Saturday, December 1, 2012

Clifford's Christmas by Norman Bridwell - Teaching Ideas

Clifford's Christmas starts on Thanksgiving with a Thanksgiving Day parade. Emily Elizabeth and Clifford do many things together before Christmas, they build snowmen, play ice hockey, hang Clifford's stocking and pick out a Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve, Santa makes a stop on Clifford's roof but he can't find the chimney! Santa accidentally steps off the roof and lands right in Clifford's stocking. Clifford helps Santa back into his sleigh and sees him off. The next morning Clifford and Emily Elizabeth open their presents.

This book doesn't actually have much substance, but it is a great "just right" holiday book for your students. Listed below are some reading skills and strategies that you could use to create a meaningful holiday activity for your students to practice, or you can just download the sequencing activity I created...for FREE!

Reading level: 1.7
Theme: Christmas
Genre: holiday fiction

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Author’s point of view – 1st person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • Author’s purpose – entertain {evidence} Clifford is a huge red dog. Clifford makes a snowdog. Santa falls into Clifford’s huge stocking. All these things are silly and make an entertaining story.
  • Cause and effect – Why did the kids make a snowman? Because it just snowed. How come the ice broke? Because Clifford tried to play ice hockey with the kids. How come the Christmas tree that Clifford picked out wouldn’t fit in the house? Because it was too big for the house. Why was Clifford surprised? Because he got a kiss when he woke up from is nap. Why did Clifford and Emily Elizabeth hang up Clifford’s stocking? Because it was Christmas Eve. Why was Santa walking around Clifford’s roof? Because he was looking for the chimney. Why was Santa in Clifford’s stocking? Because he fell into it.
  • Character analysis - describe Clifford {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Getting ready for Christmas. Getting a Christmas tree. Building a snowman. Playing hockey. Counting down the days to Christmas. Hanging your stocking.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} Clifford and Emily Elizabeth were getting ready for Christmas. {details} They got a Christmas tree. They hung Clifford’s stocking. Clifford and Emily Elizabeth made snowmen.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is going to be about? What kind of snowman do you think Clifford is going to make? Who do you think is going to kiss Clifford? What do you think is going to happen to Santa on Clifford’s roof?  What do you think Clifford will get for Christmas?
  • Sequencing – Clifford and Emily Elizabeth start celebrating Christmas at the Thanksgiving Day parade. After it snowed they made snowmen. Clifford broke the ice when he played hockey. Clifford picked out a Christmas tree. Clifford got kissed under the mistletoe. Emily Elizabeth hung up Clifford’s stocking. Santa fell into Clifford’s stocking. Clifford dumped Santa out of his stocking. Clifford put Santa back in his sleigh. Clifford opened his presents. 
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.

You can pick this up in either one of my stores!

Happy Holidays!


  1. I love any and all holiday books!! I think it is because some of my best holiday memories with my mom are reading by the fire! ;)

    1. Hi Kelley,
      I love holiday books too! What a great memory! Enjoy your holiday :)


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

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