Are you looking for the best holiday and Christmas read alouds for your elementary classroom? Talk about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year and more with these 20 fun books that will leave students begging for more.
The Polar Express
This classic tale about a train that picks kids up and brings them to the North Pole is sure to bring tears to not just your eyes, but warm hearts to your students do.
You can keep this simple with a read aloud summary, do an imaginative narrative writing project, or host a whole polar express day for your class. The opportunities are endless!
How to Catch an Elf
Looking for a fun and funny read aloud?
How to Catch an Elf is a funny and rhyming book about an elf on the loose that kids are trying to catch.
I love to pair this book with a writing project and craft about students catching their own elves. They can even create traps as well!
The Magic Dreidels
Honor other holidays in your classroom by reading aloud The Magic Dreidels.
This story is about a boy who finds two magic dreidels, one that spins out latkes, and one that spins out gelt.
The Magic Dreidels is a great way to discuss holiday traditions that might be different from our own.
My First Kwanzaa
Keep learning about new holidays by reading aloud My First Kwanzaa.
This story and the beautiful illustrations that come with it tell about what makes each of the 7 days of Kwanzaa special.
My First Kwanzaa is a great way to learn about Kwanzaa during a Holidays Around the World unit.
K is for Kwanzaa
This alphabet book is a GREAT way to keep students learning about Kwanzaa all month long.
I like to use this book by reading one letter aloud per day.
Students can make a personal dictionary using pictures to remind them of the new vocabulary they are learning.
Elf on the Shelf or Mensch on a Bench
Both Elf on the Shelf and Mensch on the Bench are adorable stories and a great way to keep students accountable in your classroom.
Please be sure that your district allows this activity before investing in these books.
If they do, move your elf or mensch around each day and have them help keep students on their best behavior during one of the hardest teaching months!
Snowmen at Work
Snowmen at Night is a classic, and Snowmen at Work is a sequel about snowmen working hard to take care of the town and run errands while we are sleeping.
Students will love this simple and quick read aloud.
Let their imaginations run wild with this fun seasonal book.
I Got the Christmas Spirit
Feel all the feels and experience all of the joy using this beautifully written and illustrated book about Christmas.
I Got the Christmas Spirit is a great book for pointing out using our senses and using onomatopoeia in our writing.
This book is an excellent read aloud to practice writing book summaries or to simply enjoy during the Christmas season.
Bubba Brayna wakes up a cute bear with the delicious smell of her holiday latkes. Her and the bear enjoy the Hanukkah season and traditions together, including playing dreidels, lighting the menorah, and eating yummy Jewish meals.
Hannukah Bear is a great read aloud to help students understand and appreciate Hanukkah.
I love to pair it with a simple craft and book summary.
The Night Before New Years
What do your students do the night before New Years?
The Night Before New Years talks about a family getting ready for the big new year that is about to come.
I love to read this story aloud and have students either practice writing a book summary or to set their own goals for the new year.
Moose was so wrapped up in making Christmas preparations perfect that he accidentally forgot something… the TREE!
Mooseltoe is a great way to discuss how sometimes things might not be how we wanted, but we can still make them perfect.
I love reading aloud this silly tale and then giving students time to do a quick summary of the story.
The Great Reindeer Rebellion
What happens when the reindeer feel overworked? Santa has to try out some new animals to pull the sleigh!
This funny book is about what Santa does when the reindeer are tired and need a break. In the end, Santa comes to an agreement with the reindeer and Christmas is saved.
I love letting students’ imaginations run wild with this story. I let them pick an animal that they think should pull Santa’s sleigh and draw a picture and write a story of what that might look like.
Have your students met Tacky the penguin?
If your students love Tacky, they will love this story too.
Tacky gets stuck in the chimney, dresses up like a tree and then saves the day for all of the penguins!
The Elves’ Night Before Christmas
We all know and love the classic story, Twas The Night Before Christmas, depicting our calm houses ready for Santa to arrive.
But The Elves’ Night Before Christmas looks a bit different.
This book is the PERFECT compare and contrast story for the Christmas season.
Santa’s Reindeer Games
How did Santa pick his 8 perfect reindeer to pull his sleigh? Of course.. he hosted Santa’s Reindeer Games!
This cute tale tells the story of reindeer competing for the highest honor.. pulling Santa’s sleigh.
Students will love this book and it is a great way to practice retelling stories as well.
How to Catch Santa
Will the perfect trap be enough to trap Santa? What does that trap look like?
Learn step by step how to trap the big man in this cute story, How to Catch Santa.
Students will love it and you will too. I love to pair the How to Catch Santa book with a fun craft and flip book where students get to write their own version of how they would catch Santa.
Santa’s Lost Reindeer
Santa is in trouble when he loses one of his reindeer!
Santa’s Lost Reindeer is a hilarious story that follows Santa on a search for a missing reindeer.
Your students are sure to be laughing along with this funny story and bright illustrations.
Happy Hanukkah Pout Pout Fish
Back to Hanukkah, Pout Pout fish and his friends are having 8 nights of fun in this fun tale, Happy Hanukkah Pout Pout Fish.
This quick and easy read aloud will make students smile and is a great refreshing way to review what students have learned about Hanukkah traditions.
Never EVER Race a Reindeer
Would YOU race a reindeer? It is probably not the best idea!
As students will find out, reindeer and very competitive and might even cheat to beat you!
Students will find the reindeer in Never EVER Race a Reindeer hilarious. It also brings up great topics to discuss with students about cheating and being fair.
The Littlest Reindeer
Dot is the tiniest reindeer, but wants more than anything to help Santa pull the sleigh.
She works really hard and is able to help save the day when the time comes.
This heartfelt story about persistence is the perfect addition to your Christmas read alouds.
Pair these Christmas read alouds with some great academic activities:
- December Writing Activities
- Christmas Read Aloud Activities
- Polar Express Writing
- How to Catch Santa Writing and Craft
- How to Catch an Elf Writing and Craft
What are your favorite holiday or Christmas read alouds? Drop them in the comments below so we can check it out!
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