A New Improved Santa by Patricia Rae Wolff is a story about staying true to yourself and makes a great read aloud near Christmas. Here are some activities and ideas for using this book in your classroom!
All About A New Improved Santa
If you aren’t familiar with the story, Santa is ready to make some changes for his New Year’s resolution! But do kids really want a slimmer, hipper, cyber Santa? He seems to think so, and gets to work on his resolution to slim down, pump-up and become more fashion forward. Mrs. Claus patiently watches Santa go through his mid-life crisis while preparing the North Pole for a traditional holiday. His new look isn’t exactly a hit and on Christmas Eve when he “climbs into his old-fashioned sleigh, dressed in his old-fashioned way”, he’s learned a valuable lesson. A new improved Santa is one who is true to himself and to the spirit of Christmas.
If you don’t have a copy of this story in your school or classroom library, you can find it on Amazon.
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A New Improved Santa Comprehension Activities
This story goes into detail about the changes Santa makes each month of the year. I thought it would be fun to capitalize on this with a sequencing cut and paste activity.
I have also included a variety of comprehension activities to choose from. There are comprehension question cards and matching written response pages. There are graphic organizers for both a retell and summary. My students always love to spin and retell the story elements because it feels more like a game!
A New Improved Santa Craft and Writing
Since my students are very familiar with writing friendly letters at this point of the year, I thought it would be fun to keep things fresh and exciting. We pretend we are the reindeer and elves and brainstorm all of the things we love about Santa. Then we compare how Santa was acting in the story. After writing a letter, students can add either an elf craft or reindeer craft to their letters.
A New Improved Santa Vocabulary
For vocabulary practice, I like to print up the cards and put them in a jar. We play a game called Santa Charades. After we’ve studied and practiced the words, I let students come to the front of the room. They can either act out the word or give clues and the other students have to guess the word.
You can find all of these activities here: