Maria has taught University level psychology and mathematics courses for over 20 years. They have a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Arts in Human Factors Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Flagler College.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
What a wonderful, whimsical story is Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The message of love and unity is strong throughout the book. The reaction of the Whos on Christmas morning is so contrary to present day cultural standard as to almost be confronting to the audience. For this reason, this book is great for review by both young and more mature students.
This lesson offers activities and games designed for a wide age range of students. The activities are organized based on level of activity and age appropriateness. Enjoy taking a deeper look at this classic Christmas story with these activities.
These games are designed to get your students up and moving. You may enjoy using these activities on a day near the holidays when students begin to get restless. The activities are appropriate for any age group, but may need to be tweaked for very young students.
The Grinch Is It
- Materials: You will need a few boxes, wrapped as presents.
- Preparation: None
- Instructions: Pile the presents in the middle of the room. Choose a student to be the Grinch; the rest of the students will be Whos. All the Whos should lay down around the pile of presents and close their eyes (pretending to be asleep). The Grinch must try to sneak to the middle of the Whos and steal the presents. If the Grinch touches a Who and wakes him/her up, that Who has caught the Grinch and gets to switch roles.
Act it Out
- Materials: Multiple scripts depending on how detailed you'd like the play to be.
- Preparation: Costumes if you wish.
- Instructions: This activity can be as in depth or casual as you wish to make it. The most formal activity is to assign roles to students with the goal of actually performing a play based on the book. If you don't have the time to conduct an activity this detailed, you can assign small scenes to groups of students to act out in front of the whole class.
These quiet activities are designed for students to complete on their own, in their own work space. They can fit into standing curriculum outcomes due to the nature of the product of each activity. All are able to be adjusted to suit all age groups and abilities.
- Materials: Large art paper per student.
- Preparation: Have students review the sections of the book that deal with the possible presents expected by the Whos.
- Instructions: Tell the students that they are being hired to design a new toy that would appeal to the Who children. They should include some planning notes on the back of their paper and then draw a detailed, annotated design of their toy. Don't forget to name it!
What's for Dinner?
- Materials: none
- Preparation: Have students review the closing Who feast.
- Instructions: Ask students to think of their own families and friends. What would they normally have for a special holiday feast? What would they wish to have? Ask students to create a detailed menu for their own feast. Older students may be asked to include ingredient lists and recipes to make it more challenging.
Consider the Meaning
- Materials: none
- Preparation: Read the book to the class or have students read it quietly.
- Instructions: Ask students to consider the messages in the book. What is the meaning of the book? What purpose did Dr. Seuss serve in writing it? Younger students may need a writing prompt such as '' How the Grinch Stole Christmas tells us that Christmas is about _____.'' Older students may be asked to write an essay detailing all the messages they find in the book.
For the Older Students
These activities are designed for older students due to their more intense academic requirements. These may be used as formal writing assignments, or just fun casual activities to help focus students during those impatient days just before holiday breaks. No materials are needed for these activities. Preparation for the activities just requires that students have read the book.
- Instructions: Encourage students to consider the order of events in the story. How would the story be different if it were real? Is there any scenario in which the ending of the story would be the same if the events were to happen in our world? Have students re-write the story as if it were to happen in today's time with human characters instead of made up characters.
- Instructions: Have students conduct character analyses on the Grinch, his dog, Mindy Loo Who, or the Whos as a whole. Encourage students to really dig deep into the characters to explain why the behave and react the way they do.
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