Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Why the Grinch Stole Christmas

Shirley Godbold
Walton County Schools


Everyone knows “How the Grinch stole Christmas,” but no one seems to know [why] the Grinch stole Christmas. This lesson is a look at what might have given the Grinch the feelings that he had to steal Christmas from Who-ville.


The student knows the importance of assuming responsibility for personal health behaviors.

The student knows strategies for managing stress.

The student knows various ways to communicate care, consideration, and acceptance of self and others (eg., respect, trust, kindness, and sexual abstinence as an expression of love).

The student knows how to influence others to make positive choices.


-Book: Seuss, Dr. [How the Grinch stole Christmas]. New York: Random House, 1977. (1 book per every 4 students)
-Thought Questions (See Associated File)
-Writing Assignment (See Associated File)
-Rubric for Writing Assignment (See Associated File)


1. Purchase or obtain a copy of the book, [How the Grinch stole Christmas], for every 4 students. You might be able to borrow copies from the library or students might have copies they would bring to class. The complete text of the book can be found at the URL listed in the Weblinks section of this lesson.
2. Duplicate student copies of the Thought Questions, Writing Assignment and Rubric for Writing Assignment. (See Associated File)


NOTE: Please do not show students the movie of How the Grinch stole Christmas until the entire lesson is complete. Students really need the text of the book to complete this lesson and understand the concepts being taught.

1. Start class with a discussion of what the students feel is the one thing that makes Christmas a happy time for everyone, and what is the basis of friendship.

2. Be sure to discuss with the students what are some personal responsibilities for this time of the year, how people can be positive and cope with stress in relationship to the holiday of Christmas, and if it is necessary to spend a lot to show friendship or love.

3. Read the book [How the Grinch stole Christmas] to the class.

4. Have the students read and answer the Thought Questions. (See Associated File)

5. In small groups of 3 or 4 students, have them discuss their answers to the Thought Questions.

6. Have student groups report to the class the answers they came up with to the Thought Questions. Be sure they relate their answers to Christmas/holiday of today and the problems that exist--stress, responsibility, concern, etc.

7. For homework, have each student complete the Writing Assignment. (See Associated File) Be sure they each get a copy of the Rubric for Writing Assignment before they begin. (See Associated File)

1. Initiate a discussion of the students' Writing Assignments. Allow time for an exchange of ideas, but do not let the kids read their papers aloud at this time. Refer to the Rubric (See Associated File) and encourage them to make sure they understand how their papers will be assessed.

2. Give the students time to revise and proofread their paragraphs. Allow those who are having difficulty revising or proofreading to peer edit quietly with another student who can help them.

3. Have students turn in their paragraphs for assessing.

4. Have a class discussion on how the students felt about the Grinch and the people of Who-ville.

5. Have the class discuss why friendship might have prevented the Grinch from stealing Christmas and then relate their answers/comments to people and the holiday today.


Students complete the Thought Questions and write a two-paragraph paper to be assessed by the Rubric for Writing Assignment. (See Associated File) Students who have difficulty may need individual feedback and monitoring by the teacher.


Students might want to write the next “happening” between the Grinch and the people of Who-ville.

Web Links

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas
Text of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas
A Picture of The Grinch

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas
The Grinch

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