‘Tis the season for craziness in your classroom! December can definitely create some classroom chaos. But there is also nothing quite like the excitement that fills the air in a classroom of children excited for the holidays. While they may have a TON of extra energy, as teachers, we also know the other side of what the upcoming winter break may bring. Some of your students may not have that magical Christmas morning experience. Their biggest concern, whether they know it or not, is where will their next meal come from.
Most of my teaching career was spent in a Title I school, and unfortunately, this was the reality for many of my students. I always felt a little extra pressure to make sure that December was filled with festive fun and of course that we were still learning. I wanted to highlight the resources I like to use during the weeks between Thanksgiving break and Christmas break.
I’ve been itching to put together a mini Reading Unit on this picture book, but in the meantime, this writing activity will have your kiddos saying, “Writing is SNOW much fun!” ☃️
Can you imagine what Santa was like as a baby? Well, Linda Bailey and Genevieve Godbout wrote the book! And it is hilarious.
Your kids will LOVE this comical picture book that describes Santa Claus as a baby! I love it so much that I created a writing activity to go with it.
Writing From a Mentor Text
After finding this book, I was completely in love with the story itself and all of the teaching opportunities that come along with it. It is a wonderful way to weave in the idea of a Fractured Fairy Tale. I guess Fracture Legend would be more precise? Personally, I’d be careful calling Santa Claus a fairy tale or any other fictional genre in your classroom because you might have some broken hearts, and then you’ll be in full-on crisis mode! But I digress. Let’s move on to how you can use this book with your little humans.
Here’s how I used it:
1// Read the picture book with students. (Laugh and giggle along the way.)
2// Explain to students that we are going to write our own tale about other seasonal characters. I also suggest having copies of each type of writing paper so that students have a choice. I also found that students got so excited that they wanted to write about another character after they finished the first one.
3// Place copies in stacks in an area of your classroom so that students can pick which character they would like to write about.
4// This next part is optional, but highly beneficial. After reading the book, go back through the book with your students looking for characterization of Santa as a baby. These details directly connect to some of the traits & behaviors of Santa today. The author takes Santa’s typical legendary traits and sprinkles them into Santa’s childhood. Complete a character web like below:
You can make the chart ahead of time with some of the parts missing and have students help you add more details.
5// Create a character web with your students for one of the other characters.
6// Send them off to write!
Now, go enjoy watching your students get excited about writing!
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And if you are looking for this wonderful picture book, you can find it here:
When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey & Genevieve Godbout
This freebie also includes a bonus Reindeer Comic Strip: