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How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Lesson Plan For the Primary Grades

written by: Donna Cosmato • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 12/11/2013

Why does the Grinch try to steal Christmas? Does he succeed? Why does the Grinch hate Christmas? Children of all ages enjoy answering these and other questions while learning from Dr. Seuss' classic holiday story.

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    grinch Objective: This lesson plan teaches guided reading, sequencing, and language arts. Students learn vocabulary terms, and word recognition by using word wall strips and flash cards. The concept of prediction based on observation is introduced.

    Prior Knowledge: This lesson builds on vocabulary development, fluency, sequencing, and word recognition skills.

    Grade: Elementary

    Duration: 30 – 60 minutes

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    Supplies You Will Need

    Making a Grinch stick puppet is easy. Use the puppet as a visual teaching aid for this lesson. Print one copy of the Grinch mask printable available from Early Moments.com on card stock. Color appropriately, cut out, and glue a wooden paint stirrer to the back. Use this as a fun craft activity to reinforce the lesson. You will need these supplies:

    Grinch stick puppet

    Copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

    Hold the book so the class can see the front cover. Read the title while tracing the words with one finger, and then read the author’s name. Give the stick puppet to a student. Use breaks in reading, such as questions or pointing to illustrations, as an opportunity to move the puppet from student to student. Try to give all the children a chance to hold the puppet, unless class size is too large. While reading the story, use questions like:

    • Why did the Grinch hate Christmas?
    • What did he decide to do about the holiday?
    • What size was the Grinch’s heart at the beginning of the story?
    • Who is Max?
    • How did the Grinch try to stop Christmas?
    • Why did it not work?
    • How are some ways your family celebrates holidays?
    • How did the people of Whoville celebrate Christmas without trees, decorations, or presents?
    • What size was the Grinch's heart at the end of the story?
    • Why did it grow?

    The goal is to introduce vocabulary words, and teach a message of anti-consumerism.

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    Vocabulary Development and Teaching Method

    Here are some words from the story that students may not recognize or understand:

    • Mistletoe
    • Slithered
    • Sneer
    • Ramshackle
    • Chimney
    • Coo

    When one of these words appears in the story, stop and briefly define it. This makes the story clearer to the students and helps them recognize and retain the words.

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    Vocabulary List

    Make flash cards from 3x5-inch blank index cards. Print each word neatly on the front of the card, and glue an appropriate picture on the back. Laminate the cards for durability. Word wall strips can be made the same way or by writing the words on self-stick address labels and letting the children affix them to poster board. Free Grinch printables can be found by searching the term "Grinch" on the Internet.

    Vocabulary list:

    Christmas, hear, flue, coo, sour, mistletoe, feast, stockings, speck, reindeer, trimmings, frown, sneer, ramshackle, carved, crumb, tinsel, sleigh, singing, glee.

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    Lesson Extension and Teacher Resources

    Children reading the Book How the Grinch Stole Christmas Try these books in the classroom or at home to extend the teaching and retention of this lesson.

    • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
    • The Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury: Book by Jan Brett
    • The Giveaway by Jay Buckley

    Using this lesson plan helps teachers stay on track and cover major points of the book. This classic children’s book is the perfect way to teach children skills like word recognition, fluency, and prediction, while learning about the true meaning of Christmas. For other lesson plans based on this book, see this art lesson.

References

Teacher Lesson Plans - Unit Study of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

These teacher lesson plans form a unit study for the children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. These elementary lesson plans include sequencing activities, vocabulary development, and an age-appropriate art project.
  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Lesson Plan For the Primary Grades
  2. Teaching Kindergarten Math With 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'
  3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: An Elementary Art Lesson