Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Wild Christmas Reindeer Mentor Text with Activities

Happy Sunday and Happy December!

I can't believe that the holidays are right around the corner!!! This is my favorite time of the year, and I am excited to share a fun Language Arts mentor text with you that can be used across different grade levels. :)

You know that I LOVE author Jan Brett, and her book The Wild Christmas Reindeer is one of my favorites for the holidays! description from Publisher's Weekly: "Little Teeka's attempts to train Santa's reindeer for their Christmas ride meet with disaster until she realizes that she needs to work with the animals in a new way. "Tomorrow," she says, "no yelling, no screaming, and no bossing, I promise," and with her patient teaching, on Christmas Eve the "wild reindeer rise up together and carry the sleigh off into the night." Brett's characteristic, richly detailed borders depict the activity at Santa's workshop as each day brings Teeka closer to Christmas. As with The Mitten , Brett makes use of Ukranian motifs--colorful embroidered costumes, festive garlands, carvings and cunning toys decorate every page. The reindeer themselves--sporting names like Lichen, Tundra and Bramble--provide most of the comic action in this sweet Christmas fantasy that shows Brett at her best."

I love to read this book around the holidays because it has such a touching message. The little girl in the story learns that patience and love are what are most important. She also learns that nothing can be accomplished by yelling and being bossy- good things for our students to remember especially around this crazy time of year! ;)

I usually spend a few days working with this book. I start out working on making predictions and inferring as I read the story aloud to my students. 

We also fill in a vocabulary chart as we come to unknown words in the story- depending on the age of the students, I sometimes have students use context clues to determine the meanings or we use the dictionary.
Then, I will read the book a second time and focus in on other skills such as fact and opinion and theme. 

In addition to reading skills, I also incorporate writing and grammar skills with this text. I have the students search for amazing adjectives and vivacious verbs in the story, and we work on writing skills such as "show, don't tell." Jan Brett's illustrations are so detailed and brilliant that they lend themselves perfectly with writing lessons about adding description to our writing. 

I also have my students do a short creative writing piece to accompany the text. I tell the students to pretend that Santa invited them aboard his sleigh to ride with him and the reindeer on Christmas Eve. The students write a short imaginative narrative about their adventure. We try to pull in what we learned about "show, don't tell" earlier in the week. 

I have created a unit aligned with Common Core standards to use with this text. It is available in our TPT store if you would like to check it out.  :)

Also, Amanda created some Interactive Notebook Activities and Flipbooks that can be used for ANY Christmas or Winter text, including The Wild Christmas Reindeer!!  These are very similar to our Halloween and Thanksgiving IN activities that we have previously posted about!

Here are some pages from the Christmas pack:

And here are some pages from the Winter pack!

You can see more in the preview files in our TpT store.  We also BUNDLED the two notebook activity packs so you can get both and when you do, you save $2.00.  :O)

Have a great Sunday!

Please Link Up!

Next week's linky- Math


  1. I've always wondered how long it takes Jan Brett to draw those AMAZING illustrations!! I love her books!
    Thanks for hosting!! :)

  2. Aw I love all of Jan Brett's holiday books!! :) This one is so good.

  3. This makes me so excited to take out my holiday books tomorrow!! Your IN packets look fantastic - I love how they can be used for any book (since maybe sometimes I leave planning to the last minute - just maybe, sometimes :) ). Hope you ladies enjoyed your holiday!!

  4. I tried to win your Thanksgiving packet with no luck, so I just purchased it! My fifth graders loved doing the parts of speech foldables. I already had the bundle wishlisted for the TpT sale and was hoping you would do a pin it to win! THANKS!!!!!!

    Here's my pin for the Winter pack

    1. ... and here's my pin for the Christmas pack.

      My fingers and toes are crossed!

  5. Jan Brett's books are so beautiful! This book definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit! Your new products look great!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. Winter Pack Link:

    Christmas Pack Link:

    I'd love to win these to use in my classroom!

  7. Here's the pin.

    1. Here's the Christmas pin

  8. You can't go wrong with a Jan Book. What a fabulous children's author! is the Christmas pin is the Winter pin.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your great products!

  9. Just signed up to follow your blog via email. I am so excited to glean from your ideas about mentor text. Love the packets posted above. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Would love to win either or both of these! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

    Christmas Pack Pin:
    Winter Pack Pin:


  11. Ohh how fun! I would LOVE to win a set :)

    Here's my Christmas pin:
    and my Winter set pin:



  14. I have this book...will have to dig it out and take another look!

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  15. And these sheets would be so useful as I have a TON of Christmas books!

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  16. I have to admit that I actually own this book (it came in a winter book pack that I bought from Scholastic a few years ago) but I've never read it! I'm going to have to dust it off my self and read it sometime this month with my class.



  19. Would love to win! Here's the Winter Pack pin:

  20. Here's my pin for the Christmas pack.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  21. A great giveaway! Thank you!
    Pin for the Winter Set:
    Pin for the Christmas Set:


  22. Here is my winter pin:

    Loved the Halloween package and these look great too!

  23. Here's my pin.

  24. jan brett's books are totally awesome, i just love them ,and your article on christmas activities is absolutely amazing.


We love comments!! Like, super love them!! We like to reply by email (so you can see our response and we can chat back and forth) so please make sure that option is turned on in your profile settings or leave your email address here! Thanks again for taking time to comment!! It means a lot!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...