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Christmas Day in the Morning

Last updated Monday, November 21, 2005

Author: Pearl S. Buck
Illustrator: Mark Buehner
Date of Publication: 1955
ISBN: 0688162673
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2005

Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, a man recalls the holiday many years ago when he gave his father, a struggling farmer, a most-appreciated gift: the boy rose extra early to do his father's biggest chore, the milking.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a flashback? What is one of your special memories that you have?
•  How do you show that you love your parents/siblings or that they show that they love you?
•  What have you done that is special for someone?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who is the narrator?
•  What memory is he recalling? How does the author let the reader know that the character is experiencing a flashback? What words are used?
•  What made the boy decide to do something special for his father?
•  How did his father feel when he realized what his son did for him?
•  Why do you think the pictures are all dark?
•  Have you ever made a ?gift of true love?? What was it and who was it for?

Craft ideas:
•  Make gift certificates for members of your family or friends. Wrap them in paper and tie with a ribbon. (Bring ahead option: wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, etc.)
•  Using a dark strip of paper, paste white stars and clouds of different shapes on there to make a bookmark.
•  Make a star ornament for the tree.
•  On a dark piece of paper, draw shapes on the paper and paste cotton balls on it to fill in the shape. Have everyone guess what each one is.

*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!