Christmas is a time for celebration. Children all over the country are starting to realize just how close this memorable holiday is getting. While children are getting pumped for some time off from school, presents, and maybe a couple of extra Christmas cookies after dinner. Teachers are looking to find fun, educational Christmas activities and Christmas read-alouds for elementary students to keep their class entertained, learning, and on Santa's good list. 🙂 

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Finding the best Christmas read-alouds is always the fun part of being a teacher. Not only do Christmas read-alouds give teachers time to relax with students and enjoy a fun story. But we can use read-alouds to help teach valuable reading skills! Here are 30 of the best Christmas read-alouds to enjoy this holiday season!

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Christmas Read-Alouds For The Elementary Classroom

1. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco

Grade 1 to Grade 4

This Christmas story tells the tale of a young boy determined to help find the perfect Christmas tapestry to cover the damaged wall in his church. Finding the tapestry was easy; the next event may be a Christmas Eve miracle. The Christmas Tapestry teaches students that the helpful holiday season can bring everyone together, even if you do not always come from the same beliefs. Polacco’s illustrations are beautiful, and her Christmas stories do not disappoint.

Christmas Tapestry-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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If you're looking for a book to teach your students about problem-solving, Christmas Tapestry is the perfect Christmas read-aloud to help teach this skill. 

2. Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian

Grade K to Grade 3

Spark Elf has a vital job to do, and that is to keep Santa Claus on schedule while traveling the globe. He gets everything ready and knows he has one of the essential elf jobs. Once all the presents are done, the elves, Santa, and Momma Claus are in for a surprise. Can Santa return the stow away before the family notices? Memoirs of an Elf helps students see there is more to Christmas than gifts. Spark Elf quickly learns that lesson too! 

Memoirs of an Elf.-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Memoirs of an Elf is a great book to teach students about memoirs and how they are created. 

  • Have students write a memoir of their own. Many writing prompts for memoirs are available, such as their proudest moment, best field trip, or when they made new friends.
  • Have students apply to become one of Santa's helpers. They can fill out an application and write an essay about why they would be fantastic elves. Take a picture of each student and put them on an elf's body for a cute bulletin board! 

3. Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway

Grade 1 to Grade 2

Fox visits the land of sweets when a little cookie comes into view. While the cookie thinks he's super fast, the Fox catches up and takes a bite. But weirdly, this cookie isn't sweet and tasty. He's just not meant to be eaten. What will an unsavory cookie do? 

If your looking for a story that may sound familiar to students (Gingerbread man), Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story may sound pretty similar in the beginning but takes a turn for the better! 

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Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story is the perfect book to help students realize it is ok to be who you are, and there's no reason to apologize for it!

  • Bake gingerbread cookies with your students, use different candies and treat and allow students to decorate one. Then have students perform a "museum walk" and view each other's cookies!
  • Give each student a gingerbread man cut out. Have them write things that make them unique on the cutout. 

4. Little Red Sleigh: A Heartwarming Christmas Book For Kids by Erin Guendelsberger

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

A little red sleigh dreams of becoming Santa's sleigh. But she's been told her whole life that she's too small, too young, and can't fly. With help from some friends, the little red sleigh is determined to make the impossible possible. Little Red Sleigh: A Heartwarming Christmas Book For Kids is a New York Times bestseller and is perfect for all children who need to remember to believe in the magic of Christmas. 

Little Red Sleigh--Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Have a class that may need a little Christmas magic this year? Little Red Sleigh: A Heartwarming Christmas Book For Kids may be the perfect book to help them believe again. 

  • Discuss with your students a time(s) when they were told they couldn't do something because they weren't big enough, old enough, etc. 
  • Create a big red sled cutout for your class, and have them write ways they can help their friends. Hang the completed sled outside your classroom for others to see. 

5. Green is for Christmas by Drew Daywalt

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

The green crayon claims he is the ONLY Christmas color in the box, and some of the other crayons, like red, silver, gold, and even tan, have a  say about that! Each crayon shows Green why Christmas wouldn't be the same without them. Green is for Christmas stars the crayons from New York Best Seller The Day The Crayons Quit, and they quickly realize that Christmas wouldn't be the same without them. 

Green is for Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Green is for Christmas will show students that nothing can happen without a team, and teamwork is one of the most important gifts of all. 

  • Before reading, have students take out the green, red, silver, gold, etc., crayons from their crayon box or give each student these colors. Give students 5-10 minutes to draw as many Christmas items as possible using those colors. Give them examples like a candy cane or Christmas ornament to get students thinking. 
  • While reading the story, discuss the character traits of each of the crayons. How do they change throughout the story? Why? 

6. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Grade 3 to Grade 7

The Herdman siblings are at it again, and they are taking over the Christmas pageant this time. This hilarious book is centered around three wise men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six misbehaving kids! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will have you and your students laughing out loud and hoping the Herdman siblings don’t find a way to your school. 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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The perfect chapter book to share with upper elementary students this holiday season, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, will have students asking for more! 

  • Consider reading The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson at the beginning of the year. Reintroduce the Heidman kids (although they probably won't need a reintroduction) and compare what is similar and different between the two books. 
  • The Heidman kids are the perfect book characters to analyze. Create a character analysis sheet for each sibling and have students complete it while reading. 

7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

A classic Christmas story and probably a favorite Christmas read. Families and classrooms have enjoyed The Polar Express for over 30 years. A young boy is welcomed onto a train headed to the north pole on Christmas eve. He drinks hot chocolate, climbs tall mountains, and sees elves. The mysterious journey to the North Pole and the first gift of Christmas make it a must-read in the classroom.

Polar Express-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom
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The Polar Express just screams Christmas read aloud! Show students the true magic of Christmas and help them all to believe. 

  • Hop on the polar express and transform your room into the train. Serve hot chocolate, give each student a ticket, read the book, and even watch the movie. Each student can even leave with a bell. 
  • Everyone knows the book is better than the movie. Read the story and then watch the movie. Have students write down the similarities and differences between each. 

8. Never Let a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer by Diane Alber

Grade Pre-K to Grade 2

A little girl wants a Reindeer to visit her on Christmas. But, when it happens, the reindeer and her unicorn just don't get along. A competition breaks out, and the little girl is unsure what to do. 

Never Let a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer is not your average Christmas read-aloud, but with so many unicorn-obsessed students nowadays, it is probably the perfect one.  

Never Let a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer--Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Never Met a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer is the perfect Christmas read-aloud. A book with an excellent story for elementary students who need a laugh during the days before the holiday break. 

  • Reindeer games are always fun during the holiday season. Separate the class into unicorns and reindeer. Then have them compete in different reindeer games like kickball, cup stacking, Christmas jeopardy, and more. 
  • The little girl in Never Met a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer writes a letter to Santa asking to meet a reindeer. Have students write persuasive letters to Santa and tell him why they should be able to meet a flying reindeer on Christmas eve. 

9. The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Chris Mould

Grade 3 to Grade 7

This Christmas chapter book is the perfect book to add to your read-aloud list in the upper grades. A story about the first person to receive a Christmas present because of her holiday spirit. Her spunk and love for Christmas help Santa travel around the world. But now, Amelia is in trouble, and the spirit of Christmas has dipped dangerously low. 

What will Santa do?

The Girl Who Saved Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A great Christmas book to read aloud, The Girl Who Saved Christmas, will excite students and teach them that the Christmas spirit lives in everyone. 

  • Charles Dickens is mentioned throughout The Girl Who Saved Christmas. Consider also reading this kid-friendly version of A Christmas Carol
  • Discuss the meaning of Christmas spirit with your class, and list things that increase their spirit during the holiday season. 

10. Everybody's Tree by Barbara Joossee

Grade K to Grade 2

A little boy once chooses a tiny sapling at a tree farm, and for 80 years, it has grown alongside the boy. Near the end of its life, the tree is chosen to travel to the big city. It becomes the centerpiece for everybody's celebration and becomes everybody's tree—a story about the young and old coming together to share in a Christmas tradition.

Everybody's Tree-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Everybody's Tree is a great Christmas read-aloud and is written from many different viewpoints to show how everyone (including the tree) feels throughout the book. 

  • Discuss a point of view with your class, and make a chart separated into sections for each main character. Write notes about their point of view throughout the story as different events happen. 
  • Students will watch as a spruce tree grows throughout the story. Have students conduct a research project about spruce trees. 

11. The Gingerbread House by Laura Gia Wester

Grade Pre-K to Grade 1

Everyone loves gingerbread men, and every Christmas season, they come alive. There's a tasty secret to keeping them around; if it's done correctly, something special is left behind. 

An easy read that is full of twists, turns, unique characters, and settings, The Gingerbread House is perfect for young readers. 

The Gingerbread House--Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-
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A classic retelling of The Gingerbread Man with a holiday twist, catching these gingerbread men is not as simple as before. 

  • If you want to catch this gingerbread man, you must build him a house or maybe a car. Have a gingerbread house-building day with your class. Use graham crackers, candy, and frosting.  
  • Put students into teams and task them with building the biggest gingerbread man house they can. A great STEAM activity before break starts! 

12. Finding Christmas by Robert Munsch

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

Every year, Julia hunts to find the Christmas presents her parents have hidden. She'll look in the bathtub, closets, and basement. But this year, Julia can't find anything! Worried there are no presents, she luckily finds a box on the roof. 

Julia's family is definitely in for a surprise! Robert Munsch does it again with another fun and festive read-aloud! 

Finding Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Another funny story from Robert Munsch, the author of Purple, Green and Yellow, Mud Puddle, and I Have To Go! This story will have you laughing out loud. 

  • Grab as many Robert Munsch books as you can. Let students read in partners and enjoy all of his funny stories. 
  • While reading, discuss how Julia feels throughout the story with your class. What clues are given to show us her emotions? How does Robert Munsch portray her? 

13. The Little Reindeer by Nicole Killen

Grade Pre-K to Grade K

When a girl hears jingling, she soon discovers a lost reindeer in the woods. They quickly become friends and set out on a magical adventure, and it becomes a Christmas the girl will never forget. 

The Little Reindeer-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A book with beautiful illustrations, The Little Reindeer doesn't disappoint. 

  • Using the illustrations, discuss how the pictures in the book relate to the words on the page.  
  • Have students create a little reindeer adventure story. Create a quick reindeer craft and have students write a story about what they would do if they found a reindeer. 

14. Welcome Comfort by Patricia Pallocco

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

Welcome Comfort is a foster child constantly moving from home to home and getting picked on by kids at school. When Christmas comes around, he quickly realizes he has no friends, family, or Santa Claus. But when he befriends the school janitor, Welcome Comfort goes on an adventure he'll never forget.  

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A great book to teach students about caring for others (even creatures). 

  • This book teaches many lessons. Discuss the central message(s) with students, and find relevant details that help support it. 
  • While reading, have students make predictions about who Mr. Hamp will be.  

15. Reindeer Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

A grandmother and her two grandchildren find a weary deer while feeding animals in the forest. They nurse him back to health by feeding him and getting him warm by the fire. A huge surprise awaits them on Christmas morning.

Reindeer Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A book filled with magic and what the true spirit of Christmas is all about.  

  • Have students research reindeer and create a presentation, short writing piece, or fill-in-the-blank book in Canva.
  • If working with young students (Pre-K, K), have students color a reindeer picture and write about how they could help people and animals during the holiday season. 

16. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner

Grade Pre-K to Grade 2

Have you ever wondered what snowmen do on Christmas? In this snappy and entertaining book, you’ll find out. 

Snowmen at Christmas shows all of Christmas's best parts: spending time with family, singing songs, special treats, and more. A great story told in bouncy verse, making it the perfect read-aloud. 

Snowmen at Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A great story told in bouncy verse, making it the perfect read-aloud.  

  • After reading, have students write their own bouncy poem about snowmen or create one together as a class.
  • Discuss with students family traditions and what they do with their families each Christmas. 

17. The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

Elephant is delighted to receive a gift for Christmas. But soon, they start piling up, two turtle doves, a partridge in a pear tree! What are he and his family supposed to do with all of these gifts? Greg Pizzoli puts a funny twist on this classic carol. 

12 Days of Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Another great book by Greg Pizzoli is sure to get students laughing with this cheerfully chaotic book! 

  • Team up with your school's music teacher and teach your students the classic "12 Days of Christmas" carol. 
  • Group older students into groups and let students create their own "modern" "12 Days of Christmas" carol. 

18. Home For Christmas by Jane Brett

Grade Pre-K to Grade K

A grumpy troll decides to leave home because he doesn't want to do chores. Rollo tries living with different woodland animals like an owl family, mother bear, and river otters. But he soon learns there's no place like home. 

Will all of this help Rollo get back his Christmas spirit? 

Home For Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Why not teach children about responsibilities while reading a Christmas story? 

  • Discuss responsibilities and how they can be helpful to parents, teachers, and friends. Have students share some responsibilities they have at home and other places like school.
  • Jane Brett is a great author to study during the winter months. Do an author study and read a couple more of her books like The Mitten and The Snowy Nap

19. Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jane Brett

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

Trolls always come in and steal Kyri's Christmas feast. But this year, they are going to be in for a surprise. An ice bear and his friend are staying the night, and once the bear is done with the trolls, they won't come knocking again. 

Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A book full of beautiful illustrations and a stunning display of the Northern Lights. 

  • Show your students pictures of the northern lights and let students use watercolors or pastels to create a beautiful piece of art. 
  • Students will love researching the northern lights and creating a fun final project like a book or PowerPoint. 

20. This is Christmas by Tom Booth

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

It's Christmas eve, and little chipmunk is wondering what Christmas is exactly. His mom tells him that Christmas is a lot of things and Chipmunk notices badgers decorating with red berries, ducks exchanging golden leaves, and beetles carrying gifts. Chipmunk soon realizes that Christmas is, in fact, a lot of things, and when he wakes up on Christmas morning, he sees what it is to him. 

This is Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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This is Christmas is full of beautiful illustrations and provides students with a message of friendship and love. 

  • Before reading, ask students the question, "What is Christmas?" Record their answers, and discuss why they believe each of them "is Christmas." 
  • While reading, create a chart of all the things that mean it's Christmas to Chipmunk and the animals around him. 

21. The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements

Grade 3 to Grade 7

Hart Evans is the most popular kid in the 6th grade. Kids look up to him, and his teachers let him get away with everything—all of his teachers except for the music director Mr. Meinart. But when Hart takes things a little too far, Mr. Meinart lets the class know they can produce the big holiday concert on their own or not. We all know who is going to be put in charge! Will Hart Evans be able to put on the best holiday concert ever? 

The Last Holiday Concert-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Evan Hart soon learns there is a big difference between popularity and leadership and realizes this concert may mean more to him than he thought. 

  • Roger Clements's novels are great for a novel study. If able to read the story before, create questions, graphic organizers, or other activities to go along with the book. 
  • While reading, create a chart of all the things that mean it's Christmas to Chipmunk and the animals around him. 

22. The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue

Grade 4 to Grade 6

The Lottery family is large, multicultural, and full of adopted and homeschooled children. But then a visitor from Brazil gets injured and has to stay with them through the holiday season. The Lotterys not only celebrate their traditions but mix his in as well. They celebrate everything from Holi to Christmas to Hogmanay. Their funny ways and crazy antics make this a humorous book for older students. 

The Lotterys More or Less-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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The Lotterys More or Less is a fantastic book about a different type of family and a great way to teach students that not all families are the same.  

  • While reading, discuss family traditions and how many families celebrate holidays with different customs. Have students create an art collage project about their families and traditions. 
  • The family celebrates different holidays like Holi and Hogmanay. Break students into small groups and have them research the holiday and present what they learned. 

23. How To Catch Santa by Jean Reagan

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

Children always have a difficult time waiting for Christmas. But once it gets here, there is always fun to be had by all! The best thing about Christmas Eve is being able to catch Santa Claus! This book is full of tips and tricks on how to catch Santa. A fun read for any class. 

How to Catch Santa-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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From the author of How To Babysit Grandad and How To Surprise Dad, this holiday book is the perfect how-to book for the classroom. 

  • After reading, let students figure out their own tips and tricks for capturing Santa. 
  • Teach the how-to text structure using How To Catch Santa. After reading, have students create their own how-to writing pieces. Some ideas include making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and how-to tie your shoes. 

24. Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

Grade Pre-K to Grade 2

The perfect book for the month of December, Pick a Pine Tree discusses family traditions, and one of the most common ones is decorating the tree. Patricia Toht dives deeply into the process of digging out ornaments, tinsel, and twinkling lights. This rhythmically written book is perfect for celebrating family, friends, and the holiday season. 

Pick a Pine Tree-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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This is a great rhyming book to start the holiday season in your classroom. 

  • While reading, work with your students to find all the rhyming words, create a class list and discuss what rhyme schemes your class can fund. 
  • After reading, give students a construction paper Christmas tree and let students decorate it with sparkles, sequins, beads, etc. 

25. Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh

Grade Pre-K to Grade 7

Olive is getting excited about Christmas when she suddenly realizes that she must not be a dog but a reindeer! She hops on the Polar Express to the North Pole and quickly asks to join Santa's team. She's accepted with open arms because of all her reindeer skills. A book about how being different isn't a bad thing! 

Olive, The Other Reindeer-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A book that uses the confusion of words to its advantage and creates a fun book for many grade levels. 

  • Before reading, have students listen to Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and determine where Olive got the idea that she was a reindeer. 
  • After reading, have students research different dog breeds and see if they convince you of which breed of dogs would be best at leading Santa's sleigh. 

26. It's Christmas, David! by Vivian Walsh

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

Everyone loves David, and he is always getting into trouble. All readers will be able to relate to David's antics, like trying to peek at hidden presents, making wish lists to Santa, and struggling to behave and make it to the "good list." But David is struggling with finding a way to be good! A book all about how being wrong doesn't always mean you aren't good. 

It's Christmas, David-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A book about a boy who can't seem to be good, It's Christmas, David! is the perfect Christmas story for Kindergarten through 3rd. 

  • David breaks many ornaments in the book. Once you have finished reading, have your students create unbreakable ornaments using foam, glitter, and other materials. 
  • Create a t-chart with your class and discuss all the "no" things David does. Then have your class come up with "yes" things he should have done. 

27. The Snowman's Song by Marilee Joy Mayfield

Grade Pre-K to Grade 2

A little snowman dreams of caroling like little children. He is only made of snow and can't make a sound. What happens when a red cardinal fills him with hope? Could he receive a voice and a Christmas miracle? 

The Snowman's Song-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A beautiful book where the snowman finds his voice and warms the hearts of everyone around him. 

  • Kids love building snowmen. Bring white playdoh, sticks, buttons, etc., and let your students build their own snowman. 
  • Frosty the Snowman is a classic melody. Give your students the lyrics and enjoy singing the song together. 

28. I Got The Christmas Spirit by Connie Scholfield-Morrison

Grade Pre-K to Grade 3

A mother and daughter are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. She hears the crunch of chestnuts and see shining lights. When she sees Santa she tells him her Christmas wish. Will it come true? 

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A book all about spreading the spirit of Christmas, and a way to show students that the season is not only about presents.  

  • Try some roasted chestnuts with your class (check for allergies first). Then chart how your students would describe them.
  • Bring Christmas items into your classroom like Christmas lights, bells, a small christmas tree. Have your students use their senses to describe each item. 

29. Imogene's Antlers by David Small

Grade Pre-K to Grade 2

No one can figure out Imogene's dilemma, not the doctor, her parents, or even her big brother! However, she makes the most out of her situation, finding different ways to use her antlers. One morning the problem seems to have resolved itself when she wakes up and finds she's antler-free. But, the reader is surprised when Imogene walks downstairs for breakfast.

Imogene's Antlers-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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A book students will enjoy no matter what the season, Imogene's Antlers is a great book to read at the beginning of the holiday season since it is not so "Christmasy."

  • After reading, use a template and make antler crowns for each student. 
  • After reading, take a picture of each student, add antlers and have them write a creative writing piece based on the prompt "if I grew antlers…."

30. Secret Santas and the Twelve Days of Giving by Courtney Petruzzelli

Grade Pre-K to Grade 2

The secret Santas are all about giving. Throughout the holiday season, they drop gifts to people in need and don't take any of the credit. They know that Christmas is for not only receiving but also giving to those who may go without! This a great book to help students see that getting a gift isn't all Christmas is about! 

Secret Santas and the Twelve Days of Christmas-Top 30 Christmas Read Alouds For The Elementary Classroom-TeacherGoals
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Secret Santas And The Twelve Days of Giving teaches students that Christmas isn't about the gifts they will receive but what you can give. 

  • Have students pick names and become each other's secret Santas. You can have them create their gifts or send home notes to parents about the activity. 
  • Become Secret Santas in your school. Leave little notes for teachers, clean up the playground, or do anything to make others feel good during the holiday season. 

Want ideas for more read-alouds? Check out these:

What are your favorite holiday traditions with your class? Share in the comments below.

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