Hi everyone! Just a quick post this week to show some of the awesome book-related Christmas ornaments various students made for our library Christmas tree. I have so enjoyed seeing students stop in throughout the day to check on the tree to see the new ornaments that were appearing. It was a great community-building project- thank you everyone, I love them! Have a very Merry Christmas!
Barley and Birch has a great list of Christmas books that are about trees! I have been reading Red and Lulu to the primary classes and using it to also have the students learn a little bit about the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and about cardinals.
As I am teaching a primary music class this year, I have also been finding ways to use picture books in music class. We have been using music from The Nutcracker lately for class activities. Enjoy these Nutcracker-related Christmas books!
This week I am featuring an author focus on Arnold Ytreeide! HHCS students in grades 4 and up are very familiar with Mr. Ytreeide’s books. In grades 4,5, and 6, the classes rotate reading a different Christmas-themed book of Mr. Ytreeide’s for each year that they are in the junior division. This year all of grades 4,5, and 6 are reading Bartholomew’s Passage! I am teaching grade 6A Bible this year and we are really enjoying this book, set in the time that Jesus was born. Mr. Ytreeide’s 4 Christmas-themed books can be read during the Advent season and have short devotional reflections at the end of each chapter. These stories are adventurous, funny, and thoughtful. The students love being surprised by the recurring characters’ appearances and by the many dramatic twists and turns in Mr. Ytreeide’s writing.
In spring of 2020, as we moved into our first lockdown of the pandemic with online learning, I wrote to Mr. Ytreeide, who was so kind as to send us a personalized video to say hello to the students. I then had the students come up with some questions to ask Mr. Ytreeide about being an author and about his books and he sent a video message back again to us answering those questions. He also sent us some of his Mike Danford books (see below) for our library. It was so great for our students to be in contact with an author whose writing they really appreciated!
Amon’s Adventure is going to have a sequel, published in 2022! Apparently there have also been some conversations about having one of Mr. Ytreeide’s books made into a movie one day! Which book do you think should be the first to be a movie??
Check out this interview with Mr. Ytreeide on one of my favourite reading websites- The Read Aloud Revival!
Mr. Ytreeide also writes other types of books besides his Advent series and the Amon books. We have the first 3 books of the Mike Danford series in our school library, and the number 5 book just came out!
Here are some articles from Read Brightly about some book-ish Christmas activities! Some great ideas here for making book-themed Christmas ornaments! Don’t forget to start working on your ornaments for our library Christmas tree, HHCS! Have a great week!
Something a little different for you this week! Last year around this time I posted some pictures of vintage children’s Christmas books that I have at home. I love children’s literature and feel that is so important- and I also love vintage children’s literature! I have a collection at home of my favourites. My number one favourite author-illustrator from my childhood is Gyo Fujikawa. I had forgotten all about her books until one day I saw “Oh What a Busy Day” and I was immediately transported back to childhood.
Saturday was World Kindness Day! As Jesus-followers, let’s intentionally teach our kids to find ways to be kind. You will love all the practical ideas and resources on this site: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
Our fall Book Character Potato Contest was so fun, that I’d like to do something similar yet different for Christmas! I am planning to put up a Christmas tree in the library in a few weeks. I would love for students to create (at home) some book-themed ornaments to put on the tree! Any materials or format are fine as long as they will work well with being up on a tree! Let your creativity flow! I will draw a couple of names again to win an Indigo gift card to say thanks for participating. You may send the students’ creations in at any time – the tree will go up sometime late November. Need ideas? Try a keyword search for “DIY Book Character Ornaments.”
Click on over to National Geographic to learn a little bit about other winter celebrations other than Christmas!
In my lessons with one of the kindergarten classes we’ve been reading The Gingerbread Man Loose in…” series by Laura Murray. Enjoy this book trailer – your primary age children will especially like the adventures of Gingerbread Man!
Wishing all of the Halton Hills Christian School community a blessed Christmas! It might look different this year from our usual traditions with family and friends, but it is still just as meaningful. I hope that you will feel near to God and that you will be safe. Looking forward to 2021!
I love vintage children’s books and I have a collection at home. I thought I’d share a few of my vintage Christmas books! A couple are from my childhood but most I have found at used book sales. Does anyone else have any vintage books at home? I’d love to hear about them!
You may already know about the Jesus Storybook Bible- one of my favourite Bible storybooks ever! This year I am excited that The Jesus Storybook Christmas Collection has been released. This “interactive story, sound, and song” experience features 10 buttons Christmas music or narration to go with each section.
The Wonder of the Christmas Gift by Ann Voskamp is another special book for the family. Each day of Advent you will read a story that is paired with an ornament to hang on the pop-up tree.
The mission of Globe Trottin’ Kids is to engage kids in “learning about world geography and cultures, understanding and appreciating diversity in our world, and being kind, caring, and responsible global citizens.” It is easy to click on various countries and learn about their statistics and culture. There are photos, videos, infographics, links, and even a “Read Your World” section with book suggestions and resources! I have been using this with one of the classes I teach and it has been so fun!
And lastly for this week, please have a look at this fantastic list of culturally diverse Christmas books! What a great way to build up your child’s home library!