Lesson plan

Wish Lists for Santa

Have you been naughty or nice this year? It’s time to find out! In this writing lesson, students will practice using invented spelling to write Christmas wish lists to Santa.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

Students will be able to use invented spelling to compose a wish list to Santa.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will be doing something that kids have been doing for over one hundred years.
  • Explain that they will be writing a list of Christmas wishes for Santa Claus.
  • Ask students to raise their hand if they have ever written a wish list to Santa. Ask them to share what types of things were on their lists.
  • Explain to students that their wish lists will be a list of things they would like from Santa this year. Support students to understand that their lists can contain anything they would like, including wishes for themselves such as specific toys, wishes for their friends/family such as a pet, and wishes for their community/world such as safety and peace.
(5 minutes)
  • At the top of a piece of chart paper write the heading, “Christmas Wish List.”
  • Tell students that this will be the title for their writing, and it describes what their writing will be about.
  • Explain to students that as they are writing their lists they will be using invented spelling. Remind students that using invented spelling means making their best guess about spelling words using what they know about letters and letter sounds.
  • Number the chart paper from one through five. Explain to students that they will be writing one item on the line next to each number.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to take a moment to think about something they would like to ask for from Santa. Remind them that it could be something for them, their friends/family, or the community/world.
  • Have students turn to a neighbor and share one idea from their wish list and to give you a thumbs up when they are done sharing.
  • Call on a volunteer to come up to the chart paper to share one of their ideas. Support the student to use invented spelling by helping them stretch their word out, isolate sounds, and write the sounds they hear on the chart paper.
  • Have students share the pen by calling on another volunteer to come up to the chart paper to write their idea on the wish list.
  • Continue this process until all five spaces on the wish list have been filled in.
(15 minutes)
  • Preview the Christmas Wish List and the Make a Christmas Wish List worksheets.
  • Allow students to select which list template they would like to work with (one has images of robots, cars, and footballs, and the other template has images of dolls, cats, and jewelry boxes).
  • Hand out worksheets and have students complete them independently. Walk around the room to support students with their invented spelling.


  • Give students the option to incorporate drawing into their list writing if they are having difficulty with letter sounds and letter writing.


  • Encourage students to write using complete sentences. For example, have them use the sentence frame, “I wish for a ____.”

  • Instead of writing a list, students could write a letter to Santa using the Santa Letter Template or Christmas Stationery Template worksheets.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute whiteboards to each student.
  • Tell students that they will practice using invented spelling to write items from each others’ Christmas wish lists to Santa.
  • Ask for a volunteer to name one of the items from their wish list.
  • Model for the students how to stretch out the word, isolate the sounds, and write down the letters that they hear on their whiteboards.
  • Continue calling on volunteers to name items from their wish lists. Ask students to independently use invented spelling to write the name of this item on their whiteboards. Ask students to hold up their whiteboards after writing so that you can check their use of invented spelling.
(5 minutes)
  • Show students a large envelope. Tell students that you will put all of their wish lists in the envelope to mail to the North Pole, which is where Santa lives.
  • Write the address for your school in the top left corner, and explain to students that this is where you write your address in case the letter cannot be delivered to Santa and has to be returned. Write Santa Claus and his address in the center of the envelope, and explain that this is where you write the address of the person to whom you are sending your letter. Show students the stamp, and explain that this is how you pay for your letter to be delivered.
  • Talk to students about how it is fun to receive gifts from Santa during Christmas, but it can also be fun to give gifts to the people that they love.
  • As students leave the rug, have them place their wish lists into the envelope.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items