Christmas Reading Comprehension – A Complete Lesson for Your 3rd Grade Class


I love reading lessons that help 3rd graders explore multiple reading standards within one story – especially during holiday seasons when students are struggling to stay engaged in learning! That’s why I created this Christmas Reading Comprehension resource that is a complete 8 – 10 day reading lesson for your 3rd grade classroom! It covers 3 different Common Core reading standards within a sweet Christmas story about love and kindness.

The Christmas Story

This sweet Christmas story will engage your students immediately! A lonely scarecrow learns about love and kindness from a little girl named Betsy and Santa Claus.

The passage is divided into three chapters which is much more manageable for 3rd grade readers. This particular story lent itself to exploring character’s point of view, character traits, and theme which is one of the reasons I loved it!

Chapter 1 – Christmas Reading Comprehension – Character’s Point of View

In the first chapter, the main character is sad and lonely. He doesn’t feel that he is of any use in the world.

In this chapter, students will explore the main character’s (Jimmy Scarecrow) point of view beginning with these anchor charts that help them determine who is telling the story and what steps they need to take to find the point of view.

After the 1st reading, they will complete this graphic organizer that helps them get the gist of the story first.

Next, students will read the chapter again focusing more on the character’s point of view. After reading, they will complete a Sequence Graphic Organizer and reading comprehension questions.

By the end of this lesson sequence, students will understand the main character’s point of view which will lead them to Chapter 2 Betsy’s Gift.

Chapter 2 – Christmas Reading Comprehension – Character Traits

This chapter introduces the character of Betsy and her Aunt Hannah. The actions of Betsy in this chapter are perfect for 3rd graders to explore character traits.

Using a similar lesson sequence, students will review character traits with an anchor chart and steps to find how her actions contribute to the sequence of events in the story.

Again, students will use guiding questions as they read the chapter for the first time as well as completing the Reading Notes graphic organizer.

Following the second reading of the chapter, students will sequence the events which will help them discover Betsy’s character traits.

Similar to the first chapter, students will complete this chapter with reading comprehension questions.

Chapter 3 – Christmas Reading Comprehension – Theme

This final chapter brings the whole story together and students will be looking to find the theme by using the anchor charts, reading notes, sequence graphic organizer, and reading comprehension questions.

In each chapter of this story students will use anchor charts, guiding questions, and graphic organizers to help them discover the key details that will lead them to either character’s point of view, character traits, or theme.

As they answer the comprehension questions, encourage them to cite text evidence in their responses. If you need help or suggestions for how they can cite text evidence, grab this FREE Citing Text Evidence Resource!

With this complete Christmas reading comprehension lesson plan, your planning time is done for December reading activities! If this looks like the perfect Christmas reading comprehension lesson for you and your 3rd graders – get it here!


More 3rd Grade Reading Activities

Character Traits Close Reading Activities

Theme Close Reading Activities


Need more Christmas Ideas?

Check out this post on Christmas Math Activities that your students will love!

Don’t have time right now? Pin this to your Reading Pinterest Board!

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