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    Christmas Around the World Unit
    By Debbie

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    My collegue and I are currently teaching a Christmas Around the World Unit togehter to grades 1-3. We've talked about doing this for atleast two years, and this year just decided to go for it!

    We decided we had enough information to cover 10 different countries (Mexico, Sweden, England, Poland, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, and the United States). We typed up a fact sheet for each country with basic facts about their Christmas traditions. Then copied coloring pages, map outlines, flags to color in, etc. for each country and bound them together into a book for each student. We had a Christmas tree pattern that had "Merry Christmas" written in several different languages on it that the students colored and then glued to construction paper for the cover. We plan to spend 2 days on countries like England, Italy, and Mexico that have more information and 1 day on the others. We tried to plan a craft for each country, snacks for some countries, tradebooks to read aloud, etc. Here's a rough breakdown of our plans....

    Day 1-2 Mexico
    Read over fact sheet together...Read aloud Night of Las Posadas...color in flag, international children pages...enjoy fruit salad snack.

    Read Legend of the Poinsettia...make poinsettia craft.

    Day 3 Sweden
    Read over fact sheet, color in flag and international children pages...read Tomten...make St. Lucia crowns...eat "S" shaped Swedish sweet rolls

    Day 4-5 England
    Read over fact sheet, color in flag, talk about how the Christmas Card tradition started in England...make and send Christmas cards to my fiance who lives in England

    Talk about the tradition of Christmas Crackers, which are little toliet paper rolls wrapped up in Christmas paper. You pull them apart and they make a popping noise. Inside is a silly hate, toy, and joke. British families do this before eating their Christmas dinner. My fiance sent enough over for each student to have one...read the 12 Days of Christmas...drink Wassail (warm apple/cranberry cider)

    Day 6 Poland
    Read over fact sheet, color in flag...Make an angel craft project

    Day 7 Holland
    Read over fact sheet, color in flag and international children pages...Make a windmill craft project

    Day 8 France
    Read over fact sheet, color in flag....Make Noel Sign Craft...enjoy a Swiss Roll (Little Debbie Snack)..they looke like the Yul logs (Buche de Noel) the the French enjoy at Christmas.

    Day 9 Germany
    This will fall on St. Nick's Day. We are having the children leave out their gym shoes for "St. Nick" to leave a treat in.
    Read over Germany fact sheet, color in flag...since the Christmas tree originated in Germany, we'll make a mini-tree craft...enjoy snickerdoodle cookies

    Day 10-11 Italy
    Read over fact sheet, color in flag and international children pages...Read Merry Christmas Strega Nona...do a "hidden letter" activity

    Read La Befana..talk about the legend...complete a La Befana writing activity...enjoy macaroons

    Day 12 Ireland
    Read over fact sheet...color in flag and international children pages...make a holy wreath craft

    Day 13 United States
    Read over fact sheet...color in flag...Read Twas the Night Before Christmas...make a Christmas stocking craft...enjoy a candy cane

    This is just a rough outline of what we are doing. If something doesn't make sense or you'd like me to elaborate, just let me know. I can also tell you what books we got a lot of our ideas from if you'd like. They are at school or I would've posted the names and authors as well.

    As a cummulative closing project, we plan to divide our students into 10 groups (3 kids per group). We bought small fake Christmas trees at Big Lots. Each group will get to decorate a small tree with symbols of the country they are assigned. We've printed off clip art for them to make into ornaments (flags, country symbols, etc.) They can make paper chain link garland with the countries colors to go around the trees as well. Our trees will be on display at our Christmas Musical concert. We had each student donate $2.50 to cover the costs of the materials for this project as well, if you were wondering.

    I hope this helps!
    Deb



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