That's Not Santa by Leonard Kessler - Teaching Ideas

Santa wakes on December 24th to find that his red suit is missing. He looks high and he looks low and cannot find it. Santa must have something to wear because he needs to deliver Christmas presents. Santa decides to go to the attic to find something suitable to wear tonight as he delivers all the presents. Santa comes down wearing a complete cowboy outfit ready to go, but all the elves look and him and say "That's not Santa". Santa continues trying on different outfits hoping for a suitable one, but the elves don't like any of them. Finally, Mrs. Claus comes home and gives Santa his Christmas gift. When he unwraps it, he finds a brand new red suit. Now Santa is ready to go!

Listed below are the reading skills and strategies you can use to help you create a meaningful activity to go with this book after your students read it. Or, you can use the sequencing activity I created below.

Reading level: 1.5
Theme/subject: Christmas
Genre: Holiday

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is going to be about. I wonder who is trying to be Santa. {possible questions during} I wonder where Santa’s suit is. I wonder if Santa will ever find his suit. I wonder what Santa will where if he doesn’t find his suit. {possible questions after} I wonder if Mrs. Claus has ever gone with Santa before.  **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – Third person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this (his, he, Santa).
  • Author's purpose – entertain {evidence} Santa looked silly wearing all those different costumes. It is funny that Santa wants to go out in his underwear.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Santa woke up and couldn’t find his red suit. {most important event from middle} Santa went to the attic and found some clothes to wear. {most important event from end} Mrs. Claus gave Santa a Christmas present that was a new suit.
  • Cause and effect – Why was it time for Santa to put on the red suit? Because it was the day before Christmas. Why does Santa look under his bed? Because he is looking for his red suit. How come the elves tell Santa he can’t wear the cowboy clothes? Because that is not what Santa is supposed to wear. How come Santa thinks he is ready to go? Because he is wearing his red underwear. Why won’t Mrs. Claus let Santa go out in his underwear? Because she says he will catch a cold.  How come Mrs. Claus is going with Santa? Because she has a new red suit too.
  • Character analysis - describe Santa. {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Classify & categorize – Classify clothes: categorize clothes Santa should wear and clothes he should not wear.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Not being able to find something you need. Getting a present of something you really need or want.
  • Drawing conclusions & inference – Why does Santa think that his underwear would be good enough to go out and deliver presents? {text clues} Santa’s underwear was red. {what I know} Santa wears a red suit. {my conclusion} Since Santa could not find his red suit and nothing else looked like Santa, he thought his underwear would be good enough.
  • Fact & opinion{fact} Santa could not find his Santa suit. The book starts on December 24th. Santa put on a cowboy outfit. Santa wanted to wear his underwear to deliver presents. Mrs. Claus went with Santa.  {opinion} Santa slept in too long. Santa looked good in his cowboy outfit. Santa would have been warm enough in his underwear.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} The story is mostly about Santa not being able to find his red suit. {details} Santa looked under his bed. Santa put on a cowboy outfit when he couldn’t find his red suit. Mrs. Claus got Santa a new red suit.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when Mrs. Claus gives Santa a Christmas present.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is going to be about? Who do you think is trying to be Santa? What do you think Santa will come down dressed in? Do you think Santa will find his suit? Where do you think Santa will find his suit?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} Santa cannot find his red suit. {solution} Santa tries on other clothes to wear instead of his red suit.
  • Sequencing - Santa wakes up and can’t find his red suit. Santa looks under the bed. Santa goes to the attic and puts on a cowboy outfit. Santa puts on a pirate outfit. Santa tries on a joker suit. Santa then tries on firefighter clothes and then a baseball uniform. Santa decides to wear his red underwear. Mrs. Claus gives Santa a Christmas present. Santa gets a new red suit. Santa and Mrs. Claus deliver presents together.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – Santa tried on all different clothes to wear when he couldn’t find his red suit. Do you think it would be all right for Santa to wear something other than his red suit to deliver presents? Why or why not?
  • Summarize - {someone} Santa {needed} needed to get ready to deliver presents {but} but he couldn’t find his red suit {so} he went to the attic to try on different outfits. Mrs. Claus {finally} finally came home and gave Santa a new red suit.
  • Visualize – Santa could not find his red suit so he went to the attic and found different outfits to wear instead. If you were going to give Santa some clothes to wear, what would it be?

Happy planning!

No comments

Thoughts and comments are always welcome!