Christmas Literature in the Classroom

The festive season is the perfect time to open a good book and get reading. Reading is an activity bursting with educational benefits as well as contributing to wellbeing. For children, reading regularly boosts educational attainment. It helps children’s vocabulary banks broaden, supports an understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar and helps to develop imagination and creativity. For many of us, reading is a much-loved hobby which evokes feelings of happiness and pleasure. 

In the classroom, whole class reading is an important part of a child’s education and development. There are plenty of Christmas tales suitable to read with your classes which will warm the heart and deliver important Christmas messages, encapsulating the spirit of the season. 

We have compiled a selection of some fantastically festive books for children!

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

This classic novel is jam packed with meaningful lessons and rules to live by. As well as being a great opportunity for Upper Ks2 and upwards to explore rich & descriptive language, A Christmas Carol beautifully encapsulates the true meaning of Christmas and sets an example for us all; which is still just as relevant as it was in 1843 when first published. In summary, the story centres around Ebenezer Scrooge. He is predominantly a miserable and moody man who is unkind, greedy and lacking Christmas cheer. After being visited by 3 ghosts on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is transformed into a much kinder and gentler man after experiencing the consequences of his attitude and actions. He discovers the spirit of Christmas and learns to love and rejoice. 

The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg

The Polar Express is a treasured Christmas film which is a must-see over the festive period. But, the film is an adaptation of a story book written by Chris Van Allsburg. The story is centred around a boy who is losing his belief in Father Christmas. He is awoken by a mysterious train on Christmas Eve, which he boards. He is taken on a Christmas adventure alongside other children who are losing their belief in Santa. At the end of the magical journey, the boy sees Father Christmas in the flesh and his faith is restored. It is a story that truly captures the Christmas spirit and the magic Christmas brings. 

Father Christmas – Raymond Briggs

Father Christmas was first published in 1973! Despite being almost 50 years old, this seasonal story remains effortlessly timeless. It is a humorous tale which will bring a smile to the faces of adults and children alike. Father Christmas struggles to get himself out of bed following a delightful dream in which he is soaking up the summer sun. But, Father Christmas cannot go back to sleep because it is Christmas Eve; the most important date of the year! Follow Father Christmas as he journeys all over the world to deliver Christmas presents; but, be warned, it is not a smooth sailing journey and there are many smile-inducing bumps along the way. 

There’s An Elf in your Book – Tom Fletcher

An interactive Christmas tale written by the popular Mcfly frontman and Strictly Come Dancing star, Tom Fletcher! Young children will be delighted to discover there is an elf in their book! The little elf is on a mission to discover if the children have been good or bad this year. As you read the book, questions will be asked to determine if the children have been naughty or nice… but, beware, this little elf has some mischievous tricks up his sleeve. 

The Snowman – Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo is a prestigious children’s author with a vast array of beloved books under his belt. This Christmas tale was inspired by the Christmas classic The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. The classic story has been re-imagined to appeal to the new generation of young readers. The story follows a young boy called James who is enthralled by the appearance of snow one wintery morning. As snow blankets the ground, James dedicates a whole day to building the perfect snowman. But, overnight, magic sets in and the snowman comes alive. James and his snowman embark on an adventure and bump into someone very special along the way. Why not ask your class to create their own reimagined version of The Snowman? Where would they visit with the Snowman and who would they go to see?

The Miracle on Ebenezer Street – Catherine Doyle

Inspired by the classic novel A Christmas Carol, Catherine Doyle’s Christmas tale is all about Christmas, family and magic. George discovers Marley’s Curiosity Shop and unearths a very special snow globe in the shop. George’s Dad, who resembles Ebenezer Scrooge in temperament, is taken on an adventure with his son. It is a magical quest that fills George with the hope that he can bring the joy of Christmas back into their home.

Where Snow Angels Go – Maggie O’Farrell

Hailed as a contemporary fairy tale, Maggie O’Farrell’s magical story is all about the courage of one small girl intertwined with a snowy miracle. The young girl, Sylvie, awakens unexpectedly in the night and sees a pair of enormous, white wings before her. The wings belong to a snow angel who is there to care for Sylvie, as she is very unwell. Thankfully, Sylvie recovers from her illness. Upon recovering, she is eager to see the snow angel once more. After all, he saved her life and she has many things to tell him. Will the snow angel come back to see Sylvie again? Why not pause the story after Sylvie recovers and ask the children to write a letter to the snow angel as Sylvie? What would Sylvie say to him?

If you are eager to embrace the Christmas spirit but are feeling drained, busy or stressed, then our blog ‘Festive Activities to Support Wellbeing’ will help you to prioritise your wellbeing and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. 

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