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Junie B. Jones

Ho, ho . . . uh-oh! It’s holiday time, and Room One is doing lots of happy things to celebrate. Like wearing elf costumes! And singing joyful songs! Only how can Junie B. enjoy the festivities when Tattletale May keeps ruining her holiday glee? And here is the worst part of all! When everyone picks names for Secret Santa, Junie B. gets stuck with Tattletale you-know-who! It’s enough to fizzle your holiday fun! Hmm . . . or is it? Maybe—just maybe—a Secret Santa gift is the perfect opportunity to give May exactly what she deserves.

In this guide for Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May.) , students will celebrate the holidays with Junie B. and Room One. Students perform better on standardized tests when they discuss what they’ve read, so the questions here help guide their responses to the book. What should Junie B. buy at the Holiday Gift Shop? Let your students decide while they practice adding up money. Then let students decorate candy canes or gift tags to celebrate the season Junie B. style! And finally, how about a letter to Santa to practice all the words of the season?

Pre-Reading Activities

Using a show of hands ask the students whether anyone has been a Secret Santa before. How does it work? Is it more fun than just trading names for gifts? Why? Could anything go wrong with the Secret Santa system? What? Would you like to be Secret Santa’s? Why or why not?

At holiday time, people often give and receive gifts. Put up both words on the blackboard and have students brainstorm what makes a good giver and receiver. How can you show someone that you appreciated his or her present? What should you not do when you get a gift? Is it possible to be a bad giver? How?

Let’s Talk About It

  • Why do May and Junie B. have so much trouble getting along? Do you think they will ever become friends? Are they both to blame? Why or why not?
  • Why isn’t Junie B. excited about being a Secret Santa? Would you be excited? Why or why not?
  • Mr. Scary tells Junie B.: “If you do something nice for May, you’ll feel so proud inside. It will feel like a gift that you’ve given yourself .” (p. 42) What does he mean by this? Do you agree with him?
  • What are Junie B’s plans for the ten dollars she has to spend at the Holiday Gift Shop? Do you think her plan is a good one? Why? What would you want to buy?
  • In the end, what does Junie B. decide to do for May? Why doesn’t she stick with teaching her a lesson? Why do you think she changed her mind? What would May have done if Junie B. hadn’t changed her mind?

Desk Candy
In Room One, all the students (including Junie B.) have candy cane garlands decorating their desks. Have students create their own garlands by cutting out candy cane shapes and coloring them. (As Junie B. says, “Who says all candy canes have to be red and white is what I want to know!”) Punch holes in the top, slide on yarn or string, and tape it around your desk for a festive look! On the back of each candy cane, students should list one thing they love to do around the holidays.

This guide was created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a reading specialist and children’s author. Visit her Web site to find many guides to children’s books.