“The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” – book companion ideas and read aloud activities

Get ready for a holiday adventure and explore the theme of gift giving, friendship and creativity with “The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets”. With the adorable characters and a heartwarming story in this book, your read loud lessons just got cooler. In this story, where we return to the world of “The Food Group” characters by Jory John, you get to bring some festive cheer to the classroom with the Cool Bean, a character your students already know and love from “The Cool Bean” book.

In this post you will find free read aloud activities to go with the book. For even more low-prep easy to print and use activities and lesson plans for “As Cool as It Gets”, visit my TPT shop.

“The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” – book summary

In this Christmas read aloud the Cool Bean is participating in the annual gift exchange. However, he finds himself under a lot of stress to deliver a cool, amazing, awesomely expensive present. Drawing Beanadette’s name out of the hat has surely made him nervous!

Accompany the Cool Bean on his search for the perfect gift and explore the theme of the true meaning of giving: the best presents don’t have to be the most expensive or extravagant.

Why I love the message in “The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets”

This charming story really helps to reinforce the idea that holidays are not about the material possessions. Your students are likely to see a lot of expensive gifts being advertised or given to them or their friends and sometimes this can bring about hard feelings. With the help of “The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” by Jory John, you get an amazing opportunity to teach them holidays are about spreading joy and connecting with loved ones.

The solution that The Cool Bean finds in the book also provides ample opportunities to encourage your students to unleash their creativity. The Cool Bean, as well as his other friends, create handmade gifts: crafts or drawings. Encourage your students to prepare handmade presents to their friends once you finish the book.

To further explore the message of the book, hold a class discussion with the following questions:

Discussion questions to go with “The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets”:

  1. Why did the Cool Bean feel nervous about the gift exchange? Whose name did he draw out of the hat? Why did drawing Bernadette’s name make him worried?
  2. What can we learn about Beanadette’s personality from her reaction to the gift reveal? Did she get upset that she didn’t get jewelry or toys? Why did she like the gift?
  3. What did the Cool Bean think about gifts exchange at the beginning and at the end of the book? What changed?
  4. What did we learn about gift giving and holiday celebrations from the lesson of the story?

In my TPT resource, I share 5 days of lesson plans with even more questions to explore the different ideas and author’s messages in the book: click HERE to visit!

“The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” game idea

With this fun game, you get to dream about any gifts, big or small, and check how well you know your classmates. In addition to creating a holiday atmosphere, this is a great classroom community building activity.

Have your students draw names out of a hat and then have each student come up with a list of 3-5 gifts they think the person they drew would enjoy. Hold a class discussion to share their choice and ask the students whose name was drawn which gift from the list they would enjoy the most.

“The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” craft

At some point in the story, the Cool Bean considered making a hand-crafted gift. Together with your students, play story detectives and find a page in the book which lists all the items he wanted to use (an acorn, a button, a rock, an apple core, etc.).

For a fun “The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” book activity:

  • provide your students with materials for crafting a holiday postcard: colorful cardstock or paper, scissors, markers or crayons.
  • in addition to that, give them some fun items, such as ribbons, cutouts from magazines, leaves, cardboard straws
  • get creative with everyday use items and try to decorate the postcard with them to make your own creative hand-crafted gift.

Your students can then give their presents to friends or family to spread the holiday joy!

“The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” lesson plan

Here is how I would structure the lesson plan for “The Cool Bean” read aloud session:

  1. Before you read: ask the students to share their favorite holiday traditions to set the stage for introducing the theme of holidays celebrations and gift giving
  2. Display the cover of the book “The Cool Bean” and ask students to make predictions about the story based on the title and illustrations.
  3. Read the story aloud, make stops to ask questions and interact with the text of the story
  4. Discuss the story using the discussion questions provided above
  5. Play a game and work on the craft in this post

“The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets” worksheets and activities


Visit my TPT store to find a resource with 40+ ACTIVITIES and 5 DAYS of detailed lesson plans with detailed instructions to go with the book! This resource is filled with unique activities and low-prep ready-to-print worksheets.

In this unit you will find 5 DAYS OF DETAILED LESSON PLANS to accompany reading AS COOL AS IT GETS by Jory John. The lessons are filled with rigorous and engaging activities to help your students effectively and meaningfully engage with the book. The focus of each day in this study is the following:

Day 1 Introducing the book, Making inferences and predictions

Day 2 Character analysis (traits, motivation, feelings)

Day 3 Vocabulary development, Story elements (settings, point of view, key events), Retelling & Summarizing

Day 4 Problem & Solution, Cause & Effect, Main idea & Theme

Day 5 Author’s purpose and message, Reader’s response, Craft

Save big with bundles! Purchase all “The Food Group” resources more than 20% off and receive all future book companions. Click the images below to shop this post.

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