Take part in the winter holiday with this collection of Christmas-themed crafts, lesson plans, and teaching ideas.
About the Book
In a series of interconnected stories, the creatures of Stevenson's popular Mud Flat prepare for Christmas.
Subject Areas: Language Arts, Holidays (Christmas), Social Studies
Reading Level: 2.5
- Read interconnected Christmas stories
- Learn how authors use characters as a literary element
- Learn about some of the ways friends interact with and influence each other
Which Character Am I?
Stevenson fills his books with unique and lovable characters. With which characters do your students identify?
Step 1: After reading the book, make a list of the characters on a whiteboard or chart paper.
Step 2: With the students' help and suggestions, write a very short (a few words) description of each character. Focus on personality (shy, brave, funny) rather than on physical appearance.
Step 3: Talk about ways in which the characters are alike and the ways they are different.
Step 4: Ask your students to pick the animal with which they most closely identify.
Step 5: As a class discuss the students' choices. Was one character chosen more often than others? Talk about the special perspective and distinct qualities that each student brings to your classroom. Find something praiseworthy about each individual.
Help students to understand that each person matters using this fun activity.
Step 1: Make character dominoes based on the animals in Christmas at Mud Flat by making photocopies of each character in the book and affixing them to the front of regular dominoes.
Step 2: Divide your class into small groups, with four or five students in each group.
Step 3: Provide each group, or team, with a set of dominoes.
Step 4: Ask each team to build a tower or other leveled structure with the dominoes.
Step 5: Have the class gather to watch one group at a time. When everyone is assembled, have one member of the team remove one supporting domino. Then have another team member remove another domino, and so on. When the structure topples, talk about how important each of us is to the group as a whole; that we all rely on one another.
Other Books With Interdependent Characters
- Henry and Mudge Series by Cynthia Rylant
Henry (the boy) and Mudge (the dog) are best friends who rely on each other. Join their adventures through the seasons and in all sorts of situations in these charming stories.
- Arthur Books by Marc Brown
Friends and family surround Arthur — everyone's favorite aardvark. Each book features an event or adventure in which the characters learn from and about each other.
Other Mud Flat Books by James Stevenson
- Heat Wave at Mud Flat
- Mud Flat April Fool
- The Mud Flat Mystery
- The Mud Flat Olympics
- Mud Flat Spring
Children will gain an understanding of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions.