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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Holidays Around the World and Other Christmas projects....

Here you will find a few of the activities we did during our holidays around the world unit.  I'd love to know what you do in your classroom. Please share! :)

Priceless Presents (From Lesson Plan SOS)

Instead of  giving each other monetary gifts, the students gave each other priceless presents. They each wrote compliments about all the other students in the classroom. They then wrapped a box and brought it in to school The students then exchanged compliments. When we were finished they had a box full of kind words and compliments! This is the first year I've done this. The students loved it. Okay...I'll admit I did have to hold back a few tears as I watched them read their cards. They were so grateful for this priceless present. (Get your copy of the compliment card activity from Lesson Plan SOS TpT Store.)
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Reading the cards with a smile on her face!

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Delivering compliment cards.

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Holidays Around the World

Because we had THREE snow days before Christmas, we only had time to "travel" to three different countries to learn how they celebrate their holidays.  Each day we packed our suitcases, got our passports stamped, and got on board the "Polar Express". We had a tour guide (AKA: Mrs. Lewis became many different people) that explained the customs of the country. When we were finished learning, we made a souvenir and ate a traditional food from that country.Each day we also had math and literacy activities to accompany our learning. (Many ideas for the unit came from Christina Bainbridge)!


The students were each asked to bring in a cereal box to create a suitcase. (I have found cereal boxes work better than manila folders because they give the students room to collect all their treasures.) We cut off one side of the cereal box, wrapped it and added some stamps.
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Cutting the side off the cereal box

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Working as a team to wrap the suitcase
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Wrapping the suitcase
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Coloring the suitcase stamps
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The finished product!



We started in America where we learned about different customs and traditions of the people

in our own country. We read 
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We also created cinnamon applesauce ornaments and ate a candy cane. Teacher's Clubhouse has many different activities to go along with the reindeer theme.


Next, we "traveled" to Mexico. The students made a poinsettia pinwheel and enjoyed chips and salsa.

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Click to download Welcome to Mexico sign



Our next "stop" was Italy. We made a broom for our souvenir and also created a broom snack since La Befana, the Christmas witch delivers presents to the boys and girls.(Click on the word links to find directions for this craft and snack.) Students also created a ceppo to show what is important to them.


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Creating the witches' broom

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We used these maps to locate the different places we were traveling. She is creating her ceppo. (see above link to download document)


We then learned about Hannukah. My wonderful husband came in and helped us make potato latkes. He works with a few Jewish doctors that were able to get us dreidels and the candy to use while playing spin the dreidel. Dreidels can also be made out of milk cartons. This year we ran out of time, but we also typically make a menorah craft for the souvenir. 

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Latkes (potato pancakes)
Click to download files: 



Our final stop before reaching the North Pole was Germany. In Germany we learned about Christmas trees, gingerbread, as well as many other traditions. We ate gingerbread cookies and created a Christmas tree as our souvenir. (See previous post for gingerbread activities.)


earlyamericanchristmas.jpg image by tancraven



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The pieces for creating the Christmas tree
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finished trees
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Click to download files

Christmas Party
On Thursday we had our Christmas party! Our wonderful room mother coordinated it to fit our Holidays Around the World theme!


Crafts: The students each got to create their very own gingerbread house (Germany). When they were finished they put the house in a cute little box and tied a ribbon around it to make it look like a present!

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Creating gingerbread houses
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using icing and candy to decorate the gingerbread houses
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wrapping and boxing the gingerbread house
Games: Christmas tree relay game (Germany) - Each team was given a roll of tissue paper and ornaments. They had to decorate one person from their team to look like a Christmas tree! (They loved this!) Next, they played a broom relay race (Italy). The two teams raced each other as they swept a snow ball with a broom around a cone and back.We also played Spin the Dredel (Hanukkah).

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racing to decorate her with the whole roll of tissue paper

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The finished tree!

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Playing spin the dreidel.

Snacks: donuts (fried in oil -Hanukkah), Pizell (italy), hot chocolate with chocolate chips (Mexico), candy cane to stir the hot chocolate (America),

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Thanks SO MUCH to all the wonderful parents (and grandparents) for all the help and support during this learning process! :) (Those that couldn't attend the party too!)

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Our room mom who organized and planned our terrific party! :)
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2 comments:

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  2. Thank you for all of your great ideas! I am starting a Holiday Around the World unit next week!

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