December can be a tough month for teaching. The kids are full of holiday energy and you’re so ready for Winter Break, but you still have a ton of content you need to cover in your reading lesson plans. That’s why I love using Christmas reading comprehension activities that keep kids engaged and hit the standards at the same time.
These activities are sure to save you time when your brain is already on break! And because they’re standards-based, you don’t have to worry about losing valuable instructional time.
Christmas Reading Passages
We know students need to practice reading strategies all year long. Why not make reading comprehension fun with some Christmas-themed practice?
This set of Christmas passages includes nonfiction, functional text, fiction, and poetry.
Each text has 8 comprehension questions to help students review a variety of skills like summarizing, making inferences, and identifying author’s purpose. And there are word analysis questions, too, so they keep working on their vocabulary skills.
This is a big time-saver so you don’t have to spend hours finding grade-level passages and writing your own questions.
These are nice to use for guided reading groups, literacy stations, and even assessment.
If you want more functional text practice, this salt dough ornaments recipe with comprehension questions is a fun one for December!
Christmas Color by Code Worksheets
If your students are anything like mine, they LOVE color by number activities. These Christmas ELA color by code worksheets are sure to be a hit with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. This no-prep set gets students reviewing sensory words, genres, fact versus opinion, guide words, and more.
Coloring activities are an easy win to make your reading workshop more engaging!
Teachers have said these are perfect for morning work and centers, as well as to leave with a substitute so students still get rigorous practice while the teacher is out.
Christmas Word Analysis Practice
You know I love for students to practice word analysis skills year long so they can tackle new vocabulary when they read.
I created these targeted print and digital word analysis worksheets to help them to do just that. Students can answer fun Christmas-themed questions to review context clues, synonyms, antonyms, affixes, homophones, dictionary skills, and more.
This is a great spiral review activity to help keep those vocabulary strategies fresh in the winter. And it’s super easy to assign the digital version to students via Google Classroom!
Recommended Christmas Read-Alouds for Upper Elementary Students
There are SO many great books you can use as Christmas approaches for interactive read-alouds, mentor texts, and more. Here are just a few favorites that your students are sure to enjoy!
Little Red Sleigh is a sweet story with great themes of growth mindset, perseverance, and believing in yourself! Character traits, theme, and setting details are a few things you can teach with this book.
Oh my goodness, you won’t want to put this one down! Dasher is a lovely book with gorgeous illustrations and a magical story all about Dasher the reindeer. There’s a ton of rich vocabulary, making this a great choice to use for mentor sentences.
Another Christmas book not to miss is Christmas Farm! I just love the themes in this story and the connections you can make to math and science. This book is a good option for teaching how to summarize important details.
The Snowflake is a sweet, feel-good story with lovely illustrations. Your students will be rooting for the main characters to get their happy endings! This one is great to use to review sensory language, predicting, and making connections, too.
If you’re looking for a Christmas story about the spirit of the holidays and finding joy, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is it. Oh my goodness, such a beautiful story from the text to the illustrations. There are so many reading strategies you can use with this text, such as conflict and resolution, analyzing characters, and drawing conclusions.
Finally, one more you and your students will love is The Carpenter’s Gift, a historical fiction picture book with a wonderful message of giving to others. This is great to pair with a nonfiction text about the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree!
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I hope these ideas help you feel calm and prepared as you head into the crazy month of December! Let me know what other Christmas reading activities you love to use in your classroom during the holidays!