Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ho Ho Ho! We're Writing Letters to Santa to get off Kris Kringle's Naughty List!

When your kids are bouncing off the walls, it's a good plan to have a few pieces of motivation to pull out of your hat! I must say, I missed out on The Elf on the Shelf this year! BUT, I had SOOOO much fun reading my students a letter from Santa Clause himself! Read on to find out how I was able to get my class completely silent without saying a single word and help my students produce some amazing opinion writing... Oh, the magic of Christmas!

As soon as class started, I was so excited to pull out an envelope addressed to me from the North Pole. Without saying a word, I held up the envelope and pulled out the letter. I slowly opened it, spilling out a large amount of red glitter. It was the red glitter that really made the letter seem legit! 
I read the letter silently, stopping to make silly dramatic faces that showed the emotion of shock!

Finally, a kiddo spoke up to say, "Is that a letter from Santa?"

I read the letter aloud to my students, making sure I was especially dramatic. Oh the horror to find out that my class was on the temporary naughty list! The class was in *shock* and so very worried! 

But, their teacher was there to save the day! I told them not to fear, this issue was now pushed to the top of my list of things to do for the day, besides math, haha! I let my kiddos know that while they're at art, I'll be busy working on getting the class prepared for writing our letters. 

I had students hugging and thanking me for allowing them to write letters during the day. It was the sweetest, most cutest, most precious thing ever! 

I went with my students' engagement and ran! This letter was all my kids could talk about! When we walked down the halls, they swore they saw an elf. They even "heard" elf voices in the walls. I had to stop myself from laughing when my kids were trying to guess which staff members were really elves who were reporting our class' behavior to the North Pole (their reasoning was hi.lar.ious). 

While my kids were in art, I quickly drew-up this anchor chart. The night before, I made a quick printable with the different parts of a letter and a little explanation of what they were. You can snag a FREEBIE of the Parts of a Friendly Letter printable {HERE}

I cut-out each of the parts of a letter and handed them to a few of my students on the "Nice List." Together, we went over the parts of a friendly letter and students placed their cards on the Santa anchor chart as a reminder of how we write a friendly letter. 

Now, it was time for students to write a friendly letter to Santa on their own. Their mission was to convince Santa that they should be on the "Nice List" and be removed from the temporary "Naughty List.

Students used examples of how they have been nice in school and at home. My goodness! Some kiddos were mighty convincing! Even my writers who struggle to think of ideas has a page-full of writing to Santa. 

Opinion writing at its finest! 

Did you have your students write letters to Santa?
How are you motivating your students to carry on these last few days?? I could use a few more ideas :)


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