I'm not sure it's possible to have a more successful gingerbread week! My kids learned soooo many concepts, and had a ton of fun doing it! Every single parent has told me their child won't stop talking about gingerbread when they get home at night. They have even been begging their parents to make gingerbread man cookies with them! In class we did the next best thing, a gingerbread house! This might be the cutest one I ever helped make, and it didn't fall down (this is a first!). I did all the frosting, the kids did all the candy.
Next week we'll start our holiday units. My plan is to do one week each of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Then we cover all the major ones, and no one is left out. Although, I need to point something out... have you ever in your life met anyone who actually celebrates Kwanzaa?! I live in an extremely liberal, multicultural place (near San Francisco) and I've never met a single person who celebrated this holiday. I even taught kids from Africa, and they thought it was nuts that Americans made up a holiday and gave me a crazy look when I tried to explain it to them. So do you have any great Kwanzaa stuff? Do you even teach it?
Last year I used the Scholastic Winter Holidays interactive lessons. I did it on laptops because I don't have an interactive whiteboard. I think it does a great job of keeping kids engaged, and teaching them about many different aspects of the holidays.
Anyway... I teach all three, not because I believe in them, but because I want my students to understand that we all have different traditions and none are better than the others. I like to teach the kids acceptance. Although, I have an Indian boy, and I apparently missed his big holiday last month. His parents didn't seem to care, and said he's totally welcome to celebrate Christmas too.
It's the first ever Freebies on the First! I'm excited to be a part of it!
I love Christmas, and the gingerbread character map I posted last week was a huge hit. So here is a Santa one for ya! It's a *freebie* to kick off the holidays. I made the circles bigger this time, and I'll be making a set of emergent readers this next week too. Click the image for my TPT store or CLICK HERE for a googledoc.