Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Freebie

December 2014

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

    About six weeks ago I began working on ideas for a winter holiday Informational Text Pack. I settled on “5 Things You Didn’t Know about Christmas Songs.” 

    Searching the web looking for unusual facts that would grab the attention of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, I began running across surprising tidbits about tunes I listened to when I was a teen and the songs were brand new. (Ah! Nostalgia, how I love thee!) At other times, it was about titles that have been around for years, but there was always something jaw-dropping popping up on my screen. (Great invention, the Internet!)

   In short, I had a ball with this one! I accumulated so many links and the-kids-will-like-this snippets, I spent almost as much time chiseling down the resources (and identifying the bad information) as I did in the writing. What struck me the most is how much history from the 40s, 50s, and 60s is floating around in the 5 tunes I chose. As a bonus, Wikimedia Commons had public domain photos of at least one person mentioned in every article. The finished product turned out to be a series of history lessons disguised as a fun reading activity, but we can keep the kids in the dark about that if we want!

   My Christmas gift to you—my TpT followers and blog visitors—is a free copy of my favorite one from the bunch. This should fit nicely in your Before-the-Holidays Survival Kit.
Thurl Ravenscroft
a.k.a. Tony the Tiger
Vocalist:  "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
   If you decide you want it all, the full product is posted on TpT and my website, Taking Grades. It features “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and “The Chipmunk Song.”
Have a long, restful holiday break!
                Margaret Whisnant


  1. Thank you! I love that song and I can't get it out of my head now!

  2. know what you mean Sarah! After writing this article, I now see Tony the Tiger mouthing the words! Maybe if we all just watch the thing again, we'll get it out of our systems. It comes on Toon Sun. Dec. 21st at 9:00 a.m. and on ABC December 25 at 8:00 p.m. I'll probably catch both of them!

  3. Hi Margaret! Thanks for your valuable resources! I just wanted to point out that the correct spelling of the word referring to a sound low in pitch is "bass," not "base." As a music teacher, I notice these things and want students to be exposed to the correct vocabulary! I apologize for any offense and hope you know that I am a huge supporter!

  4. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it when thoughtful people let me know about errors they find. Two proofreaders (as well as my efforts!) missed this one. It took a music teacher's keen eye to catch it!
    I have made the corrections (found "base" for "bass" in the same paragraph twice) and have posted the updated file. It's ready for downloading!

  5. Hi,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is:



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!