The Best Books to Read with Your Class this Christmas
Cold days and cosy classrooms make December one of the best months for reading with your pupils. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite Christmas books, for a range of ages and abilities, to help you make Christmas even more special for your class.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss
Kids love Dr. Seuss’ books with their poetic, comedic style and vivid illustrations, and no-where is this more apparent than in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The grumpy Grinch tries to ruin Christmas in Whoville by stealing all of the town’s Christmas presents, but will the festive-minded Whos let the Grinch spoil their fun? Will the Grinch stay grouchy? With the message that there is more to Christmas than presents, Dr. Seuss creates a colourful and exciting tale for your class to read this term.
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Perhaps it’s a little long to read the whole book with your class, however, the episodic nature of Dickens’ writing makes A Christmas Carol perfect for dipping into with older and more advanced readers. Most pupils will be aware of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, whether from one of the many film versions (A Muppet Christmas Carol is a personal favourite) or from the book itself. The book gives us a perfect viewpoint to see how Christmas traditions, as well as society as a whole, has changed over the past 175 years.
The Christmasaurus – Tom Fletcher
Published last year to rave reviews, former McFly singer, Tom Fletcher’s Christmas tale has a huge heart and covers many important themes. Following the exciting story of disabled William and a dinosaur that meet on Christmas Eve, The Christmasaurus proves that anyone can have an adventure. Whilst dealing with heavy subjects such as the loss of a parent, the book also delivers lots of laughter, fun and excitement – we think you’ll enjoy this one just as much as your pupils.
Father Christmas – Raymond Briggs
Whilst The Snowman is possibly the more famous of Raymond Briggs’ yuletide books, Father Christmas, is equally as wonderful. Kids will love seeing their favourite festive figure as he goes on holiday and then gets ready for Christmas, even if he is a little bit grumpier than expected. Great for reading aloud, or one-on-one with your pupils, the illustrations still look as beautiful now as they did when they first appeared in 1973. A short 25 minute film version is also available to buy on DVD, a perfect length for fitting into a lesson.
The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet and Allen Ahlberg
This fantastic book is great for getting younger pupils to engage with their reading. The story follows the Jolly Postman as he delivers Christmas greetings and presents to and from a wide range of fairy-tale characters, including Little Red Riding Hood and Baby Bear. Your class will love taking the miniature letters from their envelopes, reading postcards and doing Christmas puzzles. In an age of using technology to communicate, this is a great way to remind kids of the magic of letter writing. Why not get your pupils to write their own Christmas letters to their favourite fictional characters?
Room for a Little One – Martin Waddell
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of snowflakes and Santa Claus, but sometimes it’s good to return to the original story of Christmas. For a new take on the traditional Nativity story, you probably can’t do better than this lovely tale. Written from the perspective of the animals present at the birth of the baby Jesus, the beautiful illustrations, and a warm narrative, make this a welcome and inviting update on the ultimate story of Christmas. You could even use it as the basis for your school’s next production of the Nativity.
T’was The Night Before Christmas – Clement C. Moore
Clement C. Moore’s classic poem T’was the Night Before Christmas is still a favourite across the generations today, despite being nearly 200 years old. Why not read the poem aloud with your class? We’ve put a copy of the poem here for you, as well as some questions to help your pupils to engage with the text.
Have we missed your Christmas favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.
Did you know that we sell Christmas gifts for pupils and teachers? Click here to see the range.