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!
Amazon.com 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!