Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Around the World: Germany

As hinted at yesterday, and as I said at my post over on ABC and 123, we’ve started a Christmas Around the World Unit (follow the link for the outline of my plans for the whole thing), and we’re having lots of fun with it so far.  We’ve finished up Germany, and are mostly done with Iceland, so you’ll see posts about that next week.

We started off reading The Gingerbread Man and making gingerbread cookies.  Actually, the first recipe I made wasn’t for cookies you can roll out, so we had to make two batches.  The kids “suffered” through more cookies (the final working recipe is the one I included in the printable from Jan Brett’s website, which again if you haven’t been there go spend a few days drooling over all the free printables she’s created.)  And she’s got some awesome printables to go with her Gingerbread Baby books.  That, and Jolanthe just put up earlier this week a whole slew of cool gingerbread activities, and apparently that’s her post today.

Next, we went over to Jan Brett’s website again (can you tell how much I love it?) and went to her mural page and printed off the houses for my kids to create houses (and no that’s not a picture of my kids coloring houses, but I wanted a picture).  I told them the story of Hansel and Gretel to go with this.  Ahhhh, yes the nice gruesome Christmas tale of Hansel and Gretel.  Oh, it’s not really Christmas is it?

Of course after we did that I saw this cool post of a paper bag foldable gingerbread house that is way too cute.  Why does that always happen?

And we couldn’t learn about Germany without learning about Saint Nicholas and Saint Nicholas Day, my kids thought getting presents put in shoes was hilarious.  I thought the fact that some kids try to use the biggest shoe they can find hilarious.  And to go with it what a better way to learn than to watch the Veggietales version of Saint Nicholas, I love that movie!

Here’s what the completed lapbook looks like (the words were made in outline using wordart so the kids could trace them and practice writing).
To write through what’s on here.  On the front and back covers: Germany word to trace, the Jan Brett gingerbread houses (the big huge one is Batman’s who decided Santa was visiting).

On the inside is the recipe, their puppets, a book on Saint Nicholas, and lift the flap book for St. Thomas Day (that’s the donkey).  And all three kids had to draw what they wanted from Saint Nicholas.  Which, as I recall was Iron Man toys, Blue Arrow costume, and something which I can’t remember or decipher from her picture.  Oh, and I was quite proud of Batman for writing Saint Nicholas all on his own, of course I then had to find a creative way to glue it into the book…..

Now, head on over to Jolanthe’s website at Homeschool Creations and see the AWESOME gingerbread unit she’s put up and what everyone else is up to this week.
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