I have been having so much fun reading with my Kindergarten classes this term. We have been studying folktales and for the last four weeks we have looked closely at folktales that are set at Christmas. They are perfect for teaching students to make text-to-text connections. We started by looking at the Ukrainian tales which tell why spiders are hung on Christmas trees in the Ukraine and then compared it to the German Cobweb Christmas where we found out about the origins of tinsel. Next we looked at gift-bearers in Italy and Russia by comparing Old Befana and Baboushka and then to finish off we went to Mexico to learn why poinsettias abound as Christmas decorations.
These books are in my school library so they were the ones I used, but I am sure there are others.
• The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola
• The Tale of Baboushka: A Traditional Christmas Story by Elena Pasquali
• Baboushka by Arthur Scholey (we have two versions, same words different illustrations)
• Babushka by Sandra Ann Horn
• Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo
• A Christmas Spider's Miracle by Trinka Hakes Noble
• The Spider's Gift: A Ukranian Christmas Story by Eric A. Kimmel
• The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
• The Miracle of the First Poinsettia: A Mexican Christmas Story by Joanne Oppenheim