As we continued to learn about caribou we also read other fiction stories including Olive The Other Reindeer. We filled out a bubble map that illustrated four ideas of our favorite parts of the story. Then students chose one part of the story that they liked the best and wrote about it. You can get the writing activity here.
One student wrote “she was riding on his sleigh”, and another student wrote “My favorite part of the story was when she got on the bus.”
At the end of our unit students partner read a Rudolph emergent reader that talked about things that Rudolph saw. Students colored the pictures based on the color words that were in the books. They also made reindeer headbands. Headbands can be found here and emergent reader books can be found here.
Last week was our reindeer theme! We started by reading Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Rudolph’s Bright Christmas. We also read a nonfiction story about caribou. As a class we labeled a Venn diagram that showed the similarities and differences between Rudolph and caribou. We also made cut and paste Rudolph’s.
This last week Friday we finished off our Polar Express week with our very special Polar Express day!! At the beginning of this week I decorated the front of our classroom door and on Friday before school I decorated the tables in the room to look like the Polar Express. The class got to also come to school wearing pajamas like the children in the book got to wear.
Students were given golden tickets to the Polar Express as they went off to lunch. When they came back from lunch they gave me their golden tickets and I punched holes in them like the conductor did in the movie. We then reread the book the Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and discussed the elements of the story and drew the pictures of the things we discussed.
Finally students got to sit in our “train area” like they would sit on the train and watch the movie. Students got to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate while they watched the movie.
We finished off our Polar Express week with talking about Santa. Students describe him using the Polar Express as an example as well as other Christmas related stories. Students were able to describe how he was kind, giving, jolly, and friendly. Then they wrote their Christmas lists and created their own Santa art.
To be like Santa students also began making Christmas ornament presents for their friends and family. They took clear ornaments and put two different colors of paint and swirled them around to make a marble effect.
As part of our Polar Express week students got to try out hot chocolate before our Polar Express Day. I showed students how to make hot chocolate and they wrote 3 step directions on how to make it. Students also drew pictures on the back of the directions.
Students got to sample the hot chocolate and then we made a class graph on if the class liked hot chocolate or not. It was a very lopsided graph since everyone said the liked hot chocolate!
At the end students cut out a cup of hot chocolate on construction paper and wrote about what they thought hot chocolate is.
For the second day of Polar Express week, students made glyphs based on questions about trains and Polar Express.
Then we read the story Christmas Kitten by Vivian French. We talked about how the girl in the story really wanted a kitten for Christmas, and how the boy in The Polar Express got the bell he really wanted as the first gift of Christmas. We then wrote about what we would pick for the first gift of Christmas.