Tag Archive | Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Christmas In Our Homeschool

We have always based a lot of our curriculum around the seasons and holidays and Christmas has always been a month long unit for our family. This year I took a bit of a different approach. While the little ones still did the group binder with its worksheets, drawings and colouring pages the twins were in charge of their OWN notebook. Surprisingly enough, with some whining and complaining we still managed a project that we ALL feel proud of. Lots of independent mini reports were written up and even ideas of things to paste in their books on their own were brought forth!

Of course I have a long list of resources and I am going to share them for my benefit as well as others… Movies first!

  • the Muppet Christmas Carol, I found a great worksheet set thanks to IPA Productions that deals with the original story for the twins that tied in nicely with the movie. We used the movie as an accessible medium to introduce the story and then they read the condensed version in these worksheets HERE. There is a cute colouring page for the movie HERE from Coloring Wallpapers.
  • Veggie Tales – Saint Nicholas, A Story of Joyful Giving
  • Veggie Tales – It’s a Meaningful Life
  • Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Books! (sorry no links… but hopefully with name and author you can stumble upon them… this post is simply too late as is!)

  • The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi. This was a great introduction the origins of Santa without ruining the magic for anyone as the book ends with the tradition being continued on after Saint Nicholas’ passing by a boy in the village who was chosen to continue his work.
  • Christmas by Trudi Strain Trueit
  • Christmas Around the World by Emily Kelley. We love this book, each of the twins chose THREE countries and summarized the traditions they have into on brief paragraph that I spell checked and then they copied into their notebooks.
  • Christmas by Natalie M. Rosinsky
  • O Christmas Tree by Jacqueline Farmer
  • Christmas by Alice K. Flanagan
  • Celebrate Christmas by Deborah Heiligman
  • A Short History of Christmas by Sally Lee
  • Merry Christmas Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach and Herb Erlbach
  • Twelve Days of Christmas in Minnesota by Constance Van Hoven
  • Christmas Traditions Around the World by Ann Ingalls
  • Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett… this was a random mid unit find at the library. The art is AMAZING!
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
  • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
  • What Star is This? by Joseph Slate
  • City of Snow, The Great Blizzard of 1888 by Linda Oatman High
  • The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • A Child Was Born by Grace Maccarone
  • The Heron Christmas Carol by Frances Tyrrell
  • My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
  • What is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams
  • The Christmas Story by Jane Werner
  • A Very Shiny Christmas by Debbie Guy-Christiansen
  • A Pussycat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Santa’s Snow Cat by Sue Stainton
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen
  • Santa is Coming to Texas by Steve Smallman
  • A Porcupine in a Pine Tree by Helaine Becker
  • Christmas Is… by Gail Gibbon
  • A Kenyan Christmas by Tony Johnston
  • The Nutcracker by Bethany Snyder
  • The Gingerbread Man by Dawn Bentley
  • Recordable storybooks read by Gammie – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Night Before Christmas
  • And a lovely British book mailed by a friend of Favourite Christmas Stories from Brown Watson publishers

Hanukkah, while not the most important Jewish holiday IS the one closest to Christmas and the best known generally so we did cover it briefly. Here are our books.

  • Hanukkah by Rebecca Pettiford
  • Hanukkah Around the World by Tami Lehman-Wilzig
  • Hanukkah by Lisa M. Herrington
  • Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael J. Rosen

You can find some terrific printables on Teacher Vision HERE and a Hanukkah mini book thanks to Family Education HERE.

Of course we covered Polar Express, both the book and the movie. The little ones did parts of a lapbook I had purchased years previous but we supplemented with worksheets… pages from a party kit by Houghton Mifflin Books HERE, Scholastic.com had some resources HERE, and activities and lessons by Busy Teachers Cafe HERE.

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

We covered a lovely range of topics from symbols to world traditions and including Santa Claus and reindeer. A supplementary fact page about reindeer HERE thanks to Kids Play and Create. I also have some resources I have acquired from Currclick:

  • The History of Candy Canes HERE. We also watched how candy canes were made on The Kid Should See This HERE
  • Christmas Symbols Lapbook HERE

Want a little info about Boxing Day? We got ours from Ducksters HERE.

 

I hope these links are helpful… late as they are posted!! IMAG1959

Penguin Resources

So from platypuses to penguins… we are truly into the “P” critters!! So of course it is time for a resource blog!

Free lapbooks!

Worksheets

Helpful Websites

Books

Crafts

  • Paper Loop Penguins at Crafty-Crafted.com
  • Enjoy a colour wheel with Art Projects for Kids. This is not so much a craft but a simple printable set up with all the colours, complementary, cold and warm… great illustration of it.
  • Penguin finger puppets at Fantastic Find
Games

Of course there is always a video to supplement. If you want the cliff notes version of Captain Cook (the explorer our first penguin is named after)? Check out Crash Course World History on youTube.

We did have a video to watch:

No video to embed, but if you go to Amazon… Dirty Jobs included looking after Penguins at a zoo in an episode HERE. As there is a misunderstanding as to WHAT Captain Cook is early in the book, there is a small section on the dodo… I decided to do a little searching for some resources…

We had two videos we watched, TED only is relevant to the process of a Mythbusters host creating his own skeleton but some amazing shots of it and his reference.

And a museum short from Manchester

Some of the penguins were named after obvious famous people. We watched videos about some of the more interesting (to our boys) characters… First Columbus.

Ferdinand Magellan

And two about Robert Falcon Scott

Chapter 13 deals with music AND training animals. So there is the music link for The Merry Widow Waltz HERE. And then Schubert’s Military March on youTube.

For trained animals we chose to take a peek at the trained cormorants in China. There is a list on the lapbook file of other options but this one seemed to scream our kids’ interest.

Mr. Popper starts his travels with the penguins in Seattle. So of course we had to check out a tourist video..

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Reuse, Recycle, RESPONSIBLE

April 24-25

Just like I promised, more Dirty Jobs today… Mattress Recycler (Season 4, Episode 7) where they… recycle mattresses (and remove old abandoned boats) can be watched (with Prime) for free on Amazon HERE. Our second episode was Chinatown Garbage Collector (Season 1, Episode 4) again Amazon (Prime for free) HERE.

Nana and Baba took just Trinity and Emanuel out for the morning, once they finished their letter and word practice of course!! It is so quiet with just 3 of the kids here! Especially when the twins are busy watching their Dirty Jobs.

We have continued our discussion with a list of things you can recycle…

  1. bottles and cans
  2. paper and cardboard
  3. glass
  4. metal
  5. toilets
  6. paint
  7. old toys/teddies… repurpose OR gift
  8. wood
  9. mattresses
  10. plastic
  11. food (compost)

We have always been aware of the good you can do by passing things along and have not only been a passer but a passee. (Is that even a term??) There is no reason that a handmedown should be refused if it is useful! When we use what we or someone else already has we are making a smaller footprint and extending the life of items that would otherwise fill up our landfills.

Our Earth Week related book of the day (and the last one I have that is not a chapter book) is Earth Day from the Let’s See company. This book is by Marc Tyler Nobleman. Today, in honour of conservation we did NOT print off anything specifically for this book or do a special page. Instead, we discussed what we learned and added to our list of things you can recycle on the back of our large brown paper page.. this paper is full up of information, both sides and once we are done will be used for a craft and then recycled. The kids are so proud of how we use BOTH sides of everything (scratch paper or scrap paper we call it here… so I can write out the sentences they tell me for them to in turn copy). We certainly cannot be paper free here but we are doing our best to make each scrap count! I am still determined to make paper with the kids this summer. We just need to get together our supplies and a sunny weekend for Ken to join in!

Earth Day

Our chapter book had a list of things the kids in the story needed to do to be a part of the Green Club… 10 things to conserve and clean the earth… Out of the 10 we have one left on the list to accomplish! Pick up 10 pieces of garbage. How many do you do on the list?

  1. Use recycled items to make crafts
  2. Turn off the lights, computers, etc
  3. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth
  4. Use reusable bottles for water (we use cups in the bathroom)
  5. Pick up 10 pieces of trash (our mission!)
  6. Bike or walk to school. We count this as done as we walk to parks, walk around the house and run outside for fun!
  7. Use cloth bags at the grocery store (we also added in that when we get plastic or paper we use them for other things… I have a ball of plarn waiting for time to learn how to make something with it!)
  8. Use BOTH sides of the paper… of course!!
  9. Use cloth towels instead of paper in the kitchen
  10. Take showers over baths (or if you are going to take a LOOONG time in the tub take that bath we agreed that a bath soak would use LESS water but showers ARE faster)
We did one of our two recycled 2 L bottle crafts… one will have to wait until the weekend and ken having more time. Our first craft is towards the end of the video list… a rain gauge. Now there are all sorts of problems with it, I am curious if we will keep up our initial water level… will it give a good reading? But that’s what an experiment is all about right???

With rain gauge

The twins and I took a moment to return to our penguin roots and look at an extra book. Without Emanuel I did not want to cover the next chapter in Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Our book was I am a Penguin by Karen Durrie. The twins took turns reading the book to me… we came upon a surprising fact that we had not seen before: “I keep my feathers dry with oil from my tail.” Definitely new to us!

I am a Penguin

Reading Together

We also made our very own penguin finger puppets. You can follow our instructions HERE. Though Ken winged it with his pieces and made his own pattern. Of course we had to wait to show them off properly until the next day.

Our pieces

Assembly

Penguins!

We had another penguin book as well… My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. We got together and drew an amazing penguin habitat!

Habitat

We were creative all over the place… the boys continued work on their boat… the girls made block towers…

Towers in pastels

I finished my infinity scarf and made it well… infinite! You can find the pattern I used HERE. Thanks to my Facebook friend Keith for the suggestion AND all the support while I worked it out!

Sorry about the picture.. I was so excited to finish it that I took it in my pj’s

We are certainly getting our earth facts down!!! I think next year when we do Earth Day/Week we will focus some time on what the earth is actually made of and its place in the universe as well!

Of course ECHO believes SHE is the center of the universe… and who are we to say she isn’t? hehe