12.12.2010

Our Eight Days of Christmas Around the World: GERMANY

Yesterday, I wrote about the homemade Christmas Around the World unit study we'll be doing for the next couple of weeks and shared our plans for Scandinavia, which we'll do on Monday, December 13 - St. Lucia's Day in Sweden.

On Tuesday, December 14, we'll re-visit Germany, which we first studied just before Thanksgiving (and about which you may read my posts here and here).


DAY 2: GERMANY


Literature:
  • Christmas Around the World (Chapter 5) by Emily Kelley
  • Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell
  • Christmas Trees by Kathryn Stevens
  • An Early American Christmas (about a German immigrant family) by Tomie de Paola
  • The Family Christmas Tree Book by Tomie de Paola
  • The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Waiting for Christmas: A Story about the Advent Calendar by Kathleen Long Bostrom

Craft:

Christmas Tree Centerpiece (adapted from Celebrate Christmas Around the World - CCAW) -

  1. Cut out a Christmas tree cone pattern (such as the one on p. 29 of CCAW) and trace it onto a piece of tagboard. Cut out the tagboard shape;
  2. Form a cone with the tagboard shape, and overlap and tape the edges securely. Trim off the bottom edge if necessary so the cone stands up straight on a flat surface;
  3. Cut green tissue paper into long strips, 6" wide. Each student will need three to five strips. Fold each strip in thirds lengthwise. Now each strip is only 2" wide. Use scissors to make vertical cuts along the length of the strips. Cut to within 1/2" of the top edge;
  4. Starting at the bottom of the cone, wrap a strip around the cone so the cut edge flares out. Tape or glue the upper edge of the tissue paper to the cone as you wind it upwards on the cone. Repeat with each strip, layering them so at least 1/2 " of fringe shows on each strip. Continue to the top of the cone. Trim and secure the tissue at the tip;
  5. Take two star stickers and place them back-to-back around the top of a toothpick. Insert the toothpick into the top of the cone;
  6. Cut red tissue paper into many 4" squares. Wad up the squares of tissue paper to represent ornaments. Glue them onto your tree.

Alternately, you can do something simpler: Find a Christmas tree pattern (CCAW has a good one) and make copies (on tagboard). Each child should cut out a tree, color it, glue it onto a piece of construction paper, and then decorate it using a combination of markers, sequins, glitter glue, buttons, stickers, and/or sewing notions.

Other Activities:
  • Sing "O Christmas Tree!"
  • Color pictures of gingerbread men and/or nutcrackers
  • Discuss the tradition of the glass pickle ornament

Food:

CCAW explains that "Germans originated the traditional Christmas gingerbread house and figures" (30) so we'll make gingerbread cookies. CCAW includes a recipe, but we're making things simpler for ourselves by using a pre-mixed Pillsbury dough. In addition, we'll enjoy a favorite German treat, potato pancakes, as part of our lunch menu.


Language Arts:

The children will do narrations about Germany for their Christmas Around the World booklets, as they did for Scandinavia on Day 1.


Photo Credits: cindy251978 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindyandmike/5235595925/) and arm at flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/armatflickr/481157600/)

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