Christmas reading activities are just the thing to help kick off the holiday season in your middle school classroom. Here you’ll find pre-made digital activities, interactive resources, reading comprehension practice, and more. Some are meant to challenge students more than others, but they are all intended to help students practice various reading skills. Some activities are suitable for students to complete on their own during a holiday break, while others require a small group.
1. A Christmas Carol Fact or Fiction
Looking for a great way to introduce Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol to students? Then look no further. This activity is perfect for building background knowledge about the period using a Deal or No Deal type game. Whoever gets the most correct answers, wins.
Learn More: Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
2. Nativity Escape Room
This escape room activity for students is great for reinforcing knowledge of The Nativity. They must read and solve puzzles to unlock all the codes. Simply print and use, it’s that easy. Escape rooms tend to be highly engaging activities.
Learn More: Teach Sunday School
3. Christmas Commercial Analysis
Christmas commercials may get us in the holiday spirit, but with this activity, students will be analyzing them. This activity reinforces text analysis in a way that is more engaging for middle school students. Beware though, there may be a tear-jerker among the commercials.
Learn More: Bespoke Classroom
4. The Gift of the Magi Comprehension Pennant
Rather than having students answer traditional reading comprehension questions, this activity arranges it on a pennant that can then be displayed in the classroom. It helps students who are challenged by the typical question-and-answer drill.
Learn More: Creative Classroom Core
5. Jingle Bell Ringers
Bell ringers are typically used at the beginning of a period to give students a quick way to review the previous day’s work and get settled in. These are holiday themed and review figurative language. They shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to read and complete.
Learn More: Reading And Writing Haven
6. Compare and Contrast
Students will review the terminology “compare and contrast” using this pre-made handout. After watching a short animated film and the commercial it stemmed from, students will complete this graphic organizer.
Learn More: Book Units Teacher
7. Nonfiction Christmas Reading Passages
These short holiday nonfiction reading passages give students a checklist of strategies to help them comprehend the text. What’s even better is that they are about holiday traditions from around the world, which opens discussions about other cultures.
Learn More: Sea of Knowledge
8. Close Reading
Here students practice their annotation skills, which leads to them reading more closely. I love the included mark-it-up chart to show or remind students of what their work should look like when they are done. Just print everything and you’re ready to go.
Learn More: A Love of Teaching
9. Christmas Around the World Research
On this site, students can choose from a long list of countries to research and find out more about their Christmas traditions. There are many ways this information can be used. I would allow students to choose which country or region they would like to research and give them a graphic organizer to capture the information.
Learn More: Santa’s Net
10. Night Before Christmas Reading Comprehension
This emphasizes reading paragraph by paragraph rather than the entire passage. It also provides a second version of the story that can be used to compare and contrast or provide a different perspective. Either way, it’s great for building comprehension skills.
Learn More: Perkins
11. Christmas in the UK
In this activity, students will learn about Christmas in the UK and then complete a series of activities based on the reading. The lesson plan and pdf printout are included on the site and you can choose which activities fit your needs and time.
Learn More: Teaching English
12. The Gift of the Magi Close Reading
Using parts of the story, students will read the sections 3 times and be asked different questions after each reading. The goal is to teach kids how to read closely and pay attention to details. It’s perfect for middle school students.
Learn More: Read Write Think
13. Winter Poems
While these poems don’t directly focus on Christmas, they still elicit the feelings of the season. They are all very short, which is great for reluctant readers, and are great for figurative language skills.
Learn More: Poetry Foundation
14. A Christmas Carol Mood and Tone
A Christmas Carol lends itself perfectly to studying mood and demonstrating structure. This activity asks students to identify how Charles Dickens conveyed fear in his writing. I would use this text to help students with their writing skills as well.
Learn More: K12 Reader
15. A Christmas Memory
While this reading passage is long, it’s beautifully written and includes comprehension questions at the end of it. I would read it to the whole class and then have them independently answer the questions.
Learn More: Audinos English Classes
16. The Christmas Truce
Was there a truce for Christmas during World War 1? Read this and find out. Then answer the comprehension questions that follow. I would have students complete this activity in groups so they can discuss their thoughts.
Learn More: Twinkl
17. Readers’ Theater
This activity is best for 6th-grade students. You will need 13 volunteers to read different parts while the rest of the class follows along. This can be such a fun activity if you have a dramatic group of kids.
Learn More: Mrs. Beers
18. A Boy Called Christmas Story Map
Students will read this text and then answer comprehension questions, which are available on 4 different levels. I love that it is accessible to all learners, while still appropriately challenging them at the same time.
Learn More: Teaching Books
19. Letters From Father Christmas Vocabulary
While the language may be challenging here, a vocabulary match is included, and the text can be read as a whole class or in small groups. You could also ask students questions based on the text that can lead to a class discussion.
Learn More: ISL Collective
20. One-Minute Reading
This digital activity is perfect for stations or even a cool-down activity. It shouldn’t take more than a minute for middle schoolers to read and then answer some quick comprehension questions. This can be done digitally as well, so it’s great for virtual learners.
Learn More: Twinkl