Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.-Dr Seuss, from How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Ah…try telling that to a class of 5 year olds. Ever since the calendar turned to December, my students have been in Christmas mode. In Grinch-like fashion, I have been trying to ignore Christmas in the classroom…trying to hold out until next week which is our last week of school before winter break. My efforts have been met with stubborn resistance. They want to talk about, read about, sing about and write to Santa. My steely resolve was usurped…and with apologies to Dr. Seuss, every 5 year old in my class, the tall and the small, was singing and writing without any permission at all! Mrs. Meeuwse HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!
So, taking advantage of the teachable moment, I turned their desire to write to Santa into a lesson using Pages. We worked on our writing and then incorporated a drawing from our Whiteboard App. This activity was easier in small writing groups. I was able to work with each child on the mechanics of using Pages and how to import their artwork from their photo roll.
Sometimes we have to be willing to give into the frenzy and go with the flow. Their general excitement was channeled into a meaningful activity that kept them engaged. They were busily writing and talking with their partners about their writing. I have to admit, even my grinchy self enjoyed the activity. Knowing the fickleness of the 5 year old list for Santa, I imagine we will have several more opportunities to revise, refine, and edit these lists. This will provide me a few more opportunities to incorporate the writing process. Having the iPads, we were able to take an age-old activity of writing to Santa and move it into the digital age.
We have 7 more days until winter break. After all of the excitement, I will definitely be ready for “a long winter’s nap” or at the very least, some Who-pudding and some Who- roast beast.
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