How the Grinch Stole Christmas Lesson Plans

Reluctant Reader Books
Grade Levels
5th - 12th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
12 pages
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Reluctant Reader Books


This lesson plan covers How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Few holiday stories are as well-known and beloved as this wonderfully wicked tale of Christmas redemption.

The text is not included in the lesson plans, but it can be downloaded for free as part of our collection of The Best Christmas Stories for Middle and High School.

Our lesson plans are divided into the following sections:


Each of our lesson plans begins with a short intro page giving a brief review of the story and its publication history: when it was first published and where.

Story in Context

Brief background is provided for certain concepts that students may be unfamiliar with. Enough to encourage class discussion, but not enough to be distracting to the story itself.

In this lesson we ask whether or not Dr. Seuss himself was the basis for the Grinch, and we learn a little bit about that fabulous roast beast.

Stories in Conversation

Stories do not exist in a vacuum. Our lesson plans try to connect the dots between the story itself and other stories, movies, and media that came before and after.

Interrogating Characters

Interrogating Characters presents students with a way to engage with specific characters in the story. We select characters other than the main character or narrator so that students can ponder other points of view.

In these lessons we interrogate Max the Dog, who never gets a chance to tell us precisely how or why he ended up with the Grinch. This lesson gives students a chance to invent a backstory for old Max.

Missing in Action

Every story has gaps or missing points of view. In Missing in Action, we ask students to consider those neglected viewpoints in order to gain a better understanding of what the author has left out.

In this lesson, we ask students to ponder where the heck Santa Claus was all night while the Grinch was stealing presents and trying to wreck Christmas.

Analyzing Language

Analyzing Language provides 6 questions that look specifically at the language the author has used and asks students to consider those choices to better understand the story.


Each lesson plan has one Activity. Some are solo projects, others are done with partners or in groups. Activities engage students with the text in ways that are analytical but not based on essay responses.

In this lesson we admit that not every Christmas tradition is one you're going to love. There's plenty to be merry about at Christmas, but sometimes you have to let out your inner Grinch. This lesson gives students a chance to play the humbug, if only for a little while.


Launchpad asks students to write their own stories using the story selection as a starting point. Usually this is a continuation of the tale that asks students to use their imaginations.

In this lesson, we move away from the humbug and ask students to wonder just what it was the Whos were singing and gives them the opportunity to write their own holiday song.

Total Pages
12 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


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