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Oh, What a Christmas!



Last updated Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Author: Michael Garland
Date of Publication: 2011
ISBN: 054524210X
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2014

Synopsis: When the harness to Santa's sleigh breaks mid-flight, Dasher, Dancer, and the rest of the reindeer gang fly off into the night...leaving Santa and all of his presents stranded! Who will guide Santa's sleigh and save Christmas now? Luckily, Santa lands by a tiny barn filled with sleepy animals. With a twinkle in his eye, Santa sees a solution and wonders how well can cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and an old hound dog fly?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  1. How do you celebrate the holidays?
•  2. What makes you most excited when you think about Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa)?
•  3. Does your family have any special traditions for the winter and the December holidays?
•  4. Have you ever been in/to the snow? Did you like it? Was it cold?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  1. How would you try to fly the sleigh if you lost the reindeers?
•  2. Of all the animals at the barn, which one do you think is the best at flying? (Sheep, goats, pigs, cows, horse)

Craft ideas:
•  Make a sleigh picture like on the back cover. Draw & cut out the sleigh, Santa, and different animals to pull the sleigh, then paste them onto a sheet of construction paper. Add ribbon or yarn for Santa to hold & attach to the animals.
•  Make Paper Plate Animal Masks of Santa’s New helpers. Cut out the eyes for the children. Draw the nose and mouth of the animal they choose (pig, lamb, horse, cow, hippo…) Cut out ears of the animal they choose and attach with glue. Punch out two holes on each side of the mask and tie string/yarn to each hole. For added fun, have the kids wear their masks and form two equal lines. Have the kids place their hands on the person in front’s shoulder. The two in front hold hands (they do not have a shoulder to place a hand on). See if they can work in unison like the reindeer and other animals and walk around the classroom!
•  For pictures, more craft ideas, and directions visit: http://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids99/december-2014-reading-clubs/

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!