dry erase markers to complete the checklist and wipe them clean when they are done. I’ve created a color version and a printer-friendly black and white version for your convenience.
If you’re on my Miss DeCarbo Email List, I already sent you this Christmas Writing Word Bank printable. Yay! If you’re not on my email list, why not?! You’ll get early access to freebies, my exclusive specials, and you’ll receive the latest information and news. If you’d like your own copy of this Christmas Writing Word Bank printable for FREE, you can sign up below and it will be sent directly to your inbox so that you can start using it with your students today! Simply click below:
Don’t forget to pin this blog post so that you can refer to it next year or to share it with your colleagues. Feel free to use the image below to pin it and save it to Pinterest. Thank you for joining me and helping me “Deck the Halls with Literacy” today! I hope you gathered a lot of great Christmas ideas and activities to use in your classroom this month.