During this busy month, it’s nice to have grab and go December books and activities that not only celebrate the holidays, but that are also inclusive of all. For this post, I’ve enlisted ideas from some of my favorite teacher bloggers to help you in your planning. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite titles and lesson ideas to help make December easier for all.
December books and Activities from Sandy at Sweet Integrations
Sandy of Sweet Integrations looks for creative ways of teaching friendship in the classroom. Have you heard of Friendship Snow? The beautiful book The Magic of Friendship Snow, conveys how friendships are magical, unique and special; just like a snowflake.
In her post TEACHING THEME WITH THE MAGIC OF FRIENDSHIP SNOW, Sandy shares tips in teaching theme which includes questions to ask to narrow down the theme, the author’s purpose, and more literary concepts to learn about the story. Students can make their own Friendship Snow with a poem.
suggested December books and activities from susan at keep ’em thinking
Many people think picture books are only for primary students. But Susan Morrow of Keep ’em Thinking! advocates using sophisticated picture books with intermediate students to encourage creative and critical thinking. In her blog post: 7 REASONS PICTURE BOOKS ARE IMPORTANT FOR UPPER ELEMENTARY KIDS, Susan highlights the powerful book, Shooting at the Stars – the Christmas Truce of 1914. It is a fictionalized telling of the Christmas Truce of 1914 between the British, French, and German soldiers during World War I when the soldiers on both sides stopped fighting and celebrated Christmas together.
Susan also includes criteria she uses for selecting picture books for use with intermediate students and shares some of her favorites. You may find a few additional December books and activities within her list. Be sure to check out this comprehensive blog post for more information.
December books and activites from janet at fishyrobb
Janet of Fishyrobb knows that reading aloud isn’t just for little kids. It’s also a great way to connect with your third, fourth, or fifth graders. In her post The Best Winter Read-Alouds for Upper Elementary, she describes how The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is the perfect book to read during December to generate creative discussion. As the book is shared, you can focus on specific comprehension skills that relate to the text.
art integration ideas from amanda at party in the art room
Amanda at Party in the Art Room understands the unique opportunities arts integration provides to students in both general ed classes and art classes. She presents an inspiring blog post, “Literature-Based Art Project: Tap-Taps,” where art and literature beautifully intersect.
This engaging project introduces students to the vibrant world of ‘Tap-Tap’ buses in Haiti through the book, Tap-Tap by Karen Lynn Williams. It’s a remarkable example of arts integration, offering a unique and creative way for children to explore the captivating culture and create their own artistic interpretations.
December books and Activities from kady at Teacher Trap
Kady from Teacher Trap always looks for ways to use fun picture books in teaching tough skills, and winter read-alouds make it easy! She loves using the beautiful story of Snowflake Bentley to build character analysis skills. In her post 5 Easy Ways to Teach Character Traits and Changes she shares her top tips for helping students master that art of character analysis. These strategies can easily be brought into fun winter read-alouds such as Snowflake Bentley!
Celebrate historic events with december books and activities-Amy from amazing materials for you
Amy of Amazing Materials for You uses mentor texts to teach a variety of skills in her upper elementary classroom. In her blog post, 6 Beautiful Winter Read Alouds for Teaching 7 Elements of Author’s Craft she endorses using 6 special winter read alouds to teach seven different components of author’s craft – figurative language, imagery, sentence fluency, word choice, voice, analogies, and author’s purpose.
One of her favorites of these is the book, Rosa by Nikki Giovanni. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Montgomery’s Bus Boycott where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, making it a timely book for December. You can see how Amy uses this book in the link shared above.
Activity ideas for december from…me!
One of my favorite ways to celebrate the holidays with my kids is to use themed teaching. I use paired texts to work on both fiction and nonfiction skills as well as close reading passages and partner plays for variety. I also work in poem of the week too.
With themes like gingerbread, polar animals like caribou, and mittens, you can work with so many texts AND take a little time for a craft if desired. The December books and activities I use with these themes include Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, The Mitten and The Hat. They are written at a fourth grade level and are all by author, Jan Brett. You can check out this author study if interested.
other december books and activities posts you’d like:
I know you’ll find lots of great information in the links my blogging friends shared, but here are a few more from my site too.
- OWL MOON BY JANE YOLEN, A POETIC BOOK FOR DESCRIPTION AND VOCABULARY
- TEACHING INFERENCES WITH SILVER PACKAGES IN 5 EASY STEPS
- 5 WAYS TO INCORPORATE DECEMBER TEACHING RESOURCES INTO A FESTIVE YET INCLUSIVE MONTH
- 4 HOLIDAY PICTURE BOOKS MY STUDENTS LOVE
- HOW TO TEACH FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE LIKE A PRO WITH THE SNOW DANCER
Now, let me leave you with a fun way to celebrate any December books you like. With such a busy month, your kids might love lighting up the hallway with these book review projects. We used this as a schoolwide reading incentive, and I must say, it was so much fun.
Have a wonderful, relaxing, and much deserved winter break, and when you return to school, come back for more teaching tips and lessons.
december books and activities from my shop
- Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett Activities in Digital and PDF Formats$4.99
- The Mitten by Jan Brett Literacy Activities Printable and Digital$4.99
- The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett Activities in Digital and PDF formats$4.99
- Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett Reading Activities in Digital and PDF$4.99