The countdown to holiday break is on… which means the challenge of keeping students engaged is in full effect! One of my favorite ways to keep student engagement high is with these interactive all about reindeer activities and craft.
These reindeer activities can be completed whole group or as a center. We typically aim to complete one or two pages per day in our interactive reindeer shape book.
At the end of the week, students will have an entire reindeer shaped book containing all sorts of facts about reindeer. It’s the perfect way to reinforce what they’ve learned and showcase their newfound knowledge!
Reindeer Activities for Literacy
To kick off our reindeer study, I start with a KWL anchor chart. It is always so much fun to hear what students know (or think they know) about reindeer.
To activate prior knowledge, we start by completing the K section on day one. On day two, we add all of our wonders. I like to use sticky notes to record their responses, but writing them directly on your anchor chart works great as well.
Once we fill out the K” and W of our KWL chart, we dive into reading our all about reindeer nonfiction text.
Not only is this text great for introducing students to reindeer facts, but it is also great for exposing students to nonfiction text features. Students learn about the life cycle of a reindeer, parts of a reindeer, diet of a reindeer, habitat of a reindeer and more with bold words, diagrams, maps, labels, captions, and a picture glossary.
After reading the nonfiction text and exploring other nonfiction books about reindeer, we gather as a whole group to complete the L section of our KWL chart. This is a great time to clear up any misconceptions and to reflect on what we have learned.
Following our whole group discussion, I have students write three facts about reindeer.
Later in the week, we work through our Can, Have, Are chart as a whole group. Then, students complete their individual page during centers.
Some other ways we incorporate literacy is with this emergent reader and matching pocket chart sentences.
As we read our emergent reader, we locate the words we have already learned.
Last, we mix and fix these same sentences in a pocket chart. Students, then, practice these independently throughout the week at our pocket chart center.
We also label our reindeer with beginning sounds.
Some students take it a step further by labeling the reindeer with the full word, using the diagram poster as a guide to support their spelling.
Reindeer Activities for Science
I love to incorporate science into our reindeer activities by exploring the life cycle of a reindeer, their habitat, diet, and predators.
First, we carefully focus on the key vocabulary words we are learning.
Next, we revisit our nonfiction text and use the table of contents to locate the page that teaches us all about the reindeer life cycle. We use the images in the book to help guide us as we use the picture cards to create a life cycle anchor chart. Then, the students cut, glue, and color the life cycle of a reindeer in their interactive shape book.
After completing the life cycle, we complete a whole class pocket chart activity where we sort what food reindeers do and do not eat.
Then, the students cut, sort, color, and glue their individual reindeer diet sheet.
We also complete a simple reindeer habitat page (not shown), along with a predators of a reindeer page where students color which animals are predators of reindeer.
Reindeer Activities for Math
As we are learning all about reindeer, we also complete a variety of interactive math activities.
First, the students practice number recognition, as they learn about the fur on a reindeer, with this color by number reindeer activity. This is perfect for independent math centers or even morning work the following day.
To practice addition, we solve a reindeer story problem. Independently, students model the story problem and write the number sentence to match the herd of reindeer.
Last, we compare the height of a reindeer to a person.
Reindeer Activities for Social Studies
To integrate social studies into our thematic reindeer activities, we discuss the location of reindeer. Reindeer live in the Northern Hemisphere. This includes the North Pole and the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia.
Students color, cut, and glue six reindeer in the Northern Hemisphere on their “Location of a Reindeer” page.
Reindeer Shape Book Craft
At the end of our reindeer unit, the students make a reindeer craft for the cover of their book. They add ears, antlers, a tuft of hair, and a nose.
Then, we assemble all of the pages to create a handy reindeer shaped book containing all sorts of facts about reindeer. This is a great way to display and solidify our learning!
More Holiday Activities
Celebrate the holidays with these classroom Christmas party ideas!
Your students may also enjoy these FREE “Feed the Reindeer” math games and centers!
Add these December morning tubs to work on fine motor skills!
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