Monday, December 6, 2010

Preschool - December Holidays

(Because December is such a crazy month, I've only planned two days' worth of lessons for the next couple weeks.  Enjoy!)

Day 1: Kwanzaa and Africa

To start our month of holiday festivities, we started out talking about Kwanzaa.  I actually knew nothing about this holiday before this, so I was learning right along with Alex.

We started by looking at the book The Story of Kwanzaa.

This book was too wordy, but I summarized the beginning of the book that tells about how Africans came to be in America while showing Alex the pictures.  We read it sitting in front of the map so I could show him where Africa is and where the people come from who celebrate Kwanzaa.

Then we looked through the book A is for Africa.

It gives a good basic overview of African culture from a Nigerian perspective with one item per letter of the alphabet.

Then we read My First Kwanzaa.

This book tells about the festivities of Kwanzaa from a child's perspective.

We finished up our school-time activities with a coloring page of the kinara (the Kwanzaa version of a menorah) found here.

While we were doing all of this we were listening to the CD African Playground.  It has music from groups all over Africa and was nice background music while we were reading and coloring.

And later on for dinner we made this African stew.  It was really good and a great way to finish up our Africa and Kwanzaa day.

Day 2: Hanukkah

Our second December holiday was Hanukkah.  We learned about Hanukkah by reading the book Celebrate Hanukkah.

This book gave a GREAT overview of all the different aspects of Hanukkah and had pictures of people all over the world celebrating.  The back of the book has instructions of how to play dreidel and how to make potato latkes.  An excellent all-around view of Hanukkah.

We listened to the dreidel song while we made ourselves a homemade dreidel from a square piece of cardboard with a pencil stuck through the middle, then we played!  We used chocolate chips instead of money.  The game lasted longer than I thought it would, but in the end, daddy won.  But he shared the goods with us.

We also made potato latkes, which were really good.  We topped them with applesauce and sour cream, an odd combination, but really tasty!

Then we ended the day by reading Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.

Happy December holidays everyone!

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