Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas (or Winter) Mini-Unit

{This post contains a few Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a few pennies from your purchase.}  

We are counting down the days until our Christmas break and we are in the single digits.  Three more days to go. 👍 Because of Brian's line of work, we begin our school year in August and work hard through the fall so that we can take off at Christmas and continue our break through the end of January.  It has been an intense few weeks as the kids prepared for their Christmas choir recital and then as we worked toward a stopping point in our school books. Gavin, especially, put in a concentrated effort to accumulate hours toward his art history credit.

Now.  Now, we are beginning to breathe a little easier as the end is in sight.  We took some time this week to do a fun, book-based Christmas activity.  This would be appropriate to do as a winter activity in January as well.  

First, we sat by the Christmas tree and read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  This book is short and simple, appropriate for anyone from toddler on up.  Macie, who turns 1 next month, enjoyed turning the pages after we finished reading.

Then we read A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney.  I was fascinated by this a picture book biography of the life of Ezra Jack Keats (actually Jacob Ezra Katz) who was born into a Polish-Jewish immigrant family in the early 1900s.  Why did I always assume Keats, himself, African American?  Probably because he includes people of many nationalities and colors in his children's books.  This biography addresses why he felt so strongly about writing books for all children. This is a new book, published in November of this year, and while it is marketed to children, the comprehension level would begin at mid-elementary age.  The story will speak to those far beyond!

To cap it off, we watched The Snowy Day, a 45-minute movie, new on Amazon video this year. It expands the story of the book and is available free with Amazon Prime (not an affiliate link).

Do you enjoy Christmas reading with your children? If you 'like' my Facebook page, you will notice I've been linking to a slew of my old blog posts, recommending Christmas books.

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