December Read Alouds for 3rd Grade

Third grade is such a huge transitional year in reading. Students are making the jump from learning to read to reading to learn. Incorporating these fantastic picture books into your reading lessons during the month of December is the best way to bring in a little holiday magic without stepping away from the heavy standards of third grade.

A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree

If you are looking for a sweet Christmas book that pulls at the heartstrings, look no further! A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree is a meaningful, heartwarming story about an old pine tree that is passed up year after year during Christmas time.

A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree will be your best friend for teaching theme. There are also many other lessons this amazing book can be used for:

  • Summary
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Sequencing

Click here to get A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree on Amazon.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Your students will love this fun Christmas story in which Santa appoints Teeka in charge of training his reindeer. Teeka couldn’t be more excited for the job, but she struggles to get the reindeer to listen to her. In the end, Teeka learns a valuable lesson that a good leader leads with respect and kindness.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer is loaded with potential teaching points. Here are a few of my favorite teaching points using The Wild Christmas Reindeer:

  • Character Traits
  • Character Change
  • Figurative Language
  • Cause & Effect

Click here to buy The Wild Christmas Reindeer on Amazon.

Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco

One of my all time favorite Christmas books is Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco. Welcome is a foster child who moves from home to home often and struggles to fit in at school. Christmas is especially difficult for Welcome until he finds friendship with the custodian at school. This is another heartwarming story that third graders will enjoy!

Welcome Comfort is wonderful for teaching Author’s Purpose among a variety of other skills listed below:

  • Compare & Contrast
  • Making Connections
  • Author’s Purpose
  • Character Change

Click here to get Welcome Comfort on Amazon.

Dasher by Matt Tavares

Dasher is the magical story of how the first reindeer found his home at the North Pole. Not only does Matt Tavares provide a wonderful storyline, but the illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous.

Dasher makes a fabulous mentor text for teaching a variety of reading skills, most notably plot. Here is a list of potential teaching points for Dasher:

  • Plot
  • Compare & Contrast
  • Character Traits
  • Summary

Click here to buy Dasher on Amazon.

More Picture Books to Consider

Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray

The Mitten by Jane Brett

The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel

Winter Picture Books

December by Eve Bunting

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

Multicultural Picture Books

Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford

All of a Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

Be sure to follow my store for more lessons, resources, and freebies. You can also follow me on Pinterest for more teaching ideas!

I hope you enjoy!

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