Christmas and December help teach critical vocabulary, Tier 2 vocabulary and academic vocabulary: compare, contrast, describe, retell, identify, distinguish.
Start with an anchor chart to introduce the word. Discuss the type of skills needed to complete the fun activities, at least 2 for each word is included!
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Distinguish-Help! Santa can’t distinguish between all his reindeer! He typically has 9 total, but if you include “Olive” make sure you choose the page with 10. Before giving the students the page, discuss how we can see little differences in people or things that look exactly alike: freckles, dimples, slight colorings, different collars/bows. Anchor chart included (teacher copy with answers in red).
Describe—Santa is looking to add more reindeer to his team. Anchor chart included (teacher copy with answers in red). Discuss the qualities needed to be one of Santa’s special reindeer. Create your own reindeer that Santa would want to choose! Students will choose a name that “sounds” like a reindeer (compare reindeer names of the current ones). Then, tell what the reindeer “is, can, won’t and will” that will show Santa that this is the reindeer for him! Also, describe to the elves what gift to make for you with a drawing and writing!
Draw (Infer/Conclusion)—What might the name of your own reindeer mean when it comes to their favorite color, food and their birthday month? Draw from your knowledge of reindeer names and create your own. Do the same with a snowman, gingerbread man and elf! Anchor chart included (teacher copy with answers in red).
Compare/contrast—What can you do on a hot day compared to what you can do on a cold day? What is the same about each day? What is different? Contrast the differences. Write your ideas in the Venn diagram. Compare and contrast a snowman/gingerbread man and hot cocoa/ice cream cone too. Anchor chart included.
Identify—Cut and paste the pieces to identify what is needed to build a snowman and what is needed to bake cookies. Identify syllables too. Anchor chart included.
Retell—Print and cut the gingerbread pictures and sentences to retell how to decorate a gingerbread kid. Do it together as a whole group, and then put it into centers for students to retell the story again. Work on writing by having students rewrite the sentences on handwriting paper. More independent students may retell how to make a gingerbread house. Anchor chart included.
If you like this, make sure to follow First Grade Frame of Mind for more vocabulary with holiday/seasonal themed activities to engage your learners!