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A Christmas Carol: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

11/16/2017
A Christmas Carol is a Christmas classic. There are many, many movie versions as well as literature versions of Charles Dickens' timeless tale. If your kids haven't heard a version of the story, a picture book is a good way to introduce it.

A Christmas Carol by Adam McKeown is an abridged version of the classic. It has great illustrations and is a succinct version of the original story. Kids will get all the highlights, with great pictures, in a shortened book with language that they can understand.

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with A Christmas Carol.


Literature extension activities for A Christmas Carol #literature #homeschooling
{This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase, the blog will benefit. Thank you!}

Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Older kids might enjoy acting out the story with the script at Kidsinco.

Learn more about Charles Dickens at Biography.com. And as you study his life you can use these free author study notebooking pages.

BBC Primary history also has a great page of information about Charles Dickens' books and his life.

Learn about Victorian England from BBC Primary.

Primary Homework Help also has some great facts about Victorian England.

What was life like for children in Victorian England? This site has some information.

Kids can record the elements of the story with this free graphic organizer.

Crafts and Fun


Print these free graphics to make your own A Christmas Carol book.

Make a Victorian Christmas ornament with this free printable and instructions.

This site has an interesting Victorian paper craft for kids.

Plan a Victorian Christmas Snowball Dinner with the kids.

Make your own Christmas Plum Pudding.

Other Resources


This Charles Dickens site has some good information about A Christmas Carol.

Watch the book with pictures and text in this story telling video.

You can hear the entire original book read in episodes at BBC audio.

If you have older kids, Shmoop has great in-depth notes for A Christmas Carol- the original book- including a cute synopsis video here.

Victoriana Magazine has a very interesting account from Dickens' daughters about Christmas with Charles Dickens.

The Dickens and Christmas site has some great information about life in Dickens' time as well as information about how he came up with some of the characters in A Christmas Carol.

Confessions of a Homeschool has a great lapbook for A Christmas Carol. (This one isn't free, but I've used her lapbooks before and loved them.)

There are many movie versions of A Christmas Carol. Two of my favoites- The George C. Scott movie from 2014 and Mickey's Christmas Carol.

Literature extension activities for A Christmas Carol #homeschooling #Christmas #literature


Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.


And don't forget to pick up a set of free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

11/15/2017
Jan Brett is a well-known children's author, known for her humorous stories and great illustrations. I have several of her picture books, and I still enjoy reading them- even though my youngest child is almost a teenager.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett is about a young girl who lives in the Actic region and is tasked with training the reindeer for Santa's sleigh for the coming Christmas. Things don't do so well for her until she realizes that she needs to take a different approach in her training. Like other Jan Brett books, this one has meaningful illustrations on the side of each page. These are a countdown through the month of December.

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with The Wild Christmas Reindeer.

Literature extension activities for The Wild Christmas Reindeer #literature #homeschooling
{This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog if you purchase.}

Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Learn about the Arctic area where Teeka lives from National Geographic Kids.

The wild reindeer live on the tundra. You can learn more about the tundra- including a look at the map that shows where it's located- from this video.

PBS has another great video about the Arctic, including a look at some of the animals that live there.

Use a blank world map to color the Arctic area. (The first video above has a map that shows the Arctic areas.)

Kids might not know that, although Santa is make believe, reindeer are real. This video gives some good information and pictures of real reindeer.

Kids Play and Create has a page with some interesting reindeer facts.

This is a cute reindeer-themed writing activity for little kids from Scholastic.

Kids can write about their own pet reindeer with this free printable.

Crafts and Fun


Make a cute reindeer ornament with these instructions.

And here, you can find a 3D paper reindeer craft. (You have to scroll down past some other Christmas crafts.)

Create some crazy reindeer art with this project.

Kids can play this fun game to draw a reindeer.

Print a free color by number reindeer here.

In the sidebar of this book, you can see a countdown to Christmas on each page. Make your own Advent calendar to count down to Christmas with one of these cute ideas from the Parents site.

Other Resources


This video is a good read aloud of the book.

Jan Brett is the author and illustrator of many kids' books. You can learn more about her and see her other books at her site here.

Scholastic has some fun extension ideas for this book.

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook to go along with this book.

If you want to learn more about Jan Brett and read more of her books, you can get this author study at Teachers Pay Teachers. (This one isn't free.)



Literature extension activities for The Wild Christmas Reindeer


Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.



And don't forget to pick up a set of free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.

The Legend of The Poinsettia: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

11/14/2017
One of my favorite children's authors of all time is Tomie dePaola. I love his writing and his illustrations. And when I found out that he had a Christmas picture book, of course I had to read it.

The Legend of the Poinsettia is a retelling of a Mexican legend about how the poinsettia came to be. It's the story of a little girl and her sacrificial Christmas gift, a story that truly focuses on an unselfish spirit of giving during the Christmas season.

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with The Legend of the Poinsettia.

Literature extension activities for The Legend of the Poinsettia #literature #homeschooling
{This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog if you purchase. Thank you!}


Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Find Mexico on this map. Then print a blank map and label and color Mexico.

Learn twelve fun facts about poinsettias at this site.

Tour a Mexican town with kids in this cute video.

Learn about Mexico from National Geographic Kids.

And Easy Science for Kids has a great page of information about Mexico that includes nice pictures and a video.

There are some Spanish words throughout the book that may be unfamiliar. Kids can learn fifty important words in Mexican Spanish from 17 Minute Languages.

Learn about how people in Mexico celebrate Christmas from this site.

You can find more information- and some great pictures- about Mexican Christmas celebrations here.

Older students might enjoy this lab using poinsettia leaves as an acid/base ph indicator.

Learn about poinsettias- where they grow, what they need to grow, about their seeds and leaves, and more- with the articles on this site.

Crafts and Fun


Make your own paper poinsettias with this free printable. (You can download it in color or black and white and color it yourself.)

This poinsettia paper craft is a little more complicated, but it's beautiful!

Lucita helps to take care of her family's donkey. Make a donkey with this paper craft template.

Try a simple weaving project with the ideas here.

This is another weaving idea that may be simpler with younger kids.

Kids can create a yarn poinsettia with the instructions here.

Create a yummy version of the poinsettia with these pretzel bites.

Create your own nativity scene with this free printable and instructions.

Other Resources


Hear Tomie dePaola read the book in this video.

Susan Jones Teaching has some great free printables to go along with the story. You'll find a basic plot chart, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and a lesson in how to draw a poinsettia.

You can download a free packet of activities that go along with the book for K-3rd grade at Teachers Pay Teachers. (You will need a free account to get the download.)

You can learn more about Mexico with this free lapbook from Homeschool Share.


Literature extension activities for The Legend of the Poinsettia

Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.

Literature extension activities for The Legend of the Poinsettia


And don't forget to pick up a set of free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

11/13/2017
Many years ago, when I was teaching in an elementary school classroom, my sister-in-law- also an elementary school teacher- gave me a Christmas picture book that quickly became one of my favorites.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston is a Christmas story set in the Appalachian Mountains. It's a sweet story of love and sacrifice and family. And it has a touching Christmas miracle- which means that I almost always cry when I'm reading it aloud.

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.

Literature extension activities for The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree #literature #homeschooling
{This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog if you purchase. Thank you!}

Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Print a blank US map and label the Appalachian Mountains. You can find them by looking at this site.

Learn more about the Appalachian Mountains here.

You can find a great printable here that allows kids to write down information about the book in an organized way.

Learn the origin of the Christmas tree at this site.

Storypath has some great discussion points for connecting faith the with the story in The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.

Ruthie's father was off to the war during World War 1. Learn more about World War 1 from National Geographic Kids.

This interactive site from BBC also has some great information about the war- mostly from the perspective of Great Britain.

And History for Kids has lots of great information about different aspects of the war.

Learn more about balsam fir trees- the kind of tree Ruthie and her father chose- here.

Crafts and Fun


Make an interesting Christmas tree with this craft idea from No Time for Flashcards.

Hands On As We Grow has a cute button Christmas tree ornament craft.

Use the instructions at Babble Dabble Do to make a simple cloth doll like the one Mama makes Ruthie.

Create a pretty mountain scene with this torn paper craft.

Make some snowy mountains cookies with this recipe at She Knows.

Other Resources


This Christ in the Christmas Tree Lapbook will help you take a closer look at Christmas trees and the symbolism that points to Christ.

Knowledge Box has a nice World War 1 lapbook.

This video is a cute preview to the book.


Literature unit activities for The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree


Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.

Literature unit activities for The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

And don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.






The Nutcracker: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

11/13/2017
The Nutcracker is a true Christmas classic. Whether you've seen the original ballet, watched a television version, or read an adaptation of the story, you're probably at least somewhat familiar with the adventures of Marie, a little girl who receives a nutcracker doll for Christmas.

The picture book- The Nutcracker- by Susan Jeffers is a great way to introduce kids to this classic story. With beautiful illustrations and an abridged version of the story, this book makes a great read aloud for the whole family at Christmas time. 

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with The Nutcracker. 

Literature extension activities for The Nutcracker #literature #homeschooling
{This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog if you purchase. Thank you!}

Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Watch this video to see how nutcrackers are made.

This video features a listening map that will help kids to know what instruments are used in The March from The Nutcracker.

Print a world map and find and color Germany, the country in which The Nutcracker is set.

Learn more about the composer of The Nutcracker with this Tchaikovsky study.

Crafts and Fun


Kids can make puppets from The Nutcracker with these free printables.

Make a nutcracker from a cardboard tube with this free printable.

You can find a variety of Nutcracker coloring sheets at the Super Coloring site.

How Stuff Works has free printable games that let kids find characters and objects from The Nutcracker. (Keep scrolling past the ads when it says, "Keep reading below." to get to the printables on each page.

Make a nutcracker ornament with this printable.

Rainy Day Mum has some cute nutcracker ornaments made using fingerprints.

Other Resources


Listen to the music of The Nutcracker on YouTube.

Kids can use this free printable on Teachers Pay Teachers to visualize the story as they listen to the music. (You must have a free Teachers Pay Teachers account to download.)

This free printable preschool pack is all about ballerinas.

Find a free interactive storybook app from the San Fransisco Ballet here. (free as of this posting)

Homeschool Share has a free Nutcracker unit study.

And you can find a free Nutcracker lapbook at Cynce's Place.

You can listen to an audio version of The Nutcracker for free on StoryNory.

Maestro Classics has an awesome CD with the classical music and The Nutcracker story. It also comes with a 24 page activity booklet. You can get this as a CD or download.



Literature extension activities for The Nutcracker


Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.



And don't forget to pick up a set of free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.




Learn the History of Thanksgiving With Living Books...And FREE Thanksgiving Notebooking Pages

11/10/2017
One of my favorite things about homeschooling has been having the opportunity to learn in depth about holidays as they come. When I was a traditional school teacher, we usually had a party for Christmas and probably a special dinner for Thanksgiving, but we didn't have time to really talk in depth about the history and real people behind the holidays. What we did learn about each holiday was usually a little blurb in the history textbook.

In our homeschool, though, I've loved having the opportunity to devote longer periods of time to reading great living books, notebooking, and doing unit studies as a family during the holiday seasons. With this we've had the opportunity to learn much more about the history of holidays as well as about the people and places involved.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.
{This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog if you purchase. Thank you!}

As Thanksgiving approaches, these living books will help you to learn about the holiday with your kids in a fun and interesting way and in much more depth than a short blurb in a history textbook. I've given an approximate age level for each, although I like to read aloud to all of the kids together and just pick books from different levels to enjoy together.

You can also download a free set of Thanksgiving notebooking pages here. As you read, kids can record notes, oral narrations, or creative stories or poems using these pages.

The Story of the Pilgrims


The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross and Carolyn Croll (preschool)- This picture book traces the journey of the Pilgrims through their first difficult winter and to the first celebration of Thanksgiving.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620


...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern and Anna DiVito (elementary)- Learn about the Pilgrims voyage to the New World.


Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving


Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac (preschool/elementary)- Squanto welcomed the people from the Mayflower that landed, and after a good harvest, feasted with them. This picture book looks at the holiday from his perspective.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving


The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern (preschool/elementary)- Learn about the Mayflower voyage, the early days in America, and the first Thanksgiving.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Thanksgiving Story


The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh (elementary)- Kids can experience the Mayflower voyage through the first Thanksgiving through the eyes of three children who were there.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.


Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims


Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla (elementary)- This short chapter book looks at the life of Squanto and the Wampanoag Indians.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

Pilgrim Stories


Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey (elementary)- This book was written in the 1900s by Pumphrey who collected original sources to trace the journey of the Pilgrims and first Thanksgiving.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Landing of the Pilgrims


The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty (middle grade)- This is a little longer book that follows the Pilgrims from persecution in England to their journey and life in the New World.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Pilgrims of Plimoth 


The Pilgrims of Plimoth by Marcia Sewell (elementary/middle grade)- Although this is a beautiful picture books, there is a good bit of text, and it's written as a first person account, using the language style of the Pilgrims. 

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.


Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving


Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas (elementary)- This book follows Squanto's life and traces God's hand at work in his life and his meeting of and help toward the Pilgrims.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.



Don't forget to grab your free Thanksgiving notebooking pages to use as you read.

Free Thanksgiving notebooking pages



Books and Unit Study Resources for the Football Lover and FREE Football Quotes Copywork

11/08/2017
Football is very popular in our house. That wasn't always the case. When I first married my husband, I couldn't have cared less- unless I had the opportunity to go to Clemson and watch the Tigers play live. But after some time married, my husband had effectively interested me in the game. In fact, he sometimes thinks he's created a monster.

I've crossed over into the realm where I can watch a football game just for the joy of football- even if neither of the teams are "my team." And I have an order of favorite teams and try to cheer for them regularly. My husband and I, along with the two oldest kids, keep a friendly contest of game picks going on throughout the football season. (As I write, I'm ahead for this season!)

Football unit study resources
{This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from those links, the blog will profit. Thank you!}


Whether you happen to love football or you don't particularly care, you may have a child that will get excited about the sport- playing or watching. If you want to follow up that interest with your academic learning, here are a booklist and some great educational and fun activities that you use to create a football-themed unit study. 

By the way, if you've never created your own unit study, and you'd like to start, you can find five simple steps as well as a free unit study planner in this post. And...don't forget to pick up your free football quotes copywork here.

Booklist


The Everything Kids' Football Book: All-time Greats, Legendary Teams, and Today's Favorite Players--with Tips on Playing Like a Pro by Greg Jacobs- elementary to middle grade readers


Big Book of WHO Football from Sports Illustrated Kids- primary grades and up


My First Book of Football from Sports Illustrated Kids- primary grades



Football With Dad by Frank Berrios- preschool and primary grades



The Dog That Stole Football Plays by Matt Christopher- primary grades



Kick, Pass, and Run by Leonard Kessler- primary grades


My Football Book by Gail Gibbons- primary and elementary grades



Little Football by Brad Herzog- preschool 




Football unit study resourcces

Learning Activities


Find a free football terms word search here.

3 Dinosaurs has a free football printables pack with all kinds of learning activities.

Make a football math bowl file folder game with these instructions from Stir the Wonder.

This Football Field Goal STEM Challenge is free at Teachers Pay Teachers. (You do have to have a free account to download from TPT.)

Make a fun football-themed counting activity with this free printable from Sunny Day Family.

Kids can practice sight words with this fun activity from The OT Toolbox.

Let kids practice math skills with this Superbowl Score-It! game from Creekside Learning.

Learn all about football, including its history and rules from this Ducksters page.

The official NFL site has a Football for Beginners page that will help kids learn specifics about the rules and scoring.

Amanda Bennet has a five day, downloadable, football study. This one isn't free, but is a nice already prepared study if you want to explore football but don't have time to create a study yourself.

Find a free football lapbook at Homeschool Helper Online.

Fun Activities


Find six simple football-themed game suggestions at Playworks.

Kids of all ages will love this football painting activity.

Kids can decorate their own football helmet with this free printable from Kids Activities Woo!

Kids can learn to draw a football player with this simple tutorial from Art for Kids Hub.

This fun craft will show kids how to make a football with tissue paper and a paper plate.

Make a cute woven football with this craft from JDaniel4's Mom.

Use potatoes as stamps to paint footballs.

Get a free printable from Simple Play Ideas to play Football I Spy.


Enjoy this football season with a fun interest-driven unit study. Don't forget to grab your free copywork!

Free football copywork

 
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