1-2-3 Come Do A Reindeer Christmas Craft With Me
I wanted to do a keepsake craft with my grandchildren, that I knew my daughter would love, so I traced one hand on a folded sheet of dark brown construction paper.
This way, I cut once, and had two hand prints for each child. They glued these "antlers" to a reindeer head that they enjoyed coloring.
The “hand print” reindeer turned out so cute, that I thought I’d turn them into something teachers could do as well. Thus a new Christmas Craftivity packet emerged.
The craft is simple, quick and a whole lot of fun.
As you can see by the samples, completed projects make an adorable bulletin board too.
I’ve included several posters to add a bit of pizzazz to your display.
There are a few to use with the writing prompts, as well as two others that you can hang up with just the reindeer craft, if you opt to only do that.
There are a variety of “print & go” reindeer patterns to choose from.
Pick which is most appropriate for your students.
Younger children can simply do the reindeer craft.
My Y5s absolutely love glitter, so I often use it as a positive, behavior-modification tool.
(If you're focused and on task, when you complete your project, you get to visit the "glitter station"), which I manage. Keeping everything inside a copy paper, box lid, provides easy clean up with no mess.
That splash of red glitter really adds the "Wow!" effect.
Wiggle eyes are another way to add to the "cuteness factor". My granddaughter chose two different sizes, which added extra whimsy, so when I created the packet, I included several sizes of "eyeball" patterns.
You can see by the photographs, that the same reindeer takes on a whole different look, depending on the placement of the eyes.
Adding a sprig of holly, then bending the leaves up, provides a bit of 3D pizzazz; as does pressing on some flat-backed jewels.
To extend the craftivity, older students can practice their “point of view” writing skills.
Students pretend to be a reindeer, and think of something the animal might say if they could actually talk.
This is a lot of fun, which results in some really silly & hilarious chatter.
I've included three,"speech bubble" templates for you to choose from, as well as patterns with my completed samples, so that teachers can quickly and easily make an example to share.
Samples not only help explain things, but really are a catalyst for excitement.
Since older students don't get to do many "crafty" things, they are especially excited to get down to the business of writing, when you toss in a little art into the activity.
They also do a particularly fine job, when they know their work will be hanging in the hall.
For that "finishing touch", have students practice an AB-AB (red-green) color pattern, by writing with two different color markers, which really adds extra pizzazz.
For added fun, play some Christmas music while children work. My students often sing along.
Today's featured FREEBIE is another reindeer craft. This one is called, "You Can Count on Rudolph".
Students trace & write the numbered, circle-shaped pages, to make a "Rudolph's Nose" counting booklet.
There are patterns for counting by 1's to 20, counting backwards from 10 to 0 or 20 to 0, plus skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's.
I've also included a "red-hot" cinnamon treat, counting activity too.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
The snow is gently falling, which really puts me in the mood to decorate.
Wishing you a warm and cozy day.
"...He puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzle was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadnt before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more. "
From: "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" by Dr. Seuss
1-2-3 Come Make An Educational Santa Craft With Me
Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” is said to be one of the most famous American poems ever written.
Because of its popularity, easy cadence, rhyming words, and the fact that the poem is packed with over 60 Dolch sight words, I wanted to design a craftivity to incorporate into our reading activities, while covering the poetry genre and practicing the “sequencing & retelling” a story standards.
I came up with this “flip-the-flap” Santa booklet.
Children color, cut & sequence the “beard” pages, then glue their top tab to the base, adding Santa’s face as the “cover”.
To retell the story, they flip his beard up to reveal the graphics, which prompt them to explain what’s happening.
For some extra 3D pizzazz and to help strengthen finger muscles, have children pull several cotton balls apart, brush Elmer's glue on the brim of Santa's hat, then press on the "fur".
A large white pom pom glued to the tip adds the finisheing touch.
While working on the sequencing booklet, I thought teachers could also use the pattern for a variety of other things.
So I tweaked the templates and included patterns for:
* A “Ho Ho Ho-ping you have a Merry Christmas” card.
Older students can compose, then write a letter to the recipient on the back.
* A “Dear Santa” letter with a twist.
Instead of having children write the usual “I’d like a …….” have students ask Santa to bring a specific gift to a special person in their life, then explain why.
For example: “Dear Santa, could you please bring a pair of boots for my baby brother Fred, so he can play outside in the snow with me. Love, Ean” and finally,
* Blank patterns so that you can make a flip the flap booklet for another Santa story, or to use as a creative writing prompt of your choice.
Completed projects make a cute bulletin board or hallway display.
Also included in the packet are:
* A photo-poster of Clement Moore,
* Background information on the poem, and
* A copy of the story-poem, which you can read together as a whole group; calling on children to take turns reading a stanza. There's also
* An “alphabetize Santa’s reindeer” worksheet.
Today's featured FREEBIE is "Snowman Name Stackers".
I like to do some sort of January craftivity, before Christmas break, so that we don't come back to a bare-looking hallway.
Since we do a big snowman theme, my kiddos enjoy making a Snowman Name Stacker.
They are a quick, easy and fun decoration for your students' lockers, or as a wall display.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I am literally "dashing through December" with more fun-filled activities and committments to attend than ever before.
I have to keep in mind, that it's important to savor the journey of getting things accomplished, and not just the accomplishment.
Wishing you lots of warm and cozy moments.
"He who has not Christmas in his heart, will never find it under the tree." -Roy L. Smith
1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Craftivities With Me
"Welcome To My House" is an interesting and fun writing prompt with two door options.
For one, students decorate their construction paper door, trim and glue the “hinge” portion to a sheet of white paper, which they also trim. The other, is a “color me” option.
Inside, students write their final draft completing the writing prompt: "Welcome to my home for Christmas..."
Encourage students to use plenty of adjectives that involve their senses, to help describe what a visitor might see, hear, and smell, as they enter their home. I've included a completed sample to help you explain the lesson.
Students who don't celebrate Christmas, can simply write a "Welcome to my home" for another celebration or holiday that their family celebrates.
If you do a Christmas Around the World theme, students can choose a country, and welcome visitors to their home in France, Sweden, Mexico etc. as they write from that point of view.
Completed projects make a lovely bulletin board. I’ve also included an address tag, to go along with your display.
Next up is a class-made book: Who Will Pull Santa's Sleigh?
Introducing a writing activity with a story, grabs my kiddos attention, stimulates their imaginations, and gets them excited to get down to the business of writing.
Who’ll Pull Santa’s Sleigh Tonight? by Laura Rader, is a personal favorite of my students, and was the inspiration behind this class book writing activity.
The reindeer have all come down with a cold, so Santa holds auditions for replacement animals, with some outrageous and funny results.
To practice more standards, I like to read a similar story, so that my students can compare and contrast them.
A Venn diagram activity, as well as a graphing extension are also included in the packet.
Our comparison story is, "Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?" by Jerry Pallotta. It's an adorable “go along”, with awesome illustrations!
In this story, the reindeer are not sick, as the tale starts at the beginning, before Santa thought about reindeer for the job.
Many silly scenarios are presented, as different animals try out for the job.
From skunks, kangaroos and giraffes, to monkeys, mice and even snakes, your kiddos will get lots of ideas of who should pull Santa’s sleigh.
Finally, The Twelve Days of Christmas packet, also includes several writing prompts, as well as an emergent reader, plus several games, which practice a variety of standards, as well as some posters and worksheets.
The emergent reader contains over 100 Dolch sight words!
Students read the sentence, trace and write the number and ordinal number word, then complete the writing prompts.
Besides the writing within the emergent reader, there are also 3 other writing prompts:
* “If money were no object, list 7 things you’d like to have”;
* “A Favorite Gift” where students tell about a gift that they really enjoy and why it’s a favorite.
* “Something Special For Someone Special” where children choose a person that they’d like to give a gift to and write who-what-why.
The featured FREEBIE today is "Me Mints!" one of my personal favorites. Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board. I've also included a smaller template, if you'd rather make a Christmas ornament.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. I have so much to do, I'm not sure where to start.
A bit of housecleaning is certainly in order before I add any more Christmas decorations... hmmmm maybe I'll just go shopping instead. Wishing you a frolicking-fun day.
"Housework: Something nobody really notices, until you don't do it." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Writing With Me
I truly believe that if you give an interesting writing prompt to students, or toss in a bit of craftiness, or make it a bit like a game, you'll grab their attention and they'll want to get down to the business of writing.
With these things in mind, I designed 4, rather creative, writing prompt packets for December. First up is my "Spin a Winter Story Story" wheel.
These 14 story wheels are easy-peasy for you, as you don't have to constantly think up seasonal writing prompts, and highly motivational for your kiddos.
My students imaginations kick into high gear, creating some really awesome work.
So that you can use them every year, simply print, laminate, trim and attach a paperclip with a brass brad.
Children choose one, or several, of the 14-winter story wheels, then spin 3 to 5 times.
They incorporate those items into a short story or paragraph on the worksheet.
For more writing practice, I've included a "Spin a sentence" worksheet, as well as one where students spin 7 times, give those pictures a one-word name/description and then alphabetize those words on the worksheet.
Next up is "How to Dress an Elf", where children practice giving directions. My students LOVE the crafty aspect of this writing prompt; completed projects make a super-cute bulletin board too.
Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers + adjectives when they explain how their elf gets dressed.
I’ve also included a set of transitional words on mini cards.
For that finishing touch, we used opalescent white glitter, flat-backed jewels and pom poms to add a bit of pizzazz to our completed “elves”.
If your students enjoy The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they're sure to get excited about this next creative writing activity.
Diary of a Wimpy Elf includes templates to make a “top secret” file-folder diary, a variety of diary pages, clip art badges to decorate their diary cover with, plus a selection of incentive “stickers” that they can earn.
I’ve also included 30 writing prompt ideas to jump start your students' minds.
Finally, "Stuff It!" is a personal favorite and literally stuffed with lots of Common Core.
For the writing prompt portion of "Stuff It", students gather in groups of 3-4 and exchange their decorated paper stocking with each other.
Everyone in the group "stuffs" a Christmas compliment into their classmate's stocking, by writing something nice about that person. Encourage the use of adjectives.
These completed projects also make a nice, self-esteem building, December bulletin board, which is particularly appropriate if your school does the "Bucket Filling" program.
The other writing prompt option, is for students to "stuff" their stocking with a list of things they'd like to find in their stocking, if money was no object, or you could also write a realistic one.
Along with the writing prompts, students can also stuff their stocking with words that begin and end with the ST blend.
I've included an alphabetical list of 92 words that begin with st, as well as a list of 64 words that end with the st blend, plus matching mini-word cards.
There's also a set of 6 worksheets that are played as timed games, as well as an "I Spy a Shape" whole-group assessment game, plus a "Shapes on a Roll" dice game.
Today's featured FREEBIE is A Letter to Santa with a twist.
Instead of children asking Santa for something they want, they write on behalf of someone special to them, that they think deserves a present.
Introduce the activity to older students with "If there really was a Santa, and he really could bring a special gift..."
I've included my sample that you can share to help explain what you want your kiddos to do. Completed projects make a sweet "Christmas is Caring" bulletin board too.
Well that's it for today. My feet have hit the floor running! I have lots more shopping to do, and our tree's still not up!
Wishing you a day filled with energy, and lots of peaceful moments to breathe in the joy of Christmas preparations.
"May peace be your gift at Christmas, and all the year through." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Gingerbread Reading & Writing Activities With Me
Here’s a super-fun activity that you can do with your kiddos, after reading the story The Gingerbread Man.
I LOVED designing "Gingerbread on the Run" a writing- activity packet, and hope you have oodles of fun with your kiddo's doing these interesting things.
Beforehand, put up the wanted posters in your room.
Run off the masters and put the notes, signs and clues in a variety of places in your school: cafeteria, library, office, gym, whatever...
Get your principal, secretary, cafeteria staff, librarian... in on your adventure and give them a clue card.
After reading the story, tell your students that you are going on an “ed-venture” looking for the gingerbread man and to be on the lookout for clues of his where abouts.
As you arrive at the various destinations have adults say something like: "Oh no! You just missed him, but he left this clue!”
After you make the rounds, return to your classroom to find a note on your door that the gingerbread man left.
While you are gone, have a helper set up gingerbread or cookie treats for your kiddo's snack, and read the note(s) that the gingerbread man left.
I've also included 2 different class-made books. For one, students write a page of their adventure, and on the other one, they tell where they’d run to if they were a gingerbread cookie and why they’d go there.
There are templates for students to do this separately or in groups. They can draw pictures or take a photograph.
There's also a graphic organizer, where students name their gingerbread man, draw a picture of him, then use adjectives to describe him.
Sweet Colors is a wonderful way to review colors and color words, and is a nice addition to your other gingerbread activities.
I've included an emergent reader booklet, with two cover options, where students read the simple sentences, trace and write the color words, then color the gingerbread cookies, as well as the open-letter words that matching color.
There’s also a "Spin to Win" bookmark - coloring game, plus a“Match the color to the word” worksheet. Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop to have a look at Gingerbread Colors.
Today's FREEBIE features a pair of gingerbread "sliders". They are a quick, easy and fun way to practice and whole-group assess, a variety of standards.
Such as: sequencing numbers from 1-10, counting backwards, skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s, upper and lowercase letters, as well as 2D shapes.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Time to switch gears and get ready for a baby shower.
This will make our 7th grandchild! Feeling very blessed. Wishing you a love-filled day.
"Having a baby is a life-changer. It gives you a whole other perspective on why you wake up every day." -Tayor Hanson
1-2-3 Come Do Some Creative Christmas Writing With Me
No matter what your age, pretending is so much fun, particularly with children. It's easy for them to become princesses and pirates.
With that in mind, I designed 7, creative, Christmas-themed, writing prompts.
They are easy-peasy "print & go" worksheets, that I'm sure your students will enjoy.
The more creative aspect, has students "think outside the box" and really try and become an elf, reindeer, snowman or gingerbread cookie.
What would these "characters" say, or what might they overhear in a conversation that Santa is having?
You can simply give students a choice, and only do one, or add the cute journal cover, and have students write a new one each day.
Another option, is to have students do a non-fiction prompt, using factual information that they've learned about penguins and snowflakes.
What would they say, that would tell us factual information?
When everyone is done, go around the room, and have each student share one thing.
No time to complete them all in class? They make fun "homework" that your students will enjoy doing.
To add a bit of technology to the lesson, give them the sites you want them to visit to get some facts about penguins, reindeer, or snow, that they can then include when writing their sentences.
My full-color, completed samples, will give you an example that you can share with your students, to help explain what you want them to do. They match the black & white templates for students.
Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop to have a look at the Now You're Talkin' Christmas Writing Prompts/Journal.
Here's hoping your kiddos enjoy "pretend writing" as much as I did creating the samples.
The featured FREEBIE today, is another form of writing. Using a Venn diagram helps your students learn to compare and contrast in a fun way.
There are 7 Venn diagrams in this packet, all featuring an elf. I've included color as well as black and white templates.
Use the black and white copy for students to write their own, then call them up for a whole-group discussion and add everyone's ideas onto the colored Venn diagram.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's a chilly, but sunny morning, and I'm in the mood and energized to start decorating for Christmas! Wishing you a festive day.
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family, all wrapped up in each other." -Burton Hillis
1-2-3 Come Do Some Gingerbread-Themed Writing With Me
Writing is a lot more fun for your students if you incorporate it with a theme that you're doing. Since gingerbread seems to be really popular, I decided to design a few writing activities involving this sweet December treat.
My students really enjoyed making class books. They are a quick, easy and fun writing prompt for them. Completed projects, were favorite books during free reading time.
For the Gingerbread On The Run class book, students complete the writing prompt and illustrate their page. Collect, collate and add the cover to make a sweet class book. There are 2 options for the student writing page.
This class book, is also an interesting and fun way to review action verbs as well as nouns. I've included a completed sample that you can use to help explain the lesson to your kiddos. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread on the Run class-made book.
While I was working on this activity, I thought it would be helpful to make some gingerbread-themed parts of speech anchor charts.
The posters include one for nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and adverbs.
For more writing practice, I made up several simple descriptive writing worksheets, which basically help review the use of adjectives in a fun way.
I've included completed samples to share with your students, such as the one pictured, which asks them to use their 5 senses to write sentences about a gingerbread man.
Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread Descriptive Writing Worksheets.
Finally, you can use the adorable gingerbread house craftivity, as a writing prompt (If I were a gingerbread cookie...) , or send it home, as a home-school connection for the entire family to take part in.
A note home is included in the packet, along with a "Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours" template. Children glue a family photo inside and have all of their family members sign it.
Completed projects make a sweet December bulletin board. Little ones, especially enjoy seeing a family photograph while they're at school.
Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread House Writing Prompt Craftivity.
Thanks for visiting. The sun is shining and it's not too cold out, so it's time to take my poodle pup, Chloe, for a brisk walk. Wishing you a fun-filled day.
"Enthusiasm is contagious, so start an epidemic." -Unknown
You can use this adorable gingerbread house as a writing prompt craftivity, or send home as a home-school connection for the entire family to take part in. Completed projects make a sweet December bulletin board.
1-2-3 Come Do Some More Creative Christmas Writing With Me
I like to dream up writing prompts that I think my students will get excited about doing. With that in mind, I designed "Wishful Thinking". It's a unique twist on the practical "What I want for Christmas" or "Dear Santa" writing activities. Here, money is no object (woo hoo) so the sky's the limit of what 5 super-fabulous gifts students can ask for.
While they're "day dreaming" and jotting down a list of things, have them prioritize and put their "wish list" in the order of what they'd like the most. Encourage them to be specific and use some adjectives. Make a rule that they can't ask for a zillion gift cards or money.
They glue their final draft to the inside of a construction paper square, folding the corners over to "close" their "gift". Add extra pizzazz, by having students glue a square of Christmas wrapping paper to the back of their square of construction paper.
For that finishing touch, top with a bow. Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board. Click on the link to view/download the Wishful Thinking writing prompt.
Continuing with writing, using a different twist, I made up a unique Dear Santa letter. Instead of students writing a letter to Santa about the things they'd like for Christmas, they choose someone they think should get an extra special gift from Santa, and write a persuasive letter on their behalf.
I've included a completed sample for you to share, or make one up of your own to help jumpstart your students' creative juices. Click on the link for the unusual Dear Santa letter.
If you still want your kiddos to write the more common letter to Santa, click on the link for a fill-in-the-blank template that's perfect for little ones.
"Welcome To My House" is an interesting and fun writing prompt. Students decorate their door, trim and glue it to a sheet of white paper that they also trim. Inside, they write their final draft completing the writing prompt: "Welcome to my home for Christmas..."
Encourage students to use plenty of adjectives that involve their senses, to help describe what a visitor might see, hear, and smell, as they enter their home.
I've included a completed sample to help you explain the lesson. Have older students type their final draft.
Students who don't celebrate Christmas, can simply write a "Welcome to my home" for another celebration or holiday.
If you're doing a Christmas Around The World theme, students can choose a country, do a bit of research, and then write from that point of view, welcoming visitors to their home in France, Mexico etc.
Hang the doors on a bulletin board, with the caption: "Come on in, for some creative winter writing." Click on the link to view/download the Welcome To My House packet.
Finally, make writing a game, and you're sure to get your students' attention.
There are several ways to play this Christmas Writing Prompt game.
The teacher decides how many spins students should take.
There are character spinners, as well as "stuff" spinners.
Each item a child spins, must be included in their writing.
Students can write a short story, a paragraph or even make up several sentences.
I've included worksheets with headers, for them to write on. There's also a worksheet entitled "Spin and alphabetize".
Children can play independently doing their own work, or they can write with a partner or in a small group, collaborating together to make up a story.
For those of you who homeschool, or teach in a Christian school, I've included two nativity spinners. PK kiddos can simply spin and tell what the picture is, and why it's important.
When everyone is done, have them share their story with the class. Click on the link for the Spin A Christmas Story Writing Prompt Game.
Since writing is a hot button for me, I have a lot of writing prompts on my site. So if you're looking for more, click on the link. They are easily adjustable for a variety of ages.
That's it for today. I hope you found something to get your kiddos excited about writing. I've barely made a dent in decorating, so I'm off to the basement to haul up some more Christmas magic. Wishing you a joy-filled day.
"Of all the Christmas gifts you give, the most enduring will be those special moments of love and laughter. May the light of Jesus shine in your heart and home this holiday season."
"Wishful Thinking" is an interesting and fun writing prompt for December. Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board. Students finish the writing prompt: "If money were no problem and I could have 5 super-fabulous gifts for Christmas, I'd like..."