Thursday, December 24, 2009

holiday block, second half

Here's the book we used for our core story this week, the second week of our holiday block, and the last week of our fall semester (half way through our school year!). The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Charles Santore, takes us through the famous Claus's life from the time he was found by the wood nymphs that raised him to the establishment of our current traditions surrounding Christmas. Great book -- as good a Fairy Tale as I've ever read, and the illustrations are lush and wonderful. The book is divided into 4 sections, the first about his childhood, the second about how he came to be a toymaker, the third about how the various Christmas traditions came to be, and the fourth about how he himself attained immortality. Just perfect for a 4-day school week like this one! We read a section each day.

For artistic digestion, we worked with the Christmas traditions. Here's Zoo Boy cutting out some gingerbread men.

J strung popcorn and cranberries into garlands to hang on our tree.

The boys and The Map Man assembled and decorated some gingerbread houses -- the one on the left is from a kit, the one on the right is J's from scratch. (Zoo Boy also made the pieces to make a house, but decided not to assemble it.)

We also took the kids to the commercial light display in Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts, as we do every year as part of our holiday traditions.

Our tree, fully decorated and awaiting Santa's arrival.

May everyone have a very merry day tomorrow, and may peace on earth be a reality rather than a wish!

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