We chose to row A New Coat for Anna the entire month of December and incorporate many fun Christmas activities too! Around the World we go!
Ready to Row:
We went to Cost Plus World Market and I picked up some sweets from Germany and presented them to the kids in a festive red basket.
They loved seeing all the treats imported from Germany and sampling each one.
Gingerbread Boarding Pass:
The kids reminded me how much they enjoyed “boarding our make-believe train” as we journeyed around the world at Christmastime.
The night before, I set the table with last year’s suitcases (Trader Joe bags), a simple gingerbread man craft, and some Christmas stickers. The kiddos worked on them during and after breakfast. NOW, we were ready to begin our new Christmas adventure!
I created an A New Coat for Anna Bible Verse printable to go with this row.
Jordan used the Bible verse puzzle throughout this row.
Anna was very patient as she waited for her new coat to be made. It takes great patience to wait for something we really need, especially if we have to wait a long time.
We read Sammy’s Gadget Galaxy which was a wonderful illustration of the negative things that can happen when we don’t wait patiently for something we REALLY want.
I love the character verses they show at the end of each story!
We also read Wait, a sweet and simple story about a mom rushing while her son slows her down to see all the “little blessings” on their way.
We also focused our attention on the Nativity during the entire Christmas season.
We read many wonderful books about the first Christmas.
Parker was also learning about the Nativity in his Sonlight Core B Bible lessons. So I brought out our felt nativity scene for the boys to work on.
In between our FIAR and Sonlight Bible lessons, I decided to incorporate the Kid’s of Integrity Christmas Advent lessons. We took our time and will complete it during our Christmas break.
I made the “willow wreath” out of construction paper leaves, glitter foam berry cut-outs, and mini white pom-poms.
One lesson was about looking for joy in all the wrong places. We brought out the story of the prodigal son.
After reading The Parable of the Prodigal Son, we talked about how temporary happiness comes from things, but real joy comes from the Lord.
We made binoculars “joy seekers” out of paper towel rolls, gift wrap, and tape. We went around looking for things that would make us happy (i.e. Christmas presents, toys, etc.) and things that would give us joy (e.g. The Bible, a devotional, etc.).
Christmas in Germany:
I checked out Christmas in Germany from our library. This book gives the perfect amount of information for any Christmas Around the World unit.
To begin our Christmas in Germany unit, I made Hootenanies (German oven pancakes) for the kids.
Our kids LOVE the puffy, eggy, and buttery deliciousness of these oven pancakes.
I served them with powdered sugar and lingonberry jam, which had mixed reviews from the kids.
I also created a Christmas sudoku game for the kids to work on too!
You can download it for free here at our TPT Store.
The boys worked on the Sudoku puzzle after breakfast. Afterwards, we added them to their lapbooks.
While studying Christmas in Germany, we took a few days to explore gingerbread.
I made “decorate your own” gingerbread man pancakes with a cup of mixed chocolate chips, fruit, and bacon.
I made gingerbread cookies the night before. The next morning we read The Gingerbread Pirates and they sampled the cookies.
Later the day, the kids decorated their gingerbread pirate cookies.
They turned out really cute!
Gingerbread House Contest:
Friday night was family night. We watched a Christmas movie and the kids gathered around the kitchen table for a classic gingerbread decorating contest!
Everyone had a small house kit, gumdrops, Christmas Skittles, and the candy pack that came with the house.
We lined them up on the counter to be judged by my husband and I. We tried to find at least one thing to commend each decorator, but Haley won first prize!
They looked so adorable and their houses did too! The house smelled DELICIOUS and gingerbread wafted through the air.
We watched several clips about Christmas in Germany and saw the prune dolls, or prune people. I’ve wanted to make these for quite some time, so today was the day!
I set out their trays with a whole walnut (in the shell) hot-glued to a floral wire. I trimmed the floral wire into three pieces, the trunk, the arms (twisted around the trunk) and the legs (bent into position).
I gave everyone dried figs (for the body), prunes (for the arms and legs), raisins (for the hands and feet), and paint pens (to draw the faces on the walnut shell).
They sipped hot cocoa while stringing their prune people. It was really fun to FINALLY make these little people!
I think they would look so much cuter in little hats and peasant clothes.
We read Cobweb Christmas, an adorable German tale of the tradition of tinsel.
I set out a Christmas tree craft in the playroom. I gave them each a foam Christmas tree, sequins, and glitter glue.
The boys decorated their foam trees with sequins and sparkly glitter glue. They turned out adorable.
Though the book was set after World War II, we HAD to read Christmas in the Trenches, a World War I Christmas story.
I added several WWII clips to our A New Coat for Anna playlist.
The boys added some Christmas in Germany inserts (Homeschool Share) into their lapbooks.
Then we read Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber, a story about a US soldier who dropped candy parachutes to German children. This is such an inspirational Christmas story about kindness and generosity. Afterwards, we made little candy parachutes.
The boys and I followed the instructions in the back of the book.
We attached a small piece of chocolate and they tested them off the countertop.
They had a fun time testing their candy parachutes!
We read See Inside The Second World War. There’s quite a bit of information in this book, but Jordan and I read through the main text and any flaps he was interested in.
The boys and I went through the list of countries involved in WWII, marking our allies in green and axis in red.
Later we added some WWII inserts (Homeschool Share) into our lapbooks.
We incorporate many of the Sonlight Language Arts lessons into our FIAR rows. This week the boys were learning about personification.
I set out trays with cardboard backs, construction paper tree cut-outs, glue sticks, and googly eyes.
The kids glued the cardboard backing to their paper trees.
Next, they glued on the googly eyes and used white crayon to draw a face.
They traded stickers (see MATH below) and used their crayon to make snowy branches.
The trees looked really cute and we hung them around the playroom windows.
Anna’s mother had to barter and trade valuable objects for goods and services to get Anna her new coat.
We read No Money? No Problem! on our Epic app. I thought it might be fun to have the kids “barter” and “trade” stickers for our Christmas tree craft. I made sure they each a certain “type” and would want to trade with the others.
Obviously, Parker doesn’t think Haley is offering a fair trade. Back to the drawing board big sis!
By the end of their bartering session, everyone had exactly the stickers they wanted to complete their Christmas tree craft. This was a fun way to reinforce the concept.
Christmas Tree Patterns:
I created a holiday manipulative bin for the whole month of December. I gathered jingle bells, apples, colored pom-poms, snowflake scatter, and more!
The kids LOVED seeing all the sensory materials presented this way.
We read Spotty, Stripy, Swirly What Are Patterns? and I set out a Christmas tree for the kids to “decorate” with patterns.
This complimented Parker’s Singapore Math lessons. Using some of the buttons, we made various patterns (i.e. AB, ABC, AAB, etc).
I also used a white board to create a string of patterns in each row. He had to identify the pattern and circle each one.
I presented the the manipulatives in a craft tray and read our pattern book aloud. Parker decorated the tree with rows of patterns.
He did a great job and we reviewed the various patterns he made.
This was a fun and festive way to review patterns with Jordan. He decked out his tree with jingle bell patterns and various “lights” using the bingo markers.
Of course Haley joined in the fun too! I love when she joins us!
I created The Twelve Days of Christmas pack for the boys to work on this Christmas.
First we read The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long.
For Jordan, I cut out the pictures and he worked on the story sequencing order.
For Parker, we used the cardinal number cards and he matched those with the ordinal number words.
Afterwards, the boys colored, cut, and pasted their Twelve Days of Christmas booklets.
Counting Christmas Sheep:
I created several Counting Sheep Christmas packs for Parker to work on.
He used the skip counting mat to place the number cards in order.
Afterwards, he completed the multiplication skip counting worksheets.
I added a red and green color by code, so he could review even and odd numbers.
Since we were learning about Gingerbread, I created some Gingerbread Measuring Math Packs.
I set out gumdrops, the Measuring Gingerbread Treat cards, and a worksheet for each kid.
They measured the height and width in non-standard units (gumdrops) and standard units (centimeters and inches).
They also gave estimates for area and perimeter as well as measuring both with non-standard units (gumdrops) and standard units (cubed centimeter blocks).
I thought it would be fun for the kids to be “tailors for the day” and measure each other for a new coat.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.
I gave everyone a worksheet and a measuring tape. They took turns helping measure arms, shoulders, and back (neck to knee) just like the tailor in the book.
They recorded each measurement in centimeters and inches using the worksheet I made.
When they were done, they colored their coat!
Design a Line of Coats:
I took our “tailoring” to the next level. I thought it might be fun for the kids to design and market their own line of coats. I created a Design a Line of Coats packet for them to use.
You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store!
I printed a copy for everyone and laid them out at the table with their big box of Crayola crayons.
Once they designed their coat, they sent out a marketing message to friends and family to place their orders before Christmas.
Once their orders started coming in they calculated and totaled each order.
They made invoices with their Glo-pads and sent them back to each “customer”. They had such a fun time with this activity and it gave them a “taste” of the retail industry, from a designer’s perspective!
I prepared a Christmas Tree day for the kids. We started with Christmas tree cinnamon rolls, sprinkled with green sanding sugar and bacon trunks.
I read The Pine Tree Parable, while the kids ate their breakfast.
Afterwards, they cut, pasted, and colored a Christmas Tree Lifecycle worksheet (Supplyme.com).
We also read some fun Christmas picture books too!
We couldn’t row A New Coat for Anna without studying sheep. We took a couple of days to learn about these fluffy creatures.
We read Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep and did a fun sheep shearing activity with balloons and shaving cream.
They used a craft stick to shear their balloon sheep.
Once sheared, this quickly became sensory play….even for the youngest who normally doesn’t like anything on his hands.
Check out those hands!
Hmm, do you think big sister was enjoying herself?
Pretty sure she THOROUGHLY enjoyed this activity!
Last, but not least, big brother Bub’s wool has slid down since he was last to arrive to the “sheep shearing”.
No worries….he just smeared it around and was able to shear his sheep too!
We read a few science books about sheep on our Epic app.
And just for fun, we read Russell’s Christmas Magic, a fun Christmas story about a sheep who helps Santa!
We wrapped up our sheepy day by making cotton ball sheep.
They were SO cute, the kiddos used them as inspiration for their creative writing assignments.
We also brought out our Montessori Sheep Family cards to review the entire family.
We started with lingonberries. We read that lingonberries are common in Europe and are closely related to the cranberry.
We tasted lingonberry jam on toast, but I think I was the only one who loved it.
I created a From Seed to Cranberry – Little Science Pack for the boys to work on.
You can purchase it here at our TPT Store.
We read The Berry Book by Gail Gibbons.
We brought out our Montessori berry cards (from our FIAR Blueberries for Sal post) and talked about which berries we’ve tasted.
Parker worked on the Sprouting Cranberry Seeds worksheet.
Both boys colored, cut, and pasted the cranberry lifecycle worksheets.
We brought out our Parts of the Cranberry Cards and some fresh cranberries.
We cut open some berries and viewed the inside too.
The boys color-coded the parts of the berries using our Parts of the Cranberry booklet.
They tasted some of the berries too! Bub went back for seconds, but Parks was good with just one…too tart!
We read Time for Cranberries which is a wonderful look at the life of a cranberry farmer at harvest time.
The kids REALLY enjoyed this book. We read it last year while rowing Cranberry Thanksgiving.
Afterwards, they worked on the Growing Cranberries worksheet, which reviews the layers of soil needed to grow cranberries.
We added all the cranberry pages to their lapbooks.
Parker and I made a DELICIOUS cranberry breakfast cake with the leftover cranberries. Everyone enjoyed a slice the following morning…yum, yum, YUM!
I prepped a natural dye experiment for the kids to do. I cooked three different types of berries (pomegranate, blueberry, and cranberry) in the microwave, covered them, and let them sit on the counter overnight.
We read Pashmina the Little Christmas Goat a wonderful Christmas story about an angora goat who was a precious gift to the family who saved her.
We also read Red Berry Wool which was another great picture book that explained the process of turning wool into a pretty red sweater.
I presented the berry dyes with a plastic spoon. I gave each kid three pieces of twine string and three pieces of wool yarn.
First, the kids took turns stirring in one piece of string and yarn in the pomegranate dye. We covered it and left it to sit.
Next, they stirred in their string and yarn in the blueberry dye. We covered it and let it sit too.
Last, they stirred in their string and yarn in the cranberry dye. We covered it and let it with the other dyes.
At the end of the day, I rinsed the string and set it out to dry.
I thought it might be fun to have the kids guess which string/yarn was dyed by which berry. I labeled each group (A, B, C).
I left out the string/yarn along with a pencil and pre-written berry names. Everyone took guesses matching each berry (pomegranate, cranberry, or blueberry) with a dyed string/yarn (A, B, or C).
I reviewed the actual answers (A=pomegranate, B=cranberry, and C=blueberry) over dinner that night. Everyone guessed blueberry correctly, but mixed up the other two. It was SUPER fun doing this.
I created a Through the Seasons Booklet for the boys to work on during this row.
You can purchase it here at our TPT Store.
The boys wrote their names and colored the cover page.
Then they wrote the names of every month in each season.
Lastly, they colored, cut, and pasted the story sequencing squares according to each season.
We completed the squares we knew for certain and set aside any in question. As we worked through the booklet we were able to glue all the squares in their proper places.
ARTS, CRAFTS, & MORE:
I set out a “Make a paper chain tray” on our Learning Lane.
The kids made paper chains just like Ana did.
I decorated the windows in the classroom with their paper chains. They looked adorable.
I set out a large basket of knitting, simple sewing kits, and weaving activities for the kids to work on throughout this row.
We read Wool (Everyday Materials) which was a great science book for learning more about wool and wool products.
We read Knitting Nell which was a wonderful story about a girl who knitted for others.
Haley used her loom to make a coaster.
She also worked on a bird sewing project too.
Parker worked on a Knot-a-Quilt kit.
A New Coat for Anna Playlist:
As with our other rows, we created an A New Coat for Anna playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.
You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our A New Coat for Anna Pinterest Board.