The Library

Twas the Night Before Christmas {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

Twas the Night Before Christmas {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” is a poem that was written by Dr. Clement C. Moore in the early 1800s.  The poem, originally called “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” was written by Moore for his children.  A friend of Moore submitted the poem to the Troy Sentinel (New York) a year later and it was published anonymously.  It was reprinted several times before Moore finally accepted authorship and included it in a book of his own poems published in New York in 1844.

Twas the Night Before Christmas {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}
Clement C. Moore

Moore’s description of Old Saint Nick was probably taken from his friend Washington Irving’s descriptions as printed in A History of New York under the pen name Dietrich Knickerbocker.  Those descriptions have certainly stood the test of time!

In 1912, a version of the poem was published with illustrations by the renowned Jessie Willcox Smith.  This is the book that many of us from the ’50s and ’60s grew up on, and it is this version that is free in the public domain.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

 

Free eBook

 

Suggestions:
  • Have your children rewrite the poem using modern language.  For example, would children today have sugar plums dancing in their heads?  Are they familiar with sugar plums?  Or would it be some other type of candy?
  • Choose one or two stanzas to copy and illustrate.  See resources below.
  • Most importantly — read and enjoy!

 

Additional Resources

Clement Moore Is Believed to Have Written “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
December 24, 1822
Background from the Library of Congress for kids.

Clement Clarke Moore
Biography and background of the poem.

Worksheet — The Night Before Christmas
Really a download from Stuart English with an explanation for each stanza.

 

Activities

Twas the Night Before Christmas Mini-Book
With instructions for folding the templates from DLTK.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Crazy Tale
Mad lib for older students.

 

Books

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Our favorite modern illustrated version — one for each child — that is read nearly every year!

A Visit from St. Nicholas
Earlier version hosted at the Library of Congress.

 

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

The Night Before Christmas
Many activities from Teaching Ideas including those covering writing, science, art, and more.  Don’t miss the printables at the end!

Twas the Night Before Christmas Study Guide
Simple guide that goes with a theatrical production of the story, but stands well on its own.

On the Night Before Christmas
Simple lesson plan from EduPlace where students write their own modern version of the poem.

 

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Use these to have a student copy a stanza from the poem to illustrate.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Copywork Set {Free}
Or use these pages already laid out for you.

Twas the Night Before Christmas
Cute printable from If I Had a Million Hours.

Twas the Night Before Christmas Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.