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Entries in Christmas (3)

Wednesday
Dec222010

Keeping Kids Entertained During Christmas Break

Christmas is right around the corner and there is lots of excitement in the air!  The kids are out of school for two weeks and are probably already complaining of being bored.  Here are a few things we have tried around our house to spark creativity while keeping kids occupied.

Christmas Projects:

  • Stained-Glass Art: First, pick up an inexpensive 8x10 frame. Then, let your kids print our their favorite coloring sheet.  Place the coloring sheet under the glass and tape to secure.  (Hint: I use blue painter's tape.)  Outline the image with a black Sharpie.  To create the stained-glass effect, fill in the image using various colored Sharpies.  Finally, cover the frame backing with aluminum foil and reassemble the frame.  Voila!  The kids will be impressed with their beautiful piece of art.  (P.S. Don't worry if you mess up.  You can easily correct any mistakes with a q-tip and glass cleaner!)
  • Christmas Ornaments: Better Homes & Gardens has a great article filled with creative and unique ornaments children can make themselves.  From quilling to clothes-pins, there are enough ideas here to keep them busy for a while.  Not to mention, your tree will sparkle with memories!
  • Miniature Gingerbread House: This is a fun, but edible activity.  Kids will enjoy making these tasty confections out of graham crackers.
  • Crazy for Cookies: From snowballs to stained glass windows, there are enough cookie recipes here to satisfy any picky eater.
  • Creative Writing: Okay, I admit I am trying to sneak in something educational.  This is actually fun, though!  Our kids really enjoy writing their own stories at Storybird.  Why not create one with a winter theme or in holiday style?
  • Online Stories: Listen to Lou Diamond Phillips read the Polar Express at Storyline Online.
  • Digital Art: Our oldest daughter loves creating digital art using Gimp.  Richard Byrne highlights five other online drawing tools at his blog Free Technology for Teachers.

This list could go on and on and on!  There are so many activities from which to choose that you are only limited by your imagination!  Please share some of your faves.  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays!

Friday
Dec102010

Showcase Christmas Traditions With Glogster

Merry Christmas! Last season, we went global by researching the Christmas and holiday traditions of various countries and cultures around the world.  It was such a hit that we are planning to visit other countries this year.  Also, this is a fun and meaningful way to incorporate various technology tools including Google Earth, Google Docs and Glogster into your teaching and learning.  In this Age of Technology, the world is at our fingertips making it possible to experience the wonders of many places.  This project is a great way to teach children about other cultures and to embrace our diversity. 

Happy Holidays!

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Project Details

  1. Choose a country of interest and research the Christmas and/or holiday traditions.  Use the Google Docs handout to take notes and record your information. 
  2. Using Google Earth, locate your country and explore the region.
    • On what continent is your country located?
    • Are there any large bodies of water nearby?
    • Are there any interesting geological features?
  3. Create a digital poster using Glogster highlighting the information you found important or just plain cool! Make sure to include the following in your final project:
    • Christmas and/or Holiday Greetings
    • Holiday songs
    • Traditions
    • Food
    • Images and/or videos
    **I have included the final projects completed by our children last year.  Enjoy!**

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Christmas in Australia

Created by Abby (4th grade)

Christmas in Germany


Created by Luc (2nd grade)

Christmas in France


Created by Ellie (1st Grade)

 

 



Thursday
Dec172009

Christmas Around the World

Merry Christmas! This season we are going global by researching the Christmas and holiday traditions of various countries and cultures around the world.  In this Age of Technology, the world is at our fingertips and I find it is possible to expereince the wonders of many places. To assist in our research, we have used many tools including Google Earth, Google Docs and Glogster.  We hope to finish a slideshow next week using Animoto.  I'll update this post when that holiday project is finished.  As both a mom and educator, I am striving to raise our children to appreciate other cultures and to embrace our diversity.  Hopefully, this project accomplished those goals.

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Assignment:

  1. Choose a country of interest and research the Christmas and/or holiday traditions.  Use Google Docs form to take notes and record your information. 
  2. Using Google Earth, locate your country and explore the region.
    • On what continent is your country located?
    • Are there any large bodies of water nearby?
    • Are there any interesting geological features?
  3. Create a digital display highlighting the information you found important or just plain cool! Make sure to include the following in your final project:
    • Christmas and/or Holiday Greetings
    • Holiday songs
    • Traditions
    • Food
    • Images and/or videos

****************************************************************************************

Christmas in Australia

Created by Abby (4th grade)

Christmas in Germany

Created by Luc (2nd grade)

Christmas in France


Created by Ellie (1st Grade)

Our children have been having so much fun trying to sing carols in French and German and have drooled over the various Christmas desserts.  In addition to all of the fun, we have sharpened our geography skills and learned more about other cultures.  Hopefully, this has been a fun lesson in cultural diversity and we will all be blessed with peace on earth.

Happy Holidays!