Year round, we have a book basket going. It is filled with library books that I have checked out related to various subjects that we are studying or something one of the girls has expressed an interest in. It might be laden with science books one month and books about World War II survivors another. It is always changing and always full of information. December, though, brings about a different book basket. This one is full of memories and favorite friends. Books we remember and exclaim over seeing again after the past year has hidden them away. We pull them out and remark about how much we have missed this story or those illustrations. They are old friends and we are so excited to see them again.
We have two different book baskets in December. On December 1, one of the baskets is filled with wrapped books. These are books that I have carefully chosen, either because of the message or the illustrations or the fact that one or more of the girls absolutely loves the book. The other basket is full of the rest of the Christmas books. (We have a lot!) These are available all the time for the girls to read from.
We are doing something a bit different this year with each book that we unwrap. We read it at night, when it is unwrapped. The next day, there is at least one activity related to the book. I will be sharing posts with you for a few of these books and activity combinations. Starting now.
Santa Calls by William Joyce: A cute story with a setting in Texas. This is a favorite of the girls and we discussed story elements with it. (setting, main and supporting characters, plot, etc.) We discussed the lists the children typically make this time of year and what they represent (greed). I then asked the girls to create a letter to Santa asking him for a single item, something very special.
The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currety: This sweet little book is a fun one about how a friend can help you through sad spots. A wreath is placed by Milly, the little girl in the story, on Florian’s neck to show her love. Florian is the unicorn. We made a wreath for the front door. We also made stick unicorns for the girls’ dolls to play with.
The Tiny Star by Arthur Ginolfi: This lovely little book is a sweet reminder that we all have a purpose and that it may seem small but end up being huge. We made star wands in the tradition of the Sternsinger (star singer) of Germany, the country we were studying that day. We also baked star shaped cookies.
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore: We read this and talked about poetry. We discussed the history of the poem. The girls each got a small printed booklet of the poem with blank spaces for them to illustrate it. It is ornament sized and they are hung on the tree.
Din Dan Don It’s Christmas by Janina Domanska: After reading the carol, we studied the illustrations. They are colorful and geometric in nature. They resemble scratch art so each girl made a scratch art picture using the illustrations as inspiration.
Trouble At Christmas by Russell Johnson: We talked about how each animal wanted to have his own way and how that caused issued. We also talked about how each animal had very special talents and ability of his very own that no one else had. The importance of recognizing your own abilities but still being able to work as a team is huge. So the girls were given the assignment to gather all of our small animals (i.e. Little People creatures) and assemble their own team of animals to pull Santa’s sleigh.
If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson: I love the message of this book and, while the statement of salvation at the end of the book does not share the truth from the Bible and include immersion baptism, I still like the theme of the book. This is one we will keep on the shelf year-round. To help the girls remember that Jesus has done so much for us, we are painting canvases that are about 2″x3″ that have the words “If He Had Not Come.”
So that is installment number one of our books and activities. Look for the next installment in a few days. I am trying to catch up and do about 7 or 8 at a time so Part 2 won’t be long now. At Home.
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