I know a lot of you are doing a version of hybrid school or homeschooling this year, so I wanted to share a fun activity I do with my students each December. The printables for these activities are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and are suitable for ANY short story or novel your child has been reading. Since they are not specific to any story or book, you can save this activity and use it year after year no matter what your children are reading at the time.
I always end up with a few flex days around exams when I don’t want to start something new, but also don’t want to just show a movie. That’s where these activities come in – I have my students choose a character from a story or book we have read and complete the following Christmas activities for that character:
- Santa’s List – First, I have students decide which characters from the story belong on Santa’s nice list and which ones belong on the naughty list. I always have my students provide textual evidence to back up why they placed each character where they did. This is a fun little activity, but it really gets them thinking about the characters and their motivations in the story.
- Character Christmas Ornaments – For this activity, students design a Christmas ornament that represents a character from the story. Again, I require textual evidence and for all the designs and symbols used to be based on the story we read. After the students design these, I often cut them out and laminate them and we will decorate a classroom tree with them.
- Character Stockings – For this activity, students will analyze the character by creating a stocking for him or her and filling it with gifts. This activity includes the most writing of all three, as students have to explain why they chose the gifts they picked to fill the stocking.
All of these can be done with any short story or novel, or even a movie. They are great little activities to keep kids occupied and help them practice critical thinking, analysis, and writing skills. I use this for my high school students, but it could easily be used by younger kids.
If you purchase this activity, please leave me a review and let me know what you think!