Fun and Easy Reindeer Sandwiches-Writing Instructions

This is a super easy and charming lesson that I conducted with a small group of 5 writers.  It can certainly be used for a larger group if an assembly line for making the sandwiches is strategically set up.

A Simple and Festive Snack

Prior to the Christmas/New Year’s Break, I had told my afterschool writing club that we would be making a simple snack and then writing the instructions for it.

*This post contains affiliate links.  For more information, see my disclosures here.*

To get ideas, I googled simple holiday snacks for kids and landed on this great blog, Uplifting Mayhem, that recommended the recipe.

And the clever woman who created the recipe had posted it on her blog, A Spotted Pony:

Adorable!  Super simple.  And highly motivating to writers!

a girl holding up a piece of bread without the heart shaped middle a girl with her reindeer sandwich

Nut Allergies

Because I wasn’t able to use peanut butter at the school where I teach the writing club, I simply used butter.  ANY sandwich can work really.  Go for what’s easy for you and works for your kids!

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.



Ingredients that you’ll need to conduct this lesson are:  Bread, Butter, Jam, small twist pretzels, M&Ms,

bread butter jam pretzels M&Ms


Materials that you’ll need are: paper plates, two butter knives, a heart-shaped cookie cutter, napkins.

  1. Make a peanut butter (or butter) and jam sandwich.

boy spreading butter on a slice of bread

2.  Cut out a heart with a cookie cutter.

a girl using a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut a heart out of the sandwich

3.  Insert two twist pretzels for the ears.

4.  Place two M&Ms for the eyes and one M&M for the nose.

a completed reindeer sandwich


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 reindeer sandwich.  Now, you’re going to write out the instructions so someone else can make it.


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

Show the 5 Sections

Introduction (Engage the reader.)

Ingredients and Materials

Steps 1 and 2

Steps 3 and 4

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 snacks, festive foods, fun sandwiches.
  3. On the 2nd line, left side, write the word INGREDIENTS and list them.
  4. On the next line, left side, write the word MATERIALS and list them.
  5. Under the materials, write the word STEPS or INSTRUCTIONS.
Young or Struggling Writers

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

For example:

First, make a sandwich. 

Next, add the ears.

Then, put two eyes.

Last, put one nose.

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, to make the sandwich, take a piece of bread and spread butter on it.  Spread jam on top of the butter. Take a second piece of bread and place it on top of the jam.

Next, find a cookie cutter that is in the shape of a heart.  Center the cookie cutter.  Press down and cut a heart out of the sandwich.

Then, to make the ears, take two pretzels.  Insert one pretzel between the two pieces of bread at the top left side of the sandwhich.  Do the same thing on the right side.

Last, take two M&Ms that are the same color.  Place them to make the eyes.  Place a third M&M in the center to make the nose.


6.  Write a conclusion that encourages the reader to make the reindeer sandwich.

a child writing a conclusion

Print the Lesson

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


For the art accent, simply make the sandwich and enjoy.

a girl enjoying the activity

For an additional art accent, I took a picture of a sandwich for the students to paste at the top of their writing.  You can use the image too!  Here’s a page full for you to print out and use

a boy proud of his writing and reindeer sandwich a boy proud of his writing and reindeer sandwich


Correct the paragraph

Spelling/Vocabulary-4-11:  (#3 of our Top 5 Writing Games) Use ingredient words to play!

Taboo (using the FOOD cards)

cards from the game Taboo that has food words on them

A shout out special thanks to Nature’s Own bread*, Welch’s jam*, mini-pretzels* and M&Ms* for consistently filling my pantry and helping to make writing fun for kids!