Christmas Books Your Students Will Love!
Looking for some new books to read out loud to your students (or perhaps your own children)? You’ve come to the right corner of the blog-o-sphere. These books were all suggested by teachers from my Facebook page. Click on the title or the image to for more information on Amazon.
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“A family goes out to the woods for what the readers believe will be to find their Christmas tree, but instead they decorate a tree in the woods with yummy goodies for the forest animals to enjoy for Christmas. The room is always silent when I read this one!”
-Lori Lagro Butler
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
“It’s about how one family that celebrates Hanukkah helps a family get ready for Christmas because they are all sick, so everyone can have a happy holiday season. Takes place about 50 years ago and focuses on putting aside differences and accepting others. Great writing!”
-Kathy Roehrig Caraynoff
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
“This Christmas classic is just what your students will love! The vivid pictures throughout the read aloud help the students visualize Santa coming to everyone’s house on Christmas Eve.
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
“Tear jerker…hate to ruin the ending or I would say more.”
-Stephanie Helgerson Corley
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
“I always read The Polar Express and then have another teacher ‘hide’ a silver bell in their desk while we are out at recess or lunch; somewhere when I am with the kids, so they don’t know I planted them…..LOL.”
“The Polar Express….hard to beat and great acting it out whilst reading with the kids. :)”
-Ciara O Driscoll
This Readers Theater will leave your students begging for more! In order for them to solve the mystery of who stole Santa’s list, they will have to look carefully to identify the motive, means, and opportunity of each character in the story. Your students will be having so much fun with acting out their part in the play that they won’t even realize they are analyzing characters, making predictions, inferring, and drawing conclusions.
-Lorraine Palmer Vasquez
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
“I love the approach he takes with what it means to be giving and that when someone believes in you, anything is possible!”
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We talk about forgiveness and how important it is to our happiness. And of course we love to listen to and sing the song!”
-Candance Brannen Plymel
-Gina Moretto Wright
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
“I LOVE the story A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree. It’s about a Christmas tree that is too old to be picked/cut down, and he just wishes he was someone’s special tree for Christmas. The animals that live in his tree hear this and decide to decorate him and show him that he IS special to them.”
The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
“To me it is so poetic and simply profound. I have yet to use it with students, though. I have read it to my daughter (now 4 3/4) the last two Christmas Eves, and I get choked up each time.”
“I love to read The Christmas Magic. I love the story, and the illustrations are amazing.”
-Tonya Ballew Dye
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
“It’s a story about an ‘unruly’ family, the Herdmans, that collide with the yearly pageant head on. It’s funny and touching. I just learned there is a picture book version, as well. My other VERY favorite is The Polar Express.”
-Nancy Loberg Reinhiller
-Leah Anne Neidert Fisher
There is also a picture book version of this wonderful classic.
-Deborah Hughes Freeman
“Awesome to make those believe to believe even more and those non-believers cross back to the believers’ side. So awesome! I usually ask for a secret poll on a card of who believes before I read and then again after I read. I always get about 50-50 to start and way more believers after.”
“I love all of the above but also use Prancer. The kids predict if it is really Santa’s reindeer or not, vocabulary, persuasive writing – she writes a letter to Santa that is published in the newspaper that helps get the whole town believing – and, of course, we compare and contrast the movie to the book. I like it because most of the kids have never heard of it, unlike Polar Express or The Grinch.”
-Robin Runnels Muse
“I love the book Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini – I teach it with problem/solution or story elements since the moose has to ALWAYS solve a problem in all her books. :)”
Note: This looks like a great book but seems to be out of print. Copies on Amazon are expensive, but you could try your local library.
-Tricia Jacobson Gout
Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick
“It’s not necessarily a Christmas book, but the LD teacher and I (an SLP) gave taken on Stranger in the Woods. I have created almost three weeks’ worth of activities to do with the book. We will use it with 4th grade this year, and they will research information about one of the animals from the story and write about it. We work on pre- and post-test vocabulary. I will probably also make up a word search and crossword puzzle. I think it’s hard to keep the kids engaged during this time before break! You have to make the work fun!”
-Shelly Gehring Gervase
Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner
You can also get Snowmen at Christmas by Carolyn Buehner.
Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
“So cute and so true! Too much before the holidays causes lots of drama!”
Olive the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh
This delightful read aloud is about a dog who accidentally becomes one of Santa’s reindeer! This read aloud is perfect for when you’re teaching your students about cause and effect. You can have students turn and talk at different parts in the story to discuss these cause-and-effect relationships or have them fill in a cause-and-effect graphic organizer.
-Minds in Bloom team
The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel
In the spirit of the holiday season, this beloved book will keep your students engaged while learning about Hanukkah. The main character, Bubba Brayna, is making latkes for the town. Old Bear wakes up from his winter’s nap and follows the delicious smell of latkes to Bubba Brayna’s house. She thinks Old Bear is the Rabbi and welcomes him in for a snack. The bear leaves with a belly full of latkes before Bubba Brayna realizes he is not the Rabbi. The Rabbi and townspeople then help Bubba Brayna make more latkes to save the day!
-Minds in Bloom team
Other suggestions include:
Welcome Comfort by Patricia Palacco
The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by Janice Cohn
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story by Berkeley Breathed
And finally, I was surprised that no one mentioned The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, though that is possibly because the movie version is even better.
Is your favorite missing from this list? Please tell us what it is with a comment.
Make these beautiful 3-D Christmas Star Ornaments.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2012 and has been recently updated and revamped.
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Sarah Wiggins says
Great list! The Trees of the Dancing Goats is my favorite!
Using My Teacher Voice
Thank you for the shout out Rachel!! LOVE ALL YOU DO!!! 🙂
Jennifer Goodwin says
The Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco is another favorite!
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck. This book is available as a picture book for primary students and chapter book form for students 5th grade and up. Love both versions.
I just discovered this one and love it. Dasher by Matt Tavares.
Such a sweet story.