Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Seasonal Reading Activities

I love Eve Bunting books. If you have never read any, I suggest you check out a few. They make wonderful read-aloud and great mentor text books. You can share so much (sentence structure, author's craft, style) and the kids really connect with her stories. 

We always read The Memory String at the beginning of the year and my students like that I have the same name as one of the characters. That always makes me smile. 

Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust is an amazing story to read with the kids when discussing World War II and the Holocaust.  I usually read it with them after we read Number the Stars

I also love One Green Apple. As a matter of fact, I think I will read it soon as a follow-up to Wonder since they are developing a keen sense of how people can feel left out when they are different,yet differences make all of us more interesting.

The Wall is great to read for Veterans Day or during a unit about Vietnam. This is another book we read as a mentor text at our school. 
My favorite book to read by Eve Bunting during this time of the year is, Night Tree
I love the tradition of the family in the tree so much that I think we are going to head out and do the same things with our kids this year.  
Of course when I read the title to my students, the kids predicted that they were going to pick out their tree at night. They were pleasantly surprised when the family talked about "their" tree and instead of taking it home, they took things to decorate the tree as a gift to the animals in the forest. It reflects the meaning behind the season, giving without expecting to receive. It also emphasizes the importance of traditions and family time. 
I read this to my 2 oldest sons last year and they enjoyed the story a lot. 
It would be a great book to read to launch a discussion of traditions and how to give gifts that are simple yet thoughtful. Students could then write about their favorite family traditions. 
Even though it wouldn't be at night, why not start a tradition with your class and decorate a tree in your school yard with gifts for the animals?

What are your favorite seasonal reading activities? If you are looking for more ideas, check out Ideas by Jivey's blog and links

There are some fun ideas to help keep your kiddos focused and learning on those last few days before winter break!


  1. Wow, Laura...I haven't read many of these books. I definitely will be checking them out though! Love the idea of Night Tree. I just found a cute book tonight at Walmart called Santa is coming to Florida. I'm looking forward to reading it to my kids tomorrow.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. I love Eve Bunting! I need to get my hands on The Night Tree... It sounds wonderful!


I love to hear from my readers. Please leave your thoughts about the wonderful journey through teaching and life!