Celebrate the Holidays

Read & Do

Many people celebrate this time of year in many different ways and for many different reasons. We are excited to celebrate the end of a wonderful year with you!

Explore more about your own traditions or learn about a new one with these four books, complete with activities, comprehension and vocab.


How to Catch a ReindeerHow to Catch a Reindeer

explore - to go around a place you have never been to find out what is there
flair - a natural ability to do something well
maze - a series of paths that you can easily get lost in



After you are done reading How to Catch a Reindeer, ask your students these questions: 

Do you think Comet is fond of carrots?
What types of food do reindeer like to eat?
Why doesn't Comet need night vision goggles to see?
What were some of the tricks used to try to catch Comet?
How would you try to catch a reindeer?


Download the How to Catch a Reindeer Activity Kit.



Cookies For Santa: The Story Of How Santa's Favorite Cookie Saved Christmas

Vocab:Cookies for Santa
North Pole - The northernmost point on the Earth
family tradition - an activity that is passed down from generation to generation
ingredients - a part of a combination of things when combined they make a particular recipe
concoction - a mixture of different things





After you are done reading Cookies for Santa, ask your students these questions: 

What does Santa usually do to show his Christmas family how much he cares?
How did the family tradition of making these cookies begin?
What does Abigail find in the library?
What happens when Santa tries to make the secret family recipe from his memory?
When did William and Abigail realize they had Santa's missing cookbook?
With whom do William and Abigail share the recipe?
Who makes the secret family cookie recipe, and what do they do with all the cookies they make?
What makes Santa smile for the first time in days?
What is the new family tradition that Santa does every year with Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves?


Bake up some of Santa's Chocolate Krinkle Cookies.

The Night Before HanukkahThe Night Before Hanukkah

Festival of Lights - another name for Hanukkah
menorah - a type of candleholder used in Jewish worship, one with eight branches and a central socket used at Hanukkah.
heirloom - an object that has belonged to a family for several generations
yarmulke - a skullcap or head-covering worn in public by Orthodox Jewish men or during prayer by other Jewish men
shamash - means helper, the shamash candle is used to light the other candles of the Hanukkah menorah
dreidel - a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side, used in a children's game traditionally played at the Jewish festival of Hanukkah
gelt - coin made of chocolate
latkes - deep-fried potato pancakes

After you are done reading The Night Before Hanukkah, ask your students these questions:

When does the Festival of Lights begin?
What was the family heirloom passed-down from great-grandma Claire?
Who in the family wears a yarmulke?
After the first prayer what does Mom light?
Are presents exchanged during Hanukkah?
What game do they play when celebrating Hanukkah?
What did the family do on the third night of Hanukkah after the candles were lit?
What were some of the foods the family included in their celebration?
On the last night of Hanukkah what kind of candle did they have to use in the menorah?



Make latkes, a traditional Hanukkah recipe.


My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa

My Family Celebrates KwanzaaVocab*:
African American - someone or something that has both an African and an American background
candleholder - something that is made to hold candles
culture - shared beliefs, language, foods, and other things that define a group of people
faith - believing in someone or something
goal - something you work to achieve




After you are done reading My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa, ask your students these questions*:

Why was Kwanzaa created?
Why do you think Kwanzaa lasts for seven days?
What chapter starts on page eight?
Where is the glossary in this book?


Be creative and build a Kwanzaa drum of your own*.

*"My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa" by Lisa Bullard, illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo. Text copyright © 2019 by Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Lerner Publications™, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this text excerpt may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.


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