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The Twelve Days of Christmas Dogs

Last updated Friday, November 21, 2008

Author: Carolyn Conahan
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0525474862
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2008

Synopsis: What could be better than a new dog for Christmas? How about getting dogs for all twelve days leading up to it?! This canine confection offers more than just a delightful twist on the traditional carol: by topping each other’s doggy deliveries, two friends compete to prove to a third that each is worthy of being her very BEST friend. Labs a-leaping, dachshunds in turtlenecks, and a pug in a tutu are featured in the laugh-out-loud scenes of playful pooches in action. It all builds to a sparkling finale of canine showmanship and three very happy friends.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Is your favorite holiday Christmas? Do you like Christmas?
•  Do you like to give gifts for Christmas?
•  Do you have a dog as a pet? Do you like dogs?
•  Have you heard of the song The 12 Days of Christmas?
•  Does your dog get a Christmas present.
•  Where’s the cat?
•  Do you dress up your dog?
•  Do dogs play instruments?
•  Note: Character’s speech bubbles should be read after the main text or during the picture walk so that they rhythm of the “song” isn’t broken.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What gift did you get on the first day of Christmas?
•  How many golden dogs are in the story?
•  What has your best friend given you on Christmas?
•  How do you celebrate Christmas with your friends?
•  Would your parents let you keep all those dogs?
•  Would they all fit in your house?
•  What’s on your Christmas list?

Craft ideas:
•  Dog Christmas Tree/Treat holder/ornament—Use coffee filter/cone. Draw or glue eyes, mouth, ears and nose. Attach string to hang on tree or door handle.
•  Dog Mask
•  Ornament
•  Draw a picture of your favorite dog
•  Draw a picture of what you can get or want to get for twelve days of Christmas
•  Draw a picture of your best friend
•  Draw a Christmas tree with a dog on top
•  Make dog puppets from brown bags or any color bag
•  Make a dog headband hat
•  Bring cotton balls and make a Santa mask.

Special activities:
•  Bring various objects to give each child, such as one plastic dog, two plastic balls, etc. until it adds up to 12 objects—Have each child or group of children sing a song of whatever 12 objects they have.
•  Pick a few kids to demonstrate a dance as friends, then the other children can pretend to be the dogs—they can sing the song in the book. Flash cards with lyrics could be helpful.

*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!