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December Holidays Lesson: Unwrapping Reading


  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
  • Social Studies


  • PreK
  • K-2
  • 3-5

Brief Description

Guest readers rip off the holiday wrapping paper and read aloud the book inside!


Students will

  • listen as adult readers share their joy of reading.
  • listen to a variety of literature.
  • keep a reading journal (optional).


holiday, December, Christmas, read aloud, reading, children's books, surprise

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

Preparing for the Lesson
You need to plan ahead for this activity. Wrap in colorful holiday wrapping paper a variety of books you know your students will love. For younger students wrap up picture books and read-alouds. For older students, wrap up biographies, chapter books, and other books.

You also need to line up guest readers. Guest readers might include the principal, the mayor of the town, a student's parent, the librarian from the town library, the doctor...

Note: Guest readers also might pre-select their personal favorite books to share with your students. (They might even purchase the book and leave it behind as an addition to the classroom library.) If the books have been pre-selected, you need to keep a record of the holiday paper you wrapped each book on; that way, the guest reader is sure to unwrap his/her book.

The Lesson
Each day, or every other day, a guest reader appears in the classroom, takes a wrapped book, unwraps it, and reads aloud the book.

  • If the reader is reading to young children, he or she might read the entire book.
  • If the reader is reading to older students, he or she might read just one chapter of the book; reading that chapter might motivate students in the classroom to check out and read the entire book.

Extending the Lesson

  • Reading log. Students might keep a log of classroom visitors and the books they read. If the readers select their personal favorite books, students might record each reader's reasons for choosing a particular book.
  • Community service. To carry the "unwrapping reading" idea one step further, students could bring in from home a gently read book or two. The books could be wrapped and sent to a nearby children's home or hospital. (Some facility administrators might request unwrapped books, so be sure to check in advance.)


When all guest readers have come and gone, ask each student to write a paragraph about the 1) the book a guest reader read that the child most wants to read or 2) their favorite guest-read book.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies

Don't miss dozens of additional activities for teaching about the December holidays on Education World's December Holidays archive page.

Click here to return to this week's "Unwrap Five Holiday Lessons" lesson plan page.


Updated 11/17/2011