The Nutcracker

I’m very excited about this week’s unit! And I’m especially excited about our field trip on Friday! A trip to see the Nutcracker ballet! So, I thought we would spend the week learning a little bit about the history of the Nutcracker, ballet, Tchaikovsky’s music, and start learning more about music in general. I will share a few resources that I have found as well.

The girls have both begun taking ballet lessons in the last year and love it! So, I think this will be an especially girly and FUN unit for us to do!

Nutcracker Ballet

HERE is the unit on homeschool share site. There are several versions to this story – a lot actually! I have about 4 on my shelf and I know there are quite a few more! I hope to compare and contrast this book throughout the week. I have one that is a bit longer that we may use as a chapter book read aloud. We will learn a little bit about the history of ballet this week as well.

Also, during this week we will be learning about Tchaikovsky and his music.

HERE is a great site with information for children on composers and classical music.

While learning about Tchaikovsky, we will be listening to the Classical Kids story called Tchaikovsky Comes to America. If you are familiar with Beethoven Lives Upstairs, this is the same company. Their products are awesome for children! When I taught music at the Christian School last year, we listened to this one on Beethoven and the younger kids as well as the older ones enjoyed listening.

Tchaikovsky Discovers America

HERE is a nutcracker coloring page.

THIS page also has another nutcracker to color.

And yet another COLORING PAGE.

Check out the craft ideas on the HSS site, I hope to make one of those nutcrackers this week – probably using toilet paper rolls!

And one last idea for you…if you have a Big Lots…I found a cartoon version of the Nutcracker for $2 there over the weekend! Yipee! Perfect timing for our studies this week! (and the voices in this story are even heard-of actors – Keifer Southerland being one of them!)

Katy No Pocket

This morning we acted out the story, Katy No-Pocket. We have done this in the past with other books, but for some reason, the girls LOVED acting this one out! They giggled, laughed and acted silly for quite awhile doing all the same things that Katy did in the story! We cried when Katy cried because she had no pocket, we hopped when Katy hopped, looking for her pocket.

We held the animals like the ones in the stories – crocodiles hold their babies on their backs, so we tried this!

Monkeys hold their babies in their arms, so we tried this as well!

Katy was so sad because none of these ways would work for her. So finally, she had the idea to go see the wise old owl, so we pretended being owls.

With the advice of the owl, we went to the city to find pockets. We found our special aprons with pockets on them – sewn for us especially by Aunt Valerie!! Thank you so much, Aunt Val!

First we dumped out all that was in them (like the man in the story) and then we tried filling our pockets with as many little animals as we could, just like Katy! We loved this story! We also learned about what marsupials are, saw pictures of TINY baby kangaroos – did you know baby kangaroos (called joey’s) are only an inch long when born? WOW! The pictures were pretty neat! We learned what kangaroos eat and where they live.

Changing Seasons Craft

Today the girls did this craft showing what trees look like through the different seasons. Of course, they loved the chance to use glue, so it was a hit with them. This is one of my favorite crafts I used to do with my kindergartners as a teacher…and I found it in my “Fall” folder the other night…so I had to do it with my own girls!

The spring flowers are just construction paper, the others are colored tissue paper for the different colored leaves.

And here is a picture of Hannah’s drawing of her leaves from our leaf hunt the other day! We were out of space in her nature journal so she used a piece of paper. I got new nature journals for the girls the other night…I get so excited thinking about them having used up a whole notebook over the last months drawing pictures of God’s awesome creation! I’m so glad they are loving drawing…it took awhile for them to feel comfortable, but they both are eager and love it now!

Arabella – drawing boats

Today we learned how to draw a boat…the girls did a GREAT job!!

And here are our vocabulary words. This is the 2nd week we have done this and I am so glad we are doing it! I have realized that I should just choose 3 or 4 at the most to make cards of and actually focus on. It is way too many to try and do all of the ones in the FIAR manuals, for us at least! I am generally happy if the girls pick up just 1 or 2 new words from our week! So, instead of focusing on so many next time, I have made up only 4 cards. The girls do enjoy holding the cards and listening for the words as they are read in the middle of the story! That is their “job” on 1 of our readings each week.

Our last day with The Bee Tree

For our last day with this wonderful book, we did 2 special things at our house today!

First of all, we made beeswax candles! I have been looking forward to this for a LONG time! It turned out so neat and I’m so glad we were able to do this craft together!

Secondly, we had a treasure hunt that Aunt Valerie worked on for us. She wrote out clues and hid them around our house. The kids had a fun time of figuring out where to look for the next clue! Each time the kids found a new clue, we all shouted, “EUREKA!” (this is a vocabulary word from this book!) At the end of the hunt, the kids each found a treasure bag with their name on it — CANDY! This was a lot of fun! And such a wonderful way to complete our week with this book!

~ Finding and reading clues! ~

~ The kids and their treasures! Eureka! ~