As Kind Ox settles in for the night in a stable next to an inn, Old Dog comes in looking for a warm place to sleep. Kind Ox welcomes Old Dog, who in turn makes room for Stray Cat, then Small Mouse–then Tired Donkey, led by Joseph and carrying Mary.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Adjectives are used to describe all of the animals (Kind Ox, Old Dog, Tired Donkey). Can you make a list of adjectives? Could you choose different animals and think of adjectives to describe them?
- Choose one of the illustrations and think of some speech / thought bubbles for the characters.
- Retell the story from the point of view of the Kind Ox or one of the other animals.
- Retell the story from the point of view of Mary or Joseph.
- Use the speech in the story to create a playscript version of the story. Could you perform it for an audience?
- Choose lots of words from the story and challenge a friend to sort them into groups of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.
- Can you create a new page for the story in which another animal comes into the stable? How do the other animals react?
- The story of the Nativity has been told in lots of different ways. Can you compare this book to another retelling? Which do you prefer? Why?
- Count the number of nouns, adjectives and verbs on a page (or in the whole book). Can you use this information to create a graph that shows the results?
- Use painting software to create an image of the scene inside the stable showing the animals huddled together.
- Could you film and edit a performance of this story?
- Can you create a model of the stable? What materials would be the best ones to use? What shape should it be?
- Draw your own illustrations of the scene inside the stable before and after Mary and Joseph arrived.
- Look at photos of the animals featured in the story and use them to create your own pictures.
- Look at the illustrations in the story. Can you tell what materials / techniques were used to create them? Could you create your own picture using a similar style?
- Make a storyboard showing the main events in the story (e.g. the arrival of each visitor and the birth of Jesus). Cut up your storyboard, jumble it up and put them back into the correct order.
- Can you find out where this story took place? Could you find this place on a map?
- Make a timeline that features different events in history, including the birth of Jesus.
- Can you explain why this story is special to Christians?
- Can you find passages in the Bible that describe the birth of Jesus?