- The Wild Christmas Reindeer is a fun book for elementary students. The setting is Finland, and the illustrations are in part inspired by the Sami, who rely on reindeer for many of their basic necessities.
- Olive, the Other Reindeer is fun for a read-aloud. Check out our Olive, the Other Reindeer Lesson Plans for lots of English ideas.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is another excellent read-aloud, and of course you can also sing it.
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (or, as he originally titled it, “A Visit to St. Nicholas”) is the source of the names of Santa’s reindeer. See how many students can name them all before reading the poem aloud, and after reading it.
- Prepare a food chain or food web for the tundra including reindeer. Reindeer eat lichen, small plants, and mushrooms. They provide food for wolves, mosquitoes, and human beings. Write each of these on a slip of paper and put them together to form a paper chain. If you happen to have a Christmas tree in the room while you do this study, have each student construct a food chain, hook them all together, and use the resulting long chain as a garland for your classroom tree.
- Roger Highfield’s excellent book The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey includes scientific data and speculation about Santa’s flying reindeer and Rudolph’s red nose. Read with your class and then conduct further research to determine the plausibility of Highfield’s explanations of these phenomena.
- Enchanted Learning’s reindeer pages are good for elementary students.
- Jan Brett’s information pages for The Wild Christmas Reindeer offer lots of interesting background.
- The BBC’s reindeer info is good for all ages, with cool pictures and videos. The site also has good science reads for older elementary and secondary students.
- Reindeer Ideas and printable