Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas Around the World: Isreal, Greece, Sweden

Holy moly, the days have FLOWN by and I am suddenly super behind in my blog posts.  Ah, well, you can always tuck away this knowledge for next year.  I did learn that this Holidays Around the World unit is very labor intensive, despite my attempts to pair it down.  I think next year, I will definitely choose 3 or 4 countries to focus on and leave it at that. 

NEVERTHELESS, looking back at the pictures, the kids really had a ton of fun and learned a lot.  This is what Kindergarten is all about: loving school, inspiring curiosity about the world, and having the time of your life!


Here you see the kids posing with their marshmallow dreidels!  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  I kept it simple and only did marshmallows, chocolate kisses, and pretzels.  Most of the chocolate kisses fell off or were eaten before this photo... :)
Marshmallow Dreidel Recipe Here!

I also read Patricia Polacco's book below.  It is quite wordy and long, so I broke it up into two parts, but the kids seemed to really enjoy the art and story.  It does not take place in Isreal, but rather has Ukrainian roots, so it was an interesting way to tie in the holiday and another country.

The Greeks believe that a small goblin called the Killantzaroi can sneak into your home through the chimney and causes mischief, so they light fires every night leading up until New Year to keep the creature away.  I kept this as basic as I could, but it was so much fun to teach the kids about it.  

They created fire torches during center time and posed for this picture attempting to keep the Killantzaroi at bay!


 In the past, I have made Sweden & Norway a two week long mini-unit.  Scandinavian culture surrounding the holidays is WONDERFUL.  This time, I boiled it down to two days.  The boys all made Star Boy hats at the carpet...


...while the girls sat at their desks, making St. Lucia crowns.  (I have a high school helper who comes in regularly, so she helped the girls, while I helped the boys.  All the materials were pre-cut and the kids were only in charge of gluing everything on.)
 I made a St. Lucia emergent reader you can find by clicking on that link!  The kids can color it in and share it with their parents.  I also made a St. Lucia Big Book (GLAD style) you can download here for free! Print, laminate, and bind it yourself.

 The kiddos just look adorable with their little hats.
 I am ALL ABOUT teaching culture through food (who doesn't remember food they like?!) so I had my mother-in-law make me Spritz cookies and I made FAUX-lefsa.  Last year, I had a parent whose family makes real lefsa every year, so we got to taste that, but this year, I was pressed for time. 
I KNOW it's not the same thing, but my intent was to just expose the kids to something similar.  Don't hate! I grabbed some whole wheat tortillas (one bag was more than enough).  I sliced each tortilla 4 ways with a pizza cutter, put on some butter and cinnamon-sugar, and popped it all in the microwave for 1 minute.  The kids loved it, so I call that a win.

Of course, no holiday party is complete without hot cocoa, so we included that as well :)


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