Unwrapping a Book a Day in December - with FREE Graphic Organizers

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite holiday traditions that I used in the classroom: 
Each school day in December my students would 
unwrap a Christmas book
for me to read to them.
This has been extremely motivating in the classroom. I tell the students in the morning that I am "on the lookout" for the special student who will unwrap the book of the day. You should see how quickly they sit up straight, zip their lips, and fold their hands :) 

They know that these books have been specially picked and wrapped by me, so they listen with rapt attention. I originally got this idea from a mom at my old church who did this with her kids. I love the idea of seeing books as gifts and unwrapping once each day until Christmas, so I decided to try it with my students.

Whatever it takes to foster a love of reading...
Most of the books I used came from my personal classroom library - but I also borrowed a couple and then checked out a few more from the public library to get enough books to unwrap one each day.

And if you'd like to take this fun project to the next level, you can have your students fill out a graphic organizer as you read. This provides listening accountability, valuable reading comprehension practice, as well as some informal assessment for the teacher.

I have created a *FREE* packet of fun and festive graphic organizers that you can use for ANY holiday-themed book.
There are 7 graphic organizers for you to use again and again!

Packet includes:
Story Elements
Charting the Details: Beginning, Middle, End
Text Connections
Character Profile
Chapter Summary
Cause and Effect

Here are some samples from the classroom:

These pages were wonderful resources for me to have on-hand in the classroom in December. At the beginning of the week, I would choose a couple and copy class sets. Then, if we had a spare 15 minutes before lunch or if a parent volunteer came in, I (or the parent) could read a book we unwrapped while the students filled in their graphic organizer.

If you download and use the graphic organizers, please leave feedback.

And I'm always on the lookout for new Christmas read-alouds. Here are some of my favorites:

Do you have a favorite to add? Leave a comment below!

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