I know, school’s already out for most of you, so this post is a little too late. But most of these books are not actually Christmas stories. Instead, they have broader themes of what it means to give and receive. So they can make wonderful read alouds any time of year, right?
(All titles guaranteed to bring contented sighs and/or applause when you finish them–and what’s a better holiday present than that?)
A poor boy never gets what he wants but always what he needs from the Christmas train in the Appalachians.
- Find the Appalachians on the map and talk about what it’s like to live there (4th graders study US regions).
- How is Frank paying back his debt?
- Share photo of the Christmas Train today: http://www.soentpiet.com/images/silver%20packages%20railroad%20magazine.jpg.
A magical quiltmaker won’t give the greedy king a quilt until he gives away all his treasures. But will he even want it then?
Stick Man must find his way back to his stick Lady Love, their stick children three, and the family tree.
- Brainstorm what kinds of things sticks can be used for.
- Have student help with the “I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, that’s me” chorus.
- Questions: What do we know about penguins? Have you ever wished for a present that wasn’t what you thought it’d be?
- Color bookmarks from: http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/PenguinBookmark.htm. Students can list the books they read over break on the back.
- Silly penguin video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-pDuBg1r-8.
- Read Alikes:A Mother’s Journey, A Penguin Story, And Tango Makes Three, Antarctic Antics: a Book of Penguin Poems
Katje, living in war-devasted Holland in 1945, gets package from Rosie, who lives in America. As their long-distance friendship grows, their communities come together.