Looking for free Christmas reading activities? Whether you would like to read out loud to your students or test their knowledge with writing prompts or passage questions, Piqosity has compiled several free Christmas reading activities that you can easily incorporate into your classroom.
We’ve also placed a special present under your internet-tree: Piqosity has created unique passage-based reading quiz questions using an excerpt from O.Henry’s The Gift of Magi expressly for this article! Test your knowledge (and the knowledge of your students) below!
Free Christmas Reading Activities & Writing Activities For Middle – High Schoolers
1. Novel Analysis – A Christmas Carol
The holiday season is a time for gathering and coziness, so what better way to do that in your classroom than with a holiday classic? The included printable here challenges students to dissect Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol by identifying each aspect of storytelling. From the rising actions, the climax, and the falling actions afterward, students are challenged to intently listen to or read the story to fill out the chart.
To make the activity more inviting, consider having students bring pillows and blankets to class. They can snuggle up in their favorite cozy items while they listen to you read this timeless classic to them. Your students may fill in the worksheet while you read or you can have them complete it afterwards.
Created and made available for free download by Created for Learning.
2. Holiday Acrostic Poems
Acrostic poems are a wonderful reading activity for students of all ages and a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season while staying engaged academically. These holiday-themed acrostic poems are perfect for morning warm-ups in your middle and high school classrooms.
The printable activity comes with an empty word web to plan out their acrostic poem and offers a trickier challenge to get their poem to rhyme too. Your students may also choose from the four provided poem sheets (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Bodhi Day), or you can challenge them to create their own with a winter holiday-themed word. While they work, you can talk about all the different ways Christmas around the world is celebrated.
Created and made available for free download by Your Best Drafts.
3. Christmas Writing Prompts
Assigning Christmas writing prompts when your students first enter the classroom can help them warm up and get ready for the day’s lessons. The Christmas writing prompts we’ve linked to here may help you gather some inspiration or you could use your storytelling skills to create your own.
Depending on what you plan to go over that day, you can adapt the writing prompt to correlate with your lesson plan. For example, if you planned on reviewing forms of poetry or using figurative language appropriately, you could give them a prompt that challenges them to use what they’ve previously learned.
Created and made available for free use by The Holiday Zone.
Christmas Reading Comprehension Questions by Piqosity
Happy Holidays! O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” is one of the most influential texts related to the Christmas season and has been adapted in hundreds of ways by different forms of media. Its story is one that integrates part of the origin of Christmas, comedic irony, and themes about love and gift-giving.
Piqosity’s very own Sara Fetahagic has written the three comprehension questions following the passage to quiz you on your ELA skills, each question a bit more difficult than the last.
Excerpt From The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Reading Comprehension Questions
1. “He was as quiet as a hunting dog when it is near a bird,” (6-7) is a(n)
2. Which of the following is an inaccurate inference about Jim and Della?
A. Della’s hair was treasured by the couple.
B. The couple is poor.
C. Della’s gift for Jim was expensive.
D. The couple is upset by the situation.
3. What is the central theme of this passage?
A. The wisest gifts compliment something the person already has.
B. Money cannot buy happiness.
C. The wisest gift-givers would do anything to make the other person happy.
D. Buying Christmas presents last-minute is reckless.
Passage Answer Key and Explanations
A simile is a comparison of two things using like or as. This quote describes his quietness to be like the quietness of a hunting dog nearing a bird using “as”, so it is a “simile”.
Remember that the question asks for an inference that is NOT accurate; that is, something that is untrue based on the text. “Della’s hair was treasured by the couple” is accurate, based on Jim and Della’s discussion about her hair and the description of his gift for her, “Beautiful combs, with jewels, perfect for her beautiful hair,” (44-45), and, in the passage’s conclusion, the narrator reflects that her hair was the most valuable thing she owned, “…here I have told you the story of two children who were not wise. Each sold the most valuable thing he owned in order to buy a gift for the other,” (72-74).
“The couple is poor” is also accurate because they had to sell their possessions to afford a Christmas present for the other, and Jim “…needed a new coat and he had nothing to cover his cold hands,” (4-5). “Della’s gift for Jim was expensive” is also accurate because it was gold and she’d had to sell her hair to afford it.
“The couple is upset by the situation.” is inaccurate and, thus, the correct answer. This is because, at the end of the story, “Jim sat down and smiled. ‘Della,’ said he, ‘let’s put our Christmas gifts away and keep them a while. They’re too nice to use now. I sold the watch to get the money to buy the combs. And now I think we should have our dinner,’” (63-66) – as you can see, it leaves off at a happy ending, so to say that they are upset is inaccurate.
Looking at the conclusions of texts can often help you identify the main idea or theme, especially when it is clearly different from the rest of the text. The conclusion of this passage departs from the plot of the story and discusses the origin of Christmas gift-giving in order to give context to the main ideas of the story. It ends with the narrator saying, “And here I have told you the story of two children who were not wise. Each sold the most valuable thing he owned in order to buy a gift for the other. But…Of all who give gifts, these two were the most wise,” (71-76).
As part of the conclusion, this quote gestures towards the central theme – “Money cannot buy happiness” and “Buying Christmas presents last-minute is reckless” are both unrelated, so we can rule them out. The narrator emphasized that each sold their most valuable item to afford a gift for the other, making a sacrifice for the benefit of the other person. Because they didn’t discuss the purpose of this gift for the other person, this eliminates “The wisest gifts compliment something the person already has” and shows that “The wisest gift-givers would do anything to make the other person happy” is the correct answer choice.
Find More ELA Resources Like These at Piqosity!
The weather outside might be frightful, but we hope you found our free Christmas reading activities delightful! You can find more (non-Christmas-themed) ELA lessons with questions of similar difficulty levels in our ELA Course! This is a complete course available online through our app and can be purchased separately or received for free when bundled with our ISEE test prep courses!
For your convenience, we have also outlined lessons relevant to or at the same difficulty level as the above passages. These can be found below.
Related ELA Lessons by Piqosity
Lessons related to question #1:
Lessons related to question #2:
Lessons related to question #3:
If you enjoyed these free Christmas reading activities, don’t forget to check out our FREE Christmas math activities, too.
Thank You, and Merry Christmas from Piqosity!