Reading poetry helps students with fluency. Students can anticipate words, re-read poems which they enjoy, and find patterns and meaning in their poems. This time of year ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas is a classic poem, which children (and adults) have enjoyed reading for almost 200 years.
I love sharing this poem with my students because it allows me to bring a bit of Christmas fun into my curriculum, while still allowing my students to practice their normal literacy activities. My students love reading this poem in school, and many of them never thought of it as being academic before. We usually read the poem several times the week before Christmas and create all sorts of fun activities each year with it.
What activities can I use this poem for?
I use this poem in both whole group and small group lessons. This poem is great for introducing stanzas. My class also does a fun activity where each table is responsible for reading different stanzas of the poem. In small groups we delve deeper, and talk about sugar plums and other vocabulary in the poem. Finally, we share what we imagine when we think of Christmas day. In writing, I have students share their Christmas “visions” as well as draw pictures of it. It makes for great lessons and helps keep students focused on learning during the week before the holiday break. For a great poetry activity for another time of year, check out this post on shape poems.
What about other Christmas Activities?
Once my students are finished reading the poem and writing about their Christmas “visions” I created a couple of extra activities. I put everything (including the poem) into this ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Freebie. There are coloring activities, and of course a wish list for Santa. My students love this activity and I hope that yours do too!
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!