Snowbear’s Christmas Countdown by Theresa Smythe is another great book I like to use around this time of the year. The pictures in this book are fabulous and the simple language used helps promote comprehension of the story. The book has one sentence to describe what Snowbear does each day from December 1st to the 25th. The book uses lots of different verbs and holiday vocabulary concepts which is perfect for our students. I created some FREE visuals and questions to pair with the book. I did not create a visual for each day because that would be a few too many pictures. I tried to create a picture to pair with every other day. Overall there are 16 pictures to pair with the book.
After you print and laminate the book pictures you can read through the book and see where each picture should go before you read the story with your students. As you read the book with your students stop and ask questions. Have your student place the corresponding picture to the page in the book (just add some hard Velcro in the book and soft Velcro on the back of the pictures). For example, as I read the first page I ask the student “what did Snowbear write?” This page doesn’t have a corresponding picture but the students still can still answer the question either verbally or by pointing to the picture of the list in the book. After I read the second page I ask “what did Snowbear take out of the closet?” For that page the student can find the picture of the “hat and scarf” and place it in the book.
On the 3rd day, Snowbear strung lights along the roof. The student can find the picture of the lights and attach it to the book. You can have the students name the different color lights and talk about what it means to “string” lights.
As I read this book I also like to work on those number concepts. Sometimes we count the days starting at 1 and count up to the page we are on and stop. We might count “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven” and talk about the 7th day. As we look at the snowman Snowbear built I have the students find the snowman’s eyes, noise, mouth, etc.
There are so many different things Snowbear does each day. We talk about what it means to have a “bellyache” from eating too much candy. We might even act out what that might look like!
Either while you are reading the book or after you finish the book, depending on your students’ skill level you can answer either the visual or written “wh” questions. There are 16 questions to pair with the book. Sometime with my lower students, we complete the visual questions as we read the book. We add the picture to the page in the book and then we circle the answer on our page. Sometime I even fold the question sheet over so the students can only focus on one questions at a time. Other groups, I wait to the end of the story and we try to answer all the questions. We look back in the book if we need help answering the questions and remembering all the details.
If you are interested in a FREE copy of the book companion click the link – Snowbear’s Christmas Countdown. Enjoy!!!