Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Story (For Children)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: An Engaging Retelling by the team at the Learner's Nook

The Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer story is perhaps the most famous Christmas story ever written. Though it really isn’t very old, the original Rudolph story was only published back in 1939, it is now a Christmas staple. It was made even more famous after the classic 1964 stop-motion animation.

We have tried to adapt the Rudolph story so that it is more accessible for ELL/ESL learners. This story is told in the past tense with simple language. We have included hyperlinks to more complicated language so you can see a definition of that word by clicking on it.

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If you have any questions, please click on the image below.

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Story: A Story by the Learner’s Nook

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Once upon a time, there was a reindeer named Rudolph.
Rudolph was not the same as the other reindeer.
Rudolph had a bright, red nose that glowed.

Rudolph crying

Every day at school, the other reindeer made fun of Rudolph.
They did not let Rudolph play any games with them.
This often made Rudolph feel sad. 

a foggy, snowy night

One Christmas, it was very foggy. 
Santa could not fly his sleigh because he could not see.
Christmas was going to be canceled.

Santa asking reindeer for his help

But then, Santa remembered Rudolph and his red nose.
Santa found Rudolph and asked him,
“Rudolph, will you lead my sleigh tonight?”

Rudolph leading the sleigh

Santa quickly led Rudolph back to his sleigh.
Rudolph was then placed at the front of the reindeer team.

Santa flying through the sky with his sleigh

The sleigh was loaded.
Santa and the reindeer were ready.
With a call from Santa, the sleigh and reindeer began to fly.

Santa flying over a city

With help from Rudolph’s nose, Santa could see clearly.
They began to make their way around the world with everyone’s presents.

Some of the various locations that Santa visits.

As they flew, Rudolph was able to see many amazing sights:
tall buildings, beautiful forests, and large oceans.

The North Pole

Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the team began to head home to the North Pole.
Rudolph was very tired, but he enjoyed every minute of the night.

All the other reindeer now love Rudolph

After that day, Rudolph’s life changed.
All of the other reindeer realized that Rudolph’s nose was helpful and amazing.
They all apologized for being mean, and Rudolph soon had many friends.

The End

Every year, Rudolph would help Santa deliver presents.
Every year, he loved to lead the sleigh.
And everyone lived happily ever after.

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Other Christmas Resources from The Learner’s Nook

We have been putting out lots of other great Christmas content like this. Here is a full list of all things Christmas here at the Learner’s Nook this year.

Christmas Vocabulary
Best Christmas Songs for English Learners
A Christmas Carol (Story)
The Elves and the Shoemaker (Story)

Lyrics for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Source for lyrics

You know Dasher and Dancer
And Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid
And Donner and Blitzen
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
(reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose
(like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it
(saw it)
You would even say it glows
(like a flashlight)


All of the other reindeer
(reindeer)
Used to laugh and call him names
(like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph
(Rudolph)
Play in any reindeer games
(like Monopoly)

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
(Ho Ho Ho)
Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?


Then how the reindeer loved him
(loved him)
As they shouted out with glee
(yippee)
“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
(reindeer)
You’ll go down in history!”
(like Columbus)

Rudolph YouTube Video

What We Can Learn With This Story

Work on Your Past Tense Verbs

Lots of ELL/ESL students have issues learning past tense verbs. To become perfectly fluent, it takes a lot of practice. One way to do that is by reading stories like these where your child can passively interact with and use the past tense.

Learn Christmas Vocabulary

There is a lot of vocabulary that is specific to the Christmas season. Vocabulary like presents, Santa, or reindeer. This story can help you introduce this vocabulary to your child. It can also be used to reinforce what your child has already learned.

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More Christmas Stories for Kids

The Christmas season is an important one to many people. For ELL/ESL learners who aren’t familiar with Christmas traditions, the Rudolph story is a great introduction to this wonderful time of year.

We hope to put out more Christmas stories throughout December. If you want to be kept up to date on what we are releasing, please sign up for our email list.

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