Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mexico: Christmas Around the World Across the Curriculum

Three Kings Day Curriculum:

We're continuing with our Christmas around the world unit and continuing to read Christmas Around the World by Mary Lankford.

Today, we learned how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico. We had a great time working with maps and exploring arts, crafts, cooking, and music that related to Christmas in Mexico.You can too!

Start your lesson using the portion of Christmas Around the World by Mary Lankford that covers Mexico. It has great information including tidbits on poinsettias and bunuelos--topics we used for cooking and crafts.

You can also watch this video from YouTube that shows scenes for Christmas in Mexico. Be sure to read the description below the video for more information about how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico. The video is from NorthPoleChristmas and is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHSxhW_1fkM.

Next make a few Chrismas crafts. Let your students paint their hands red to make the flowering part of a poinsetta. Here's ours!

Or you can find a picture of a poinsettia and ask students to color it using different shades of green and red color pencils.

Then we had some great fun in the kitchen--you can too-- where this student worked on his presentation skills to explain how to make bunuelos. You'll need a tortilla shell, butter, sugar, and colored sprinkles. It's so easy for kids. Here are his directions. As you'll hear at the end of the video, he hopes it gets lots of hits.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Australia: Christmas Around the World Across the Curriculum

Here's a great unit to integrate social studies, literature, music and the Christmas holiday. I'll add more countries soon, but we're starting with Australia.

Start with this book:
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox

This book shares the adventures of a wombat, an Australian animal as he and other Australian animals prepare for the Nativity scene.

For your students to learn more about the animals of Australia, use Unique Australian Animals' site at http://australian-animals.net/

Then learn how Christmas is celebrated in Australia. Read the Australia section from Christmas Around the World  by Mary Lankford. You can supplement this information with a bit of Australian Christmas history at WhyChristmas.com's site at http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/australia.shtml 

Be sure to follow the hyperlink to the Christmas Crackers page at http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/crackers.shtml and don’t miss out on the fun Christmas Cracker jokes at http://www.whychristmas.com/fun/cracker_jokes.shtml

(If you’re homeschooling your children or would like an activity to work on during the school break, look into Canadian’s Parents guide for making Christmas Crackers at http://www.canadianparents.com/article/make-your-own-christmas-crackers. )

Add a bit of music to your lesson next. We’ve had fun listening to this Australian children’s song: Six White Boomers sung by Rolf Harris and posted by Beautiful Purity.

I hope your students enjoy this tour of an Australian Christmas.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snowflake Christmas Quilts and Integrating Art, Reading, and Math

Here's a great, easy, and fun activity to do during the Christmas holidays: Create a snowflake quilt and integrate art, reading, and math!
Read "The Quilt Story" by Tony Johnston. (This is also a selection in Reading Street, 2nd grade.)

Next, create your own snowflake quilt. Get red, white, green, and black construction paper. Choose one color for the background. Then folder the other three sheets in half lengthwise.

Cut those sheets in half--you can share the other half with another child.

With the three half sheets of paper, fold each one in half and then in half again. You will have four rectangles. Use the creases to cut out the four rectangles. Continue until you have twelve rectangles total (you will only need eight.).

Then get ready to make your snowflakes. Fold each rectangle in half and then half again.

Finally, make a triangle fold a the edge.

Cut shapes out of your rectangles like squares, hearts, or even more rectangles.

When you're done cutting, open each rectangle. Place them in a pattern on the last full sheet of contractions paper to make a quilt. If you have lots of students, you can place the finished snowflake quilts next to each other to create an even bigger class quilt.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Lesson Plan for Elementary Students

Here’s a lesson for younger students to learn more about Pearl Harbor Day.


Introduce students to a Pearl Harbor survivor. Take your students to the article in The Gaston Gazette: http://www.gastongazette.com/articles/pearl-63351-harbor-army.html
Ask your students to first listen to the video of Jack Leach as he talks to his great grandson’s 2nd grade class.  Then ask them to read the article. Finally, ask them to play the slide show and look for the medals and the Hawaiian dollar.

Reading Guide
What is the solder's name?
Where was he stationed?
What was he doing when the bombing happened?
What did he think was happening?
Why did everyone think Pearl Harbor was safe?
What souvenir did he keep with him?
What would have happened if he got caught? 


Next, show your students footage from Pearl Harbor day. Here’s a video from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2PDl-wSBLQ posted by dizzo95:


Finally, end your lesson with a virtual field trip to the Modesto Radio Museum at http://www.modestoradiomuseum.org/radio%20reports%20pearl.html
Allow your students to explore the online museum page and listen to radio broadcasts from Pearl Harbor day.