K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Learning outcomes

The learner will:

  • be able to discuss new vocabulary terms.
  • be able to sequence the events of a story.
  • be able to enter, save and print data on the computer.
  • be able to retell a story from his/her graphic organizer.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

5 hours


  • copy of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
  • pencil
  • writing paper
  • copy of Thinking Map template: Word document | Kidspiration document.
  • drawing paper
  • crayons, markers or colored pencils

Technology resources

  • computer access to internet (optional).
  • computers with Kidspiration software installed (optional).
  • AverKey or Smart TV (optional). Teacher computer connected to a SmartBoard or Averkey. SMART Board, © 2002 SMART Technologies Inc. and Averykey, AVerMedia Systems, Inc. is an interactive projection device for classroom or computer lab use.


If using the Kidspiration software, students should have been introduced to the computer software Kidspiration. Students should also be familiar with the Thinking Maps program or a flow chart as an organizer.


  1. Pass out a copy of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to each student. Discuss the meaning of the following vocabulary terms to obtain the student’s prior knowledge: nestled, ‘kerchief, lustre, coursers, dash, tarnished, soot, peddler, droll, encircled, broad, and obstacle.
  2. On the computer, go to the Christmas Tree Farm Network website and read aloud “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” If you don’t have a projection device, you may just read the poem aloud or have students visit the website in groups.
  3. Discuss the read aloud with the students to ensure they understood what was read.
  4. Pair the students and allow them to retell the story aloud to each other.
  5. Have each of the students complete the “Twas the Night Before Christmas” Flow Map with a pencil if using the Word version. Or as partners, have the students retrieve the pre-made Kidspiration version of the Flow Map and have the students help one another complete his/her own template, save it, and print the completed Flow Map. The Flow Maps are used for sequencing. Students are allowed to help one another, as long as they each fill out their own individual map.
  6. Have the students take their own copy of the completed Flow Map to their seats and retell their story on a sheet of paper, working independently.
  7. Have each student illustrate his or her story.


Teacher will assess the student’s completed Flow Map in comparison to the information they used in retelling the story.

Supplemental information


Optional: We did this activity the last day before the Christmas Holidays. The students wore their pajamas to make the story a little more realistic (and fun) while it was being read! We also had parents who brought in a nice, big breakfast, in lieu of the traditional afternoon Christmas party. This is a great way to involve all students.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Language

        • Grade 2
          • 2.L.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).
        • Reading: Literature

          • 2.RL.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
          • 2.RL.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
          • 2.RL.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
        • Speaking & Listening

          • 2.SL.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.06: Recall main ideas, facts and details from a text.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.04: Increase oral and written vocabulary by listening, discussing, and composing texts when responding to literature that is read and heard. (e.g., read aloud by teacher, literature circles, interest groups, book clubs).
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.07: Compose first drafts using an appropriate writing process:
      • planning and drafting.
      • rereading for meaning.
      • revising to clarify and refine writing with guided discussion.
    • Objective 4.09: Use media and technology to enhance the presentation of information to an audience for a specific purpose.