December New Book Of The Month: The Great Reindeer Rebellion

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The Gist:  

”Twas the week before Christmas, and somewhere up north, dear Santa was frantic-he paced back and forth. He had just heard some news that he sure didn’t like: it seemed that the reindeer were going on strike!” From the 1st cute rhyming line you learn that the reindeer won’t be pulling Santa’s sleigh, leaving him in an awful fix. He decides to try everything from dogs and cats to kangaroos and elephants but each type of animal runs into problems. Nobody’s as good as his reindeer. In the end Santa finds out that: “A whirlpool and sauna would make [them] quite able, [especially if Santa throws in] real beds, not grass, and a heater-and cable!”

Why I Love It:

The pages are doubled and have a popped out feel. The pictures are bright and shiny; children will find them attractive. I absolutely LOVE the short rhyming text. It grabs your attention and is easy to read. Lisa breaks the sentences up into 4 bold black lines and curves them across the page. The animals she chooses are very appealing to young children and the idea of elephants and kangaroos pulling Santa’s sleigh along with flamingos giving it a whirl is very funny to a child and amusing to an adult. When the dogs start sniffing and smelling and the cats start chasing mice one can only imagine the hilarious hassles Santa encountered.

Magic Tricks:

  • Put a stuffed reindeer in the change bag, pull out an “On Strike” sign.
  • Put a dog in the change bag pull out a cat. Put a cat in pull out a mouse.
  • Put a flamingo in pull out a kangaroo, put in a kangaroo, pull out an elephant. Any Beanie Baby™ animals will do nicely, especially the mini ones.
  • You can pick and choose the ones you can find. If you find them all, like I did, put a paper reindeer in the dove pan and produce all the animals that are trying out for the position of pulling Santa’s sleigh.
  • Toss them to the children and have them help you sequence the story.

Story Telling Tips:

  • I made a color copy of each one of the animals, + Santa in his sleigh, then laminated and cut them out.
  • I put Velcro dots on mine and use a flannel board, but you could also use magnets and your white board.
  • Pass the pieces out to quiet students. When you read about those animals pulling the sleigh they can come up and put that animal behind the sleigh.
  • When you’re done reading the story go over the order once more, then pass the animals out to different children and sequence them again.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Joan Steakley Tuesday, 30 November 2010 10:13 posted by Joan Steakley

    Mrs. Diane, Your ideas are so fresh and creative, and so easy to take right back to my classroom to use immediately! I appreciate you and your willingness to share your ideas so much! You make my life as a teacher much easier because I don't have to spend hours searching for teaching ideas to use! (I don't have those hours to spend searching!) :) Keep those great ideas coming!

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