The Legend of The Poinsettia: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

One of my favorite children's authors of all time is Tomie dePaola. I love his writing and his illustrations. And when I found out that he had a Christmas picture book, of course I had to read it.

The Legend of the Poinsettia is a retelling of a Mexican legend about how the poinsettia came to be. It's the story of a little girl and her sacrificial Christmas gift, a story that truly focuses on an unselfish spirit of giving during the Christmas season.

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with The Legend of the Poinsettia.

Literature extension activities for The Legend of the Poinsettia #literature #homeschooling
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Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Find Mexico on this map. Then print a blank map and label and color Mexico.

Learn twelve fun facts about poinsettias at this site.

Tour a Mexican town with kids in this cute video.

Learn about Mexico from National Geographic Kids.

And Easy Science for Kids has a great page of information about Mexico that includes nice pictures and a video.

There are some Spanish words throughout the book that may be unfamiliar. Kids can learn fifty important words in Mexican Spanish from 17 Minute Languages.

Learn about how people in Mexico celebrate Christmas from this site.

You can find more information- and some great pictures- about Mexican Christmas celebrations here.

Older students might enjoy this lab using poinsettia leaves as an acid/base ph indicator.

Learn about poinsettias- where they grow, what they need to grow, about their seeds and leaves, and more- with the articles on this site.

Crafts and Fun


Make your own paper poinsettias with this free printable. (You can download it in color or black and white and color it yourself.)

This poinsettia paper craft is a little more complicated, but it's beautiful!

Lucita helps to take care of her family's donkey. Make a donkey with this paper craft template.

Try a simple weaving project with the ideas here.

This is another weaving idea that may be simpler with younger kids.

Kids can create a yarn poinsettia with the instructions here.

Create a yummy version of the poinsettia with these pretzel bites.

Create your own nativity scene with this free printable and instructions.

Other Resources


Hear Tomie dePaola read the book in this video.

Susan Jones Teaching has some great free printables to go along with the story. You'll find a basic plot chart, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and a lesson in how to draw a poinsettia.

You can download a free packet of activities that go along with the book for K-3rd grade at Teachers Pay Teachers. (You will need a free account to get the download.)

You can learn more about Mexico with this free lapbook from Homeschool Share.


Literature extension activities for The Legend of the Poinsettia

Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.

Literature extension activities for The Legend of the Poinsettia


And don't forget to pick up a set of free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.

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