Let me preface this by saying I'm not big on Santa letters. I think that's something that if a child has those beliefs they probably did a form of that at home. However, I was trying to come up with a reading response activity for a chapter book I had just read my kiddos. I read them:
This is probably my number one favorite book to read aloud. I don't choose to do it with every class because it's pretty deep and I want to make sure it's something that doesn't go over their heads. This is the most loving class I have ever taught. They tell me they love me on a daily basis (a sentiment which of course I return) and they tell each other they love each other all the time. Even with little ones, this is very unusual. So I thought a book about a rabbit who learns to love would be a great choice for them. We are going to compare it with the Velveteen Rabbit next week.
Anyway, I wanted to figure out a way to assess who really understood the theme of the story. So I had them write a letter to Santa from Edward Tulane, technically using the Depth and Complexity concept of Multiple Perspectives, but a little bit different way than they are use to. What would Edward ask Santa for? If you are familiar with the story you know that these answers were right on track. :)
I love seeing them apply concepts from a story in a different way! We read this book over several weeks and it's just so great to see that they really followed the story.