I used this cute Rudolph art project that I got from Amy from Step Into Second Grade (click on the picture to go to TPT to download this freebie).
I had my students color their reindeer any way they wanted. They could decide where they wanted to put bow (to make it a boy or girl), what color they wanted the nose (Rudolph, a regular reindeer), etc. Then they glued it onto a piece of construction paper and decorated a background scene. I was sneaky...I didn't tell them why (don't you just love being sneaky with your students...I do!).
The next day I gave them back to the class and told them to write a story about their reindeer. I told them they could write anything they wanted. I gave them the writing paper and they were so excited. I don't normally give them a free writing project (too much state test prep), so this was sooooo much fun. Can you imagine the conversations I heard about their reindeer's adventure??? Too cute! Here is a picture of the writing paper I gave them.
Here are some of the papers the students turned in..
Aren't they cute???