January 5, 2014

My Favorite Holiday (Holy Day)... Merry Little Christmas! FREEBIES Galore!

I don't know what it is about Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, Little Christmas that I LOVE so much. There is a great informational article HERE that explains the historical and traditional background of this holyday (holiday). For me, perhaps it is the thought that three non-Jewish uber-knowledgeable royals put such faith in ancient Jewish prophecies and traveled across a treacherous desert to a mysterious place by the light of some star carrying precious gifts for a lowly unknown king that peaks my interest and touches a chord in my heart. Talk about faith and trust! Whatever it is, Epiphany is the day during the Christmas season that I await each year, and the day that I will give my gift (a coupon book full of student friendly prizes) to my sixers just as the magi gave their gifts to the infant in the manger.

Epiphany is celebrated on January 5th this year, and we return to school on January 6th, perfect timing for an Epiphany celebration in our classroom. I have several items prepared to help us with our celebration throughout the coming week.

First up... sharing the book The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke, retold by Pamela Kennedy. This is one of my all-time favorite stories and is always enjoyed by my fifth-grade Language Arts students. Kennedy's book is told in child friendly language as compared to the original Van Dyke story. I'm also providing a FREE Kindle link to the original story HERE since Kennedy's book is not easy to procure. Barnes and Noble does have used copies available.

Henry Van Dyke wrote The Other Wise Man in 1896, and since that time, this enduring classic has woven its mystical appeal for countless children and adults. Here Pamela Kennedy retells the story for the young reader, making it easy to understand, while retaining the magic of Van Dyke's words. Because he is helping others, a fourth Wise Man delays journeying with the other Magi to see the newborn Jesus, but thirty-three years later he has an unusual opportunity to meet his Savior.... BarnesandNoble.com

I'm linking this book up with Collaboration Cuties weekly Must Read Mentor Text. The first weekend of the month is for Language Arts texts, and even though this is a holiday text, I am using it as a Language Arts lesson. Because I teach in a Catholic school my students are well-versed in the Nativity story and the story of the magi. This book provides a bit of a twist to the familiar, allowing them to wonder, predict, infer, and compare as the story unfolds, skills addressed in the CCSS. I will be using an interactive notebook foldable Venn diagram with my students to help them comprehend the story and see the similarities and differences. Once they complete the foldable and we've had time to talk about their findings, they will write a brief paragraph about the similarities and differences in these stories.

As the week continues more lessons will be centered around my favorite holy day/holiday. Our spelling list for the week will have an Epiphany theme.
I made a wordsearch to go along with the spelling list.
We will complete an Epiphany themed revise, rewrite activity. The cute clipart is from Charlotte's Clips. I just LOVE her faith-based artwork. I use it a LOT!!!!

I have an Epiphany mystery picture waiting for my kiddos. BTW, the picture is supposed to be the three gifts brought by the magi: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

We will do the Wise Men SCOOT activity that is available in my TpT Store. It will help my kiddos review many of the Language Arts skills we have already learned this year. Again you see Charlotte's Clips artwork. This item is normally a paid item, but for the next week it will be available as a free download.

I even created a Wise Men ZAP! game for our Math teacher. Just before Christmas break I had to cover one of the sixth grade math lessons because the math teacher was administering an eighth grade mid-term. My sixers were playing a game she had left for them and were stumped by divisiblity rules, especially the rule for three. So I, the English teacher, taught my sixers a brief math lesson. My ZAP! game will help them remember the rule for divisiblity by three.

Finally, sometime during the week, we will sing and examine (search for parts of speech and analyze as a poem) my favorite holiday song... We Three Kings.

ALL of the items discussed in this blog post are FREEBIES for you! 
Just click on the pic of the item(s) that you'd like to have. Please, if you download anything from my TpT Store, leave feedback. TIA!

Merry Little Christmas,
Happy Epiphany,
Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. I Love Epiphany too and appreciate learning about this book. Since I teach in public school, I can only share this at home but I will certainly get it for my sons. :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by today! You and your boys will love this tender story. As many times as I have read it, it still brings a tear to my eye. I hope that you can find a copy of the book. Another good Epiphany book (a little different) is called The Last Straw, told through the eyes of one of the camels.

  2. Oh wow!! There's a wealth of information in this post! I love that you linked up a holiday book! I actually know nothing about this and you've got my curiosity peaked! I will be checking it out! Thanks for linking up!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Amanda! I just love the tale of the kings and have since I was quite young. One other small tradition that I didn't mention is that many Catholics don't put the kings in their Nativity sets, Rather we position them far away and have them travel to the creche during the weeks prior to Epiphany and arriving there on the day of the Epiphany. When I was the music director at church we did it there as well. The kiddos loved coming in the nave and searching all over for the kings before Mass began. When we moved buildings last year I lost my nativity set! It's probably still in the box in someone's back closet down the hallway. The kings will find their way back to my room someday.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of continuing with the Epiphany. I'm going to have to add this book to my collection. I too teach at a Catholic School and love the ideas. I'm your new follower. Stay Warm. :)

    Blessings of a Teacher

    1. Welcome, Paulina! I'm so happy you stopped by and are now a follower of my blog. I've actually been a follower of yours for a little while. I always love to have new followers, but I am especially excited to find a fellow Catholic School teacher!


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