Frosty vs. Rudolph
I love Christmas! The students’ excitement is magical
Early last year as I was listening to the requirements of our writing assessment . . . . read two informational texts . . . . compare and contrast . . . . write a narrative based on the texts . . . . I decided that I would use the magic of Christmas to practice for the test. After all, half the battle of students performing well on this type of assessment is to build up confidence levels. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to compare the stories behind Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman?” I began researching. Wow! I hit a gold mine. I was surprised to discover that the story behind Rudolph is heartwarming, and there is definitely a connection between the two back stories.
Last Christmas, I planned a unit in which students researched, created organizers, and wrote beautiful papers. The project was so successful that I knew it would become a yearly tradition. Then this year came along. We’ve already missed school for snow, our school decided to take the first week of December for testing, and several field trips were planned. With not enough time to complete the full project, [I wasn’t going to give it up.] I adapted it [Isn’t that what teachers do?] to fit the limited time frame.
I decided to work completely backwards. Instead of students reading informational texts, then turning them into a narrative, I took the facts and created the narrative. I then used these narratives to cover other skills.
The two stories were place in a “turn around upside down book.” The readability levels of the stories are approximately late third/early fourth grade reading levels. At the end of each story are additional facts which are a little higher reading level. Here’s what the finished product looks like.
You may download this book for free at Teachers Pay Teachers.
During the first week of this two week unit, students read the story of Rudolph.
Students read the story and completed a number of activities including:
- Created a hand print reindeer.
(Click the image above to download a copy of the decorative writing paper.)
- Wrote a summary of the story.
- Practiced with the figurative language in the story.
- Created a Problem and Solution Chain
During the second week on the unit we will focus on the story of Frosty. Here are a few activities I have planned:
- Completing a Frosty vs. Rudolph Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the stories. This graphic organizer is included in the unit with the “Turn Around Upside Down Book.”
- Sorting Facts on an Anchor Chart
Since Rudolph and Frosty were the focus with my third graders, I decided to I would continue this same theme with my younger students. Here are a few materials I created for this: