Easy Candy Cane Ornament-Writing Instructions

Ok.  Don’t laugh.  Hang with me for a second.  Children in Grades K-5 get a kick out of making preschool crafts.  In addition, this super simple candy cane ornament craft motivates kids to write.

I learned about these ornaments from this blog when I was teaching a Kindergarten class at a home school co-op.  The students made them for Christmas.

I decided to have my writing campers make them as well, then write out the instructions.  The lesson is posted below!

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Common Core State Standards

NOTE:  This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.W.K.2, W.1.2, W.2.2, W.3.2, W.3.2.A, W.3.2.C, W.3.2.D, W.4.2, W.4.2.D, W.4.2.E, W.5.2, W.5.2.D and W.5.2.E.



To make the ornament, you need a red, white or green pipe cleaner* and red and white beads*.  I get both items in the craft aisle at Walmart.

Add a Name

If you only have a handful of students or you have extra zeal, you can get the beads with letters on them so students can bead their name into their candy cane.

green pipe cleaners for the candy cane ornament red and white beads for the candy cane ornament white beads with black letters on them for the candy cane ornament

  1. First, take a pipe cleaner.  Bend and ball up one end.

one green pipe cleaner balled up at the end

2. Fill the pipe cleaner with a pattern of red and white beads.  The pattern can be red, white, red, white OR three reds, three whites, what have you!

one green pipe cleaner with a pattern of red and white beads

3. Leave an inch of pipe cleaner empty.  Bend and ball up the end.

the other end of the pipe cleaner is straight the other end of the pipe cleaner is balled up

4. Shape the pipe cleaner into a candy cane.

a complete candy cane ornament


To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post.  The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.  Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7

Tell the Story Line

  1. Tell the story line:  You just finished making your own candy cane ornament.  Now, you’re going to write out the instructions so someone else can make it.


2.  Give the students time to recall the materials they used and the steps they took.  Have them speak these items out loud.  Write them on the board.

Show the 5 Sections

  1. Introduction (Engage the reader.)
  2. Materials
  3. Steps 1 and 2
  4. Steps 3 and 4
  5. Conclusion (Encourage the reader.)

As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction:  K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.


Guide the students through the following steps.

  1. Write the title on the first line in the center.
  2. Engage the reader by asking a question about Christmas crafts or ornaments for the tree.
  3. Write the word MATERIALS on the next line, left side and list them.
  4. Skip a line.
  5. On the next line, left side, write INSTRUCTIONS or STEPS.
Young or Struggling Writers

Encourage young writers to write 4 steps. Have them use the words, First, Next, Then, Last.

For example:

First, get a pipe cleaner.

Next, ball the end.

Then, put on the beads.

Last, ball the end.

Older or Advanced Writers

Encourage older writers to elaborate their instructions using details. They can also use the words, First, Next, Then, Last.

For example:

First, take a red, green or white pipe cleaner.  Tightly bend one end several times to form a ball.

Next, put a pattern of red and white beads on the pipe cleaner.  The pattern can be red, white, red, white or three reds, three whites.  Any pattern works!  Leave an inch of pipe cleaner empty at the end.

Then, bend the inch of pipe cleaner to form a ball.

Last, shape the beaded pipe cleaner to look like a candy cane.


8.  Write a conclusion that encourages the reader to make the ornament.


Once students are finished writing they can fill their border with a candy cane art accent.

a candy cane drawn on paper with red marker

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.


Silly Sentences:  (#2 of our Top 5 Writing Games) Use Christmas vocabulary to play!

a silly sentence on a whiteboard

Words with # of Letters

a list of words that have 5 letters

Answer.Question?-Speaking Version

an answer to a questions, "Fine, thanks!"