12.14.2010

Our Eight Days of Christmas Around the World: FRANCE

So far in our Christmas Around the World unit study, we've learned about traditions in Scandinavia and Germany. Next, we head to France - and our one-day overview of French Christmas customs will serve as a helpful introduction to our more in-depth study of the country through our core curriculum right after the holidays.


DAY 3: FRANCE


Literature:
  • Christmas in France by Kristin Thoennes
  • Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • "Old Pierre's Christmas Visitors - A French Legend" by Fiona Waters from The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories (Ian Whybrow, Editor)

Craft:

Celebrate Christmas Around the World (CCAW) suggests making a creche diorama and santons de provence (i.e., characters in the Christmas story). For the figures, the book contains recipes for both salt and cornstarch dough, but - as with previous activities - we've chosen to simplify things a bit. Thus, we'll use Crayola® Model Magic - a lightweight, easy-to-use clay that comes in various colors - instead. Each child will make figures for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the manger; time and materials permitting, they may choose to make more characters if they'd like.


Other Activities:

We'll sing "The First Noël" and "O Come, O Come, Immanuel," two French carols included in CCAW. As a review, we'll also play the Geography Game for Europe that comes with our core curriculum.


Food:

Christmas in France (Thoennes) tells us that "the French do not have traditional foods for their Christmas meals," but instead "eat many kinds of foods during [the season]" (19). However, CCAW mentions both ham and French bread so we'll enjoy both at lunch, along with some leftover Norwegian fruit soup...and French-cut green beans just for fun.


Language Arts:

The children will do narrations about France for their Christmas Around the World booklets, as they did for Scandinavia on Day 1 and Germany on Day 2. In addition, they'll make booklet covers since we haven't yet had time to do that.


Photo Credits: cindy251978 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindyandmike/5235595925/) and Sebastien Michel (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastien_michel/3300630413/)

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