How Santa Got His Job

Hey hey everybody! It's Megan from I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
How Santa Got His Job is one of my favorite Christmas books ever.  I love this book and love this lesson connecting it to writing.
The first day, I read the book to them.  Then we brainstorm a list of ideas to put in a help wanted ad for Santa.  I put it on an anchor chart divided into three sections: Requirements, Job Description, and Benefits.

I explain that requirements are the things that already need to be true about you-character traits, skills, etc.  Job description is the actual work you will be doing, and benefits are what you get in return for your hard work.  That maybe financial or material items or things like love and respect.  I usually run through verbally what this might look like for a teacher to help them understand.  After we brainstorm together, they work independently at their desk brainstorming for a help wanted ad for an elf.  
The second day, I return to the anchor chart.  We use that to turn our ideas into sentences.  This is the perfect time to teach about commas in a series and varying beginnings.  Otherwise, you'll get help wanted ads that sound like this:

You must make toys.  You must wrap toys.  You must feed the reindeer.  You must load the sleigh.

Um, yikes.  We talk about how boring that would sound if someone spoke that way, so we certainly don't want to write that way.  I also tell them if they do that, the have not done any work.  Their work yesterday was to think of ideas.  Their work that day is to turn those ideas into interesting sentences.  I check in with each kid when they're finished, so it gives me a chance for a one on one mini lesson if necessary. 
On the third day, I give them a sheet of construction paper, and they make their final copy.  Since you checked in with everyone the day before, they're good to go.  And maybe you can grade a stack of papers or something.  Wouldn't that be nice?  
I have taught this lesson for more than 10 years, but somehow I don't have a picture of the final copies. Why? Why? Why?  I did find this from one year.  It shows what we brainstormed for Santa.
Anyway, you can download the planning sheet here.  I copy enough for everyone to have two.  We use it the first day to brainstorm, and use a new one the next day to write.

Do you have any favorite holiday writing lessons?

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