‘Tis the Season: Picture Book Fun

It’s December! Which means it’s time for my picture book advent activity! My 5th graders absolutely loved it last year, so starting on December 1st, I began the second annual Countdown to Holiday Break with Picture Books.


December Picture Book Activity – Students Open One Book Each Day

The excitement around books and reading during this month is exhilarating. Every student, yes every student, is eager to gather on the carpet after lunch. The excitement heightens as one of their classmates unwraps the book, and the enthusiasm sticks around through the next day when it’s time to open our next one. In 5th grade, we’re able to have great book talks about each story, share thoughts, opinions, or theories about the book, and draw connections to our learning in Reading and Writing. End point: it’s a valuable and fun experience for all.

I’m thrilled with my book list this year. Here it is, in order.

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  1. What Do You Do With An Idea? – By Kobi Yamada
  2. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole – By Mac Barnett
  3. Nightsong – By Ari Berk
  4. The Most Magnificent Thing – By Ashley Spires
  5. Two Bad Ants – By Chris Van Allsburg
  6. The Day the Crayons Quit – By Drew Daywalt
  7. Each Kindness – By Jacqueline Woodson
  8. Leonardo the Terrible Monster – By Mo Willems
  9. Bad Day at Riverbend – By Chris Van Allsburg
  10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – By Judith Viorst
  11. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick – By Chris Van Allsburg
  12. A Boy Named Beckoning – By Gina Capaldi
  13. Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla – By Katherine Applegate
  14. Henry’s Freedom Box – By Ellen Levine
  15. The Nightmare Before Christmas – By Tim Burton
  16. Bonus: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – By Dr. Seuss (We invite our Junior Kindergarten buddies to the classroom to enjoy this book with us.)

Last year, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, The Day the Crayons Quit and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick were class favorites – I ask my students to vote for their favorite at the end of each week. It’ll be interesting to see if the favorites are the same this year. I already know they are crazy about Sam and Dave Dig a Hole; they’ll be voting on their favorite from Week 1 tomorrow.

Last year, I wrote about Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Nightsong. Click the links to read my previous posts. I’ll be posting about a few more books this week as well.

Do you have a favorite picture book that you like to share with your upper elementary class? I’d love to hear what it is!

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