Subject Area: Language Arts
Genre: Cultural; Poetry
Summary: This poem describes the anticipation that a child feels the night before Christmas. The child dreams of sugar plums and is awaken by the noise of Santa Claus arriving on the rooftop and coming down the chimney. Once Santa Claus has arrived, the child is in awe of his appearance. He leaves gifts under the Christmas tree and quickly gets back to his reindeer and heads to the next house on his list but not before saying the classic line, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
Initiating Questions & Activity:
- Questions: Who here celebrates Christmas? Has anyone heard this famous story about the night before Christmas? What are you asking Santa Claus for this year?
- Activity: The students will discuss the questions that I presented to them and we will discuss as a class what Christmas means to them. If they do not celebrate Christmas, what is their equivalent and what can they teach us about that holiday?
Culminating & Extending Questions:
- Questions: What was your favorite part of The Night Before Christmas? Has anyone ever seen Santa in their homes? What do you think Santa does if there is no chimney in your house?
- Activity: We will discuss the book by tying it into the personal lives of the students. I will ask the students to describe to me what special traditions or routines that they celebrate the night before Christmas. For those that do no celebrate Christmas, I would like them to share with the class their favorite holiday to celebrate and teach their classmates about that special day.