6 Steps to Build Reading Comprehension at Christmas
http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Tree-New-Story-Books/[Ages 5-8] Building Reading Comprehension
This was a favorite story for my students to read at the holiday time. We always combined it with making our own replica ornaments from the story! Great brain development activities for reading success: tracing, using scissors, coloring, and gluing.
Here are 6 Steps to Build Reading Comprehension along with a fabulous, fun follow up activity.
- Set the Climate by activating prior knowledge. Learn about the tradition of Christmas trees online or from library books.
- Predict. Read the cover of the story “The Christmas Tree” by Beverley Randell [http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Tree-New-Story-Books/] Look at the cover illustration. Ask your child what they see? Ask them what they think this story is about? Write it down on a sticky note.
- Preview Vocabulary: Preview any possible unfamiliar words from the story prior to reading. i.e. depending upon the age of your child. For younger ones, simply count the number of letters in the words. Have them identify the letters they recognize. Have them point to vowels, can they find smaller words they know within the word? Identify beginning and ending sounds. Discuss reasons for capitalization. What does the ending ‘ed’ mean? What does the ending ‘s’ mean? How many syllables in the words? What do each of the words mean? If your child does not know the meaning of the word, then set that as your goal for reading: “okay, let’s read and find out what this word means.” Don’t belabor. The goal is to make sure your child knows the pronunciation and meaning of the words prior to reading. Vocabulary: Christmas, painted, decorations, lanterns, scarfs.
- Read the story. If your child is very young, read the story to them. Ask them to point to the words as you read.
- Check predictions.
- Retell story. Close the book and ask your child to retell the story in their own words. Check for sequence of events from beginning to middle to end of the story. Can they tell you the main characters? What is the message one can take away from the story?
Now Have Some Fun and Make Your Own Christmas Tree Ornaments.
- Fold into a circle and secure with tape or staple. Cut a thin strip of green paper to make the handle. Attach to lantern as shown in picture.
- Hang on your Christmas tree. You can make these lanterns large or small depending upon the size of your rectangle.
- You can make your own flame cutout from yellow or orange paper or use the one above as a template.
- Make a cone with one half sheet of white paper and secure with tape/ make an angel head using your own design or the one shown here/use a doily for the wings by cutting the round doily in half
- SUGGESTION: Try using a paper plate cut in half- one half for the angel body and one half for the angel wings or perhaps a coffee filter for angel wings.
The holidays tend to get lost in material trappings. I remember when I was little, the fun of making paper chains and other ornaments with glitter for our tree. Make this a family time. Long after the toys are gone, these special memories will remain.