With all the excitement of receiving gifts this season, I wanted to create a literacy activity for my preschoolers that would take the focus from getting gifts to giving gifts. I did this by doing an “I Can Give…” predictable chart. It is just the Christmas literacy activity to teach the children not only about early reading concepts, but also about giving.
I appreciate that Christmas is a gift giving holiday, especially for my little preschoolers. Their excitement is so genuine. Their smiles are so sweet. I love the squeal-like voices as they share in their anticipation and excitement for Christmas.
It’s important to me that I also teach my preschoolers the joy of giving gifts.
Materials for This Christmas Literacy Activity
- chart paper
- three marker colors
- family vocabulary cards (found at the end of this post)
The Set Up
To prepare for this activity I simply wrote out my predicted text on the chart paper. I wrote “I can give ______ a ______ for Christmas.” I used a different color for the word Christmas, as I wanted my student to be able to identify it as an important vocabulary word for the month. I wrote the repeated text as many times as would fit on the chart paper, however I ended up using a second sheet because I wanted to be sure that all the preschoolers in my class could complete their own sentence in the predictable chart.
The “I Can Give…” Predictable Chart Activity
First my preschoolers and I brainstormed who we would want to give gifts to for Christmas. The typical responses came up, like their moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and other important family members.
Then we talked about what we’d like to give each person. One student said she wanted to give her mom a necklace, while another said he wanted to give his dad a Denver Broncos t-shirt. I made sure to let each student talk about what they wanted to give, and also allowed them time to explain why. Children can be really thoughtful, and I wanted to acknowledge that in the lesson.
But, there was another part of brainstorming our gifts I didn’t want to leave out. I wanted to be sure my students understood that gifts could be non tangible things, or home made items. So, we then brainstormed things my preschoolers could give that didn’t cost any money, like hugs and tickles, drawings and stories.
Once we had done our brainstorming, we completed our Christmas predictable chart.
We used the family vocabulary cards to fill in who we wanted to give a gift to, and used a third color marker to fill in what were were going to give.
And then we practiced reading our text. Reading predictable texts are an excellent way to teach preschooler important concepts of print. In particular, in this lesson my preschoolers earned that sometimes a sentence can actually take up more than one line, thus teaching the return sweep.
Get Your Free Family Vocabulary Cards
You can get your free family vocabulary cards here.
It is sometimes difficult to design Christmas literacy activities that are truly meaningful for preschoolers. I think this one fits the bill. Not only does it teach print awareness concepts, but it also teaches children that it’s equally important (if not more important) to give gifts rather than receiving them. And, they learned that gifts that cost no money can be equally special (if not more) than those what cost a lot. This is a Christmas literacy activity we will be repeating every year.
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