Writing a letter to Santa is perhaps the best gift given to teachers of beginning or reluctant writers. The Christmas wish list is a highly motivating ‘real purpose’ reason to write!
It’s all about The List (and the cards – remember the cards!)
When you think back to your own childhood, when were you most motivated to put the time and effort into writing someone a letter? For my siblings and I, it usually fell on the same weekend as the Santa Claus parade and involved battles over holiday catalogs. These are the teachable moments that educators and parents LIVE for! Natural motivation!
Kids also get joy from giving. Tis the season for cards, traditionally. Stock the writing center and let kids enjoy creating!
Any form of communication in print, is writing!
Kids are excited about Christmas. Let the enthusiasm fuel their efforts to communicate their Christmas wishes for themselves and others at whatever stage they are at.
Consider the possibilities:
- cutting and pasting items from flyers to create a list for Santa, perhaps adding his/her name
- folding a dried painting in half to turn into a holiday card, and pasting or tracing a message inside
- doing a project with Reading Buddies‘ assistance
- Check out Christmas Literacy Fun on Pinterest for loads of amazing ideas!
Teaching K-2, but writing skills and independence all over the map?
‘Writing’ Santa letters can be easy when everyone has what they need!
These are a few examples of how a piece of writing can be adjusted to various ‘just-right’ levels for the range of writing skills that might be found in a kindergarten or early primary classroom. I have recently added a second letter (to Mrs. Claus) to what was originally just differentiated Santa Letters. Updated images coming soon!
Of course, this letter-writing business a little old-fashioned when you could just email Santa. It’s all writing, and you’ll never hear “Why do we have to learn how to do this?” They know it’s worth their while.