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A Christmas Literacy Activity for Preschoolers - Toddler Edition!

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

As a literacy teacher at my preschool, I have to admit that I was terrified heading into the 2's classrooms on my first day of lessons! How was I going to keep these babies engaged in a literacy lesson for 20 minutes? Boy, was I wrong to have those feelings! The children are my absolute favorite. They rush to the carpet when they see me at the door, ready to soak up everything that I am saying! Watching their sweet will faces so engaged is really one of the highlights of my day! Creating lesson plans and activities that incorporate intentional literacy instruction is easy and so important, no matter what the age! I hope that you can use this lesson in your own classroom or home!


Does It Belong on a Tree?

Vocabulary Building Lesson Plan

Read Aloud

Book: A Merry Bunny Christmas by Grosset & Dunlap

o Before reading, discuss Christmas. Talk about what fun it is to put up a tree and all the things that you hang on the tree. Ask children if they have a favorite ornament at home.

o During reading, discuss the silly things that Max tries to hang on the tree. Ask children to chime in on if the object belongs on the tree or not. Ask for predictions – what object do we think Max will have next?

o After reading, discuss the silly objects that were put on the tree. Ask the children to recall specific items that do and don’t belong on the tree. Ask, what would you put on a tree?


Does It Go on a Tree? Picture Cards (CLICK FOR FREE RESOURCE)

o Hang a large paper Christmas tree on the wall, cut out objects from resource above, and have tape ready to place on the back of objects.

o Before the activity, practice positional words with children using a stuffed animal and chair. Move the animal behind, above, under, and in front of the chair. As you are moving it, have the children place their hands in the proper position and repeat the position aloud. Make the connection to putting objects on a tree.

o Practice vocabulary words from the story by pointing and saying words, then asking children to repeat the words.

o Next, pass out a picture card to each child. One by one, have the children come to the front and say the name of the object. Next, discuss, does it belong on a tree? If yes, (ornaments, star, presents), have the child say yes and tape it on the tree. If not, place it in the "does not go on the tree" section.

o Reference the positional words as the children are completing the activity. Example: The star in on top of the tree. The presents are under the tree.

o Continue until all children have participated and the objects are on the tree, or in the pile of “does not belong on a tree.”


Ring the Bell (Click to access!)

o Pass out bells to all students.

o Continue to practice positional words using the song and bells!


Extension: Positional Words

o Have children go to their chairs.

o Pass out a stuffed animal to each child.

o Call out a positional word and have each child move his/her stuffed animal around the chair.


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Who is Moving Little Minds?

Moving Little Minds provides early literacy consulting, training, materials, and services. Our goal is to educate teachers and parents about the importance of early literacy through engaging, research-based practices, trainings, and materials.

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