(This reindeer facts email was sent on December 4, 2023.)
Happy December! I’m back with a new edition of Keeping Them Curious—this time with a reindeer theme!
This “Keeping Them Curious” series is designed to support your thematic teaching and to give you and your kiddos a little boost as you start your week!
Each week, I will cover a theme by giving you some tidbits to share with your students and links to relevant resources from my site and across the web.
Reindeer are a fun December theme! Their icy habitat makes them an apt choice for ushering in the winter months, and their association with 🎅 Santa’s sleigh allows those who recognize Christmas in their classroom to make a science/holiday integration.
You can find the previous editions all in one spot over here so you can refer back as needed!
Keeping Them Curious is an email series for teachers who are passionate about actively engaging students in thematic learning. I’m posting the email content here for those who might like to have a place to revisit each theme. If you would like to receive this content by email, please let me know below!
Did you know? Reindeer Facts for Your Class
I’ll start with some riveting reindeer facts you can use in your lessons this week!
🦌 Reindeer and caribou are the same animal: Rangifer tarandus. In North America, they are called caribou in the wild and reindeer in captivity. In Europe and Asia, they are called reindeer.
🦌 Reindeer are the only species of deer in which both male and female members grow antlers.
🦌 The largest herd of reindeer, the Taimyr herd, fluctuates between 400,000 and one million members. This herd roams the Siberian tundra and is endangered by human activity and climate change.
🦌 Reindeer are migratory animals, traveling many miles for food as the seasons change. They cannot stay in their habitat’s warmer, greener areas for long, though. This is because vast clouds of mosquitos drive them away!
🦌 People first began telling stories about reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh about 200 years ago, in the 1820s. Reindeer were first domesticated and used to pull sleighs over 1,000 years ago, though. The Sámi people of Scandinavia continue to herd reindeer today. You can see a video of reindeer sledding in Norway here.
Here’s a roundup of reindeer videos to inform and entertain your class this month!
Plan a fun, reindeer-themed winter party for your class with tips from this new post.
And use this reindeer subitizing game to integrate your reindeer theme across the curriculum into your math instruction!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this “Keeping Them Curious” email! I’m looking forward to continuing this series with additional themes. ❄️ What themes do you have coming up? As always, please feel free to comment below or send me an email—I’d love to hear from you!