Those last few days before Christmas vacation can surely rival those last few days of school when it comes to keeping students engaged! Instead of working against the season, I always try to roll with it. So, Christmas is no different!
What do students *really* want to do during that last week before Christmas? Watch a Christmas movie! And to be honest, that’s all I really want to do, too. So, why not do it? What would your principal say?
Well, my principal would ask how I’m teaching the standards I need to be teaching while we’re watching a Christmas movie. And my answer would be that we are:
analyzing types of characters
analyzing characterization and character traits
diagramming the plot
determining and classifying conflict
How can you argue with that?
I love to show my favorite Christmas movie of all time, the original classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. By making it challenging, rigorous, and educational, I’m happy, my principal is happy, and my students are even happier!
First, here’s a freebie for you. After the students watch the movie, they will determine the theme and write it inside Rudolph’s nose. Then, they’ll find at least two pieces of evidence from the story and write the evidence inside Rudolph’s antlers.
And, since your time is so precious, I’ve also included sample answers for you along with the student template!
Grab the original classic movie if you don’t already own it. Better yet, tell your students that if someone brings the movie in from home, they can watch it during class. You’ll have multiple copies in your hands tomorrow!
If you want to take it a step further, you can grab my Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Literary Analysis for Grades 4-8.
Here, your students will watch the movie while completing the two-page Viewing Guide that asks them to analyze character traits, characterization, conflict, and plot structure. I’ve also included a Reference Guide that includes definitions and explanations for all of these concepts to help your students while viewing the movie. Then, they can complete the lapbook using the information they’ve compiled in the Viewing Guide.
Now, your lesson plans for one of the hardest weeks of the year are not only DONE, but FABULOUSLY engaging!