Lots of practitioners like to add a bit of Christmas sparkle to their lessons towards the end of the Autum term.

In this article I share 4 simple Christmas reading activities, which can be adapted to use with any phonics programme. These could be incorporated into phonics lessons (depending on your learning objective and focus) or they could be used as short stand alone phonics activities on the days your timetable doesn’t allow for a full phonics lesson (eg because of Christmas plays/parties etc).

Sign up to receive an editable Christmas bauble grapheme recognition activity (described below).

Christmas Bauble Graphemes (focusing on grapheme recognition):

BaubleGraphemesGreat for:

  • the revisit & review part of the lesson
  • an alternative to grapheme flashcards
  • a 2-3 minute revision activity at any time of the day

Identify graphemes the children need to practise recognising and write them onto Christmas baubles (hanging on a tree). Point to a bauble and get the children to say the grapheme on it. Repeat the ones which need extra practice. Change the position of the graphemes the next time you use this activity, so the children don’t link a sound to the position of the grapheme on the screen.

Sign up above for a free editable Powerpoint slide showing a set of baubles on a green background (Christmas tree). Simply edit the grapheme on each bauble to meet the needs of the children.

Christmas Wreath (focusing on tricky word reading):

TrickyWordWreathsGreat for:

  • the revisit & review part of a phonics lesson
  • an alternative to tricky word flashcards
  • a 2-3 minute revision activity at any time of the day

Create a wreath image with a tricky word on each section (focus on the ones the children need to practise).  Set the timer for a minute. Point to the top word on the wreath. Everyone reads the word in unison. Repeat with the next word on the wreath until you get back to the top. Then go in the reverse direction. Each time you get back to the top, change direction. Continue until the timer runs out. Count how many times they get round the wreath (+ extra words). Keep a note of the score on the wall. Next time you play the game (change the location of the words on the wreath), see if they can beat their score. If the children are not confident in recognising the tricky words on sight, you can get them to sound each word out (as this will take longer, you will need to allocate 2 mins for the activity.

What's the Present? (focus on blending):

WhatsThePresentGreat for:

  • the teach/practise parts of the lesson
  • a 5 minute revision activity at any time of the day

Create a slide show in which the first slide has a picture of a present with a label (use a word containing graphemes the children need to practise) and the next slide has a picture of that item. Show the first slide and explain that they have to read the label to work out what the present is. Get everyone to blend and read the label together. Then show the next slide which reveals the contents. Move onto the next slide.

Pretend it's Christmas (focusing on reading short phrases or sentences):

PretendItsChristmasGreat for:

  • the pracise/apply parts of the lesson (practise for single words and apply for phrases/sentences)
  • a 5 minute revision activity at any time of the day

Prepare some slides – each one giving an instruction to do something people might do at Christmas time eg hug (phase 2), play a game (phase 5a). Add sound buttons under words you think might need them. Explain that they are going to imagine it is Christmas and pretend to be doing some things people might do at Christmas time. Show the first slide and ask them to read the instruction together with their partner (blending any words with sound buttons underneath). Say “3-2-1 show me” and the children do whatever they think the instruction says. Then read the instruction altogether as a class, blending any words with sound buttons underneath. Clarify any words the children don’t understand and get them to do the instruction one more time. Repeat the process with the next instruction.

Save yourself lots of time...

ChristmasPhonicsActivitiesIf you don't have the time to create slides like this yourself, you can buy a pack of ready made resources for just £4.99 (which works out at 10p per resource).

You can purchase the activity pack for just £4.99 here.

The pack contains 13 different engaging Christmas activities to use in phonics lessons. There are versions of each activity for different phases. The list below shows how many activities are provided for each phase:

  • Phase 1 Aspect 7: 2
  • Phase 2: 9
  • Phase 3: 7
  • Phase 4: 5
  • Phase 5a: 7
  • Phase 5b: 7
  • Phase 5c: 6
  • Phase 6: 3
  • Activities for any phase from 2-6: 2
  • Editable Activities: 6

With 48 ready made activities, the cost works out at just 10p each.

The files are in Powerpoint or PDF format. 6 of the 13 activities use Smart Notebook files, but pdf versions are supplied for 4 of these, so schools without the software can use paper versions.

You can purchase the activity pack for just £4.99 here.

Sign up below to receive an editable Christmas bauble grapheme recognition activity (described above).

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