Having an elf has gained more popularity every Christmas season! And with good reason! Having an elf in your classroom allows for all kinds of fun to be had and a teacher can use it to his/her advantage! Wink! This time of year can be so magical for our students, and you can be a part of that joy and excitement! With these tips and ideas for a classroom elf, planning for an elf will be a breeze!
For the last four years, I’ve had an elf in my classroom. I place an elf in the room and read to them the story, Elf on a Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell. Then we talk about how we are going to have a special elf in our room until Christmas time and how the elf will report back to Santa every night.
I tell you, it is the best thing ever! My students are saints All. Month. Long. ‘Cause who would want to be on Santa’s naughty list?! The students have an amazingly fun time and I am in teacher heaven because my students are well-behaved. It’s a win-win!
Tip #1: Have your elf leave notes!
Last year, I added to the fun by having the elf leave notes to the class. They ate them up!! They couldn’t wait every morning to read their note from the elf! If leaving a note every time seems stressful, then only do it a couple of times. It will be more of a surprise. If you’d rather not have to think about it, use the Elf Notes I’ve created! Bonus: they are available in digital and print!
Tip #2: Don’t let your elf do silly or mischievous things right away!
I like to wait until the last week before Christmas Break before the elf starts getting a little mischievous. If your elf starts acting silly, your kids will love it, but they will also be expecting it! Then you have to think of some great clever ideas. But when you are ready to shock your students… here are some easy things you can do.
- Have the elf sit in the tissue box. (Maybe spread some around as if he’s used them.)
- Do you have a candy jar? Have the elf sit with some empty candy wrappers around her!
- Got any Christmas themed stories? Your elf can sit with a book on his lap!
- Have the elf get all wrapped up with anything on your desk!
- Your elf can hang on your bulletin boards, whiteboard, or ceiling!
Tip #3: Have your students write about their elf!
- Training the Reindeer
- Elf Troubles
- Elves Love Cookies
- The Naughtiest/Happiest/Bravest/ Funniest Elf that Ever Lived
- Elf Adventures in the Toy Shop/North Pole/Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen
Elf Journals Made Easy
One resource I use with my class is an Elf Writing Prompts. Each day the kids get to learn a little about the elf and then they get a new prompt to write to!