December is a great month to review the first semester and make learning extra fun with all their excitement for the holidays. For a few years now we have enjoyed Reindeer Day right before winter break. It is one of those memorable theme days that the children will talk about days later.
When they walk in the door on reindeer day, there is a banner hanging on the wall to let them know what we will be focusing on. I also love to wear my reindeer antlers and red nose to get the excitement stirring.
After announcements, we gather up front and begin our day with one of our favorite reindeer stories. I love to share Olive the Other Reindeer because it is a classic and has a fun twist. There are loads of other books to choose from and blank templates to complete the comprehension activity of your choice. You can take a closer look at these reindeer books in my Amazon Store. Olive also has a fun movie that you can show on a long day with no specials.
Next, we make reindeer headbands. I buy clown noses too so they can look like Rudolph. Once we have our headbands made, we take a cute class picture and I send it home to the parents.
Then, we make reindeer food. I made a cute little book that gives directions for making reindeer food. We read the book together then I send one table at a time up to make their food. While the others wait, they color their book or complete another activity from this goodie packet. I have them put their reindeer food right in their mailbox so they can take it home for the holidays and it is out of the way.
After lunch, we move on to centers. I have a few phonics worksheets to work on vocabulary, alphabetizing, and making words and syllables. I also have a grammar scoot where they decide if the word is a noun, adjective, or verb. We also work on distinguishing between asking or telling sentences.
For writing activities, they complete a page for a class book by coloring, naming, and describing a reindeer. They also review making reindeer food with sequencing and retelling activities.
To work on fluency, students read the reindeer poem. They sequence the poem, find the rhyming words, fill in the blanks and illustrate the poem. Additionally, I have them work on reading the poem to their partners at this center.
We have fun math centers too. There are several different games, a shape sort, and addition puzzles. They love working together and playing reindeer games.
There is an adorable reindeer craft that you can make a center as well.
Depending on the class, sometimes I do a few activities from my Olive the Reindeer packet. One year we had two reindeer days, a nonfiction and a fiction day. We did all the activities from my Nonfiction Reindeer resource on day two. If you do a nonfiction day, you could end with my True False Reindeer activity. My students love guessing, reviewing, and learning even more about what we have been studying.
If you are teaching virtually or want digital resources to go along with this day, I have a Digital Reindeer Day that includes some similar activities but there are a lot of different goodies included too.
I know some teachers can’t do Christmas-themed activities, so I created some Winter Theme Days as well. Last year some teachers combined both my Christmas and Winter theme days to do the 12 Days of Christmas.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope your December is magical and full of learning.
This is what a few teachers had to say about Reindeer Day…
“I love these theme days and so do my students. I used them at Christmas time to keep them engaged.”
“Sooo cute! My students loved naming their reindeer and coming up with facts about them. Teachers passing in the hallway also commented on how sweet this activity was!”
“My students loved learning about reindeer using these materials. The activities were fun and engaging for my class. They loved reading about how to make reindeer food and then making their own.”
Read about more fun holiday activities for the classroom here: