Last night I watched A Christmas Story, which happens to be one of my favorite Christmas movies. In the movie a teacher asks her students to write a theme titled “What Do You Want for Christmas?” Not terribly original, but the movie was set in the late 30s or early 40s, so it was probably par for the course (as was, apparently, letting a 9-year-old shoot a BB gun unsupervised, but I digress).
The movie got me thinking about the question:
It actually has a lot of potential, so I came up with 10 more creative ways to use it with today’s students:
- Write a persuasive paragraph about why you should get what you want.
- Answer the question from a different point of view, such as a character in a book or a personified object, such as a Christmas tree or the earth.
- Answer the question 50 different ways.
- Change the question to, “What do you NOT want for Christmas this year?” and answer in as many creative ways as you can (for example, “I do not want a jar of dead slugs for Christmas this year.”)
- Create a catalog for 5-10 things that you want. For each thing, include a picture, a description, and a price.
- Do some research on the thing you want most. Where was it made? How was it made? Where did the materials it was made of come from?
- Do some research online, and then do some math. How much would it cost to purchase everything you want? What if you include 9% sales tax? Super Challenge: How much would it cost if everyone in the class got everything they wanted?
- Answer the question listing only things that do not cost money. For example, “I want my dad to play a board game with me each night after dinner.” Or, “I want no homework for a week.”
- Answer the question using only things that do not exist, such as, “I want a time machine.” Or, “I want a robot that will clean my room and do my homework.”
- Answer the question for the world, rather than for you personally. For example, “I want all of the hungry people in the world to have enough to eat.”