Books Teachers Love for December

I am so excited and honored to join some very talented teacher bloggers for the Books Teachers Love linky! If you are not familiar with this blog series- it is a monthly event where bloggers share seasonal book recommendations for the classroom and activities that use with the books. It is a great way to get a head start on reading plans for next month! 

Every December, I read The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy to my third graders. They always love that the book is written from the point of view of a puppy. Petey asks his mom for a little boy for Christmas. His mom tries to get him a boy but sadly reports to Petey that there are no boys to be found. Petey goes on a search for a boy of his own. The book has a heartwarming ending where Petey ends up finding himself 50 boys! 

The holiday season is a tricky time to keep kids engaged in the important skills that we must teach. I think that using some special holiday mentor texts can help disguise the practice! I like to read the book whole group at the beginning of the week. Then I place the book and some interactive notebook activities in a center for the rest of the week. Students can practice important skills such as retelling, problem/solution, cause/effect, etc. The students barely notice that they are working thanks to the fun holiday book, the cutting and the gluing. I know the truth though! They are getting in some valuable review of the reading skills we have practiced during the first semester. 

You can grab my Christmas Reading Interactive Notebook Activities, by clicking on the picture below. They are perfect to use with ANY holiday book and include a variety of reading skills.

I also like to extend this book into writing. The puppy really wanted a boy for Christmas. I ask my kids what they REALLY want for Christmas. We use a graphic organizer and write letters to our parents trying to convince them to give us the gift we really want. It is a fun topic to use as a practice for our persuasive writing. 

You can grab my FREE graphic organizer and writing paper, by clicking on the picture below.

You might be interested to read about some of my other favorite holiday book.