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Clifford the Big Red Dog Learning About Christmas: Lessons Kids Love!

By Donna Cosmato

Christmas is coming--and Clifford the Dog is making his stocking and getting prepared for Santa. As Clifford the Big Red Dog is learning about Christmas, kids have fun learning along with him and hearing his story. This lesson includes a free worksheet download.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is learning about Christmas and helping students with basic reading and writing skills. This lesson takes about Clifford the Big Red Dog Christmas 45 minutes to present. It meets the following objectives:

  • Encouraging comprehension and deductive thinking.
  • Increasing word recognition (focus on sight words).
  • Exercising reader recall and making inferences.
  • Listening and following oral and written instructions.

It features a teaching module on Dolch sight words that can be used by parents wanting to tutor their kids in fluency and reading skills. Use this lesson as is and combine it with other lesson plans about Clifford books.

Supply List for Clifford Books: Literacy Lesson Plan

The art module is simple and takes about 10 to 15 minutes to present. Here is a supply list for this lesson:

  • Clifford’s Christmas, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1984].
  • Flash cards for sight words: is, my, it, to, the, and, I, we, play, one, big, for, a, help, for, red, blue, can, make, little, find.
  • Worksheets, downloadable from clicking on the link.
  • 11 x17 inch construction paper – draw or trace a giant stocking on each piece.
  • Kid-friendly scissors.
  • Assorted art media – stickers, markers, crayons, paint, or colored pencils.

Teacher's note: If time permits, students draw their own stockings.

Teaching the Literacy Lesson

Show students the book cover, and ask for predictions about the story. Point to the title and pronounce it; repeat with the author’s name. Read the story, and then give each child a copy of the worksheet (below.)

Circle the letters that need to be capitalized. Put in the punctuation.

  1. clifford loved the big red and blue balloons
  2. clifford and emily elizabeth can make a little snowman
  3. will the children and clifford play hockey
  4. emily elizabeth and clifford count the days until christmas
  5. does clifford find a big christmas tree

Choose the correct word from the following list to answer each question. Write the word.

Balloons, stocking, Santa, tree, Clifford, snowman, Emily Elizabeth

  1. Who gave Clifford some mistletoe?
  2. What did Clifford hang up on Christmas Eve?
  3. Who fell into Clifford’s stocking?
  4. Who offered his presents to Santa?
  5. What was too big to fit into Emily Elizabeth’s house?
  6. What did Clifford see at the parade?
  7. What did Clifford make?

Teacher Answer Key: Emily Elizabeth, stocking, Santa, Clifford, tree, balloons, snowman

Craft and Book List

Give each student a stocking and let them cut it out. They decorate their stockings however they choose, and then hang them around Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit the classroom for decorations.

Extend this lesson by reading aloud other Clifford books. Here is a short list:

  • Clifford’s First Valentine Day, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1997]
  • Clifford’s Halloween, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1986]
  • Clifford’s Thanksgiving Visit, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1993]
  • Clifford’s First Halloween, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1995]

At lesson's end, students have heard a story about Clifford and Christmas. Sight words were reviewed and reinforced, and several grammar activities were completed.