Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays, Victorian Style!

This week has been a little crazy and I will admit that I was a little jealous of those that didn't have to go these 2 little days, but today was an awesome day in my class. We have been studying Christmas Around the World the past week and have visited many different countries. My students made crafts from each country and even learned how to say "Merry Christmas" in various languages. We made cute little suitcases complete with stickers from each country we visited. My students decided they wanted to live in Italy because children there get gifts from 3 different people.

When we began planning field trips at the beginning of the year, my team decided to plan them for weeks that are basically considered "wasted" anyway (I know we're not supposed to "waste" instructional time but you know what I mean!). Today we went on our field trip to a local museum that used to be a historic hotel. The did a program about the holidays during the Victorian era which tied perfectly with our study of Christmas Around the World. It gave my students a look into how Christmas was celebrated back in the 19th century. They looked at toys, decorations, and foods. Each student also got to make an ornament that a child would have made during that time. We finished our visit with a treat of animal crackers and apple juice. I had no idea that animal crackers had been around for so long! Our study of the different countries Christmas customs paid off as well. My students were able to answer where the Christmas tree originated from (Germany) and asked several questions based on what we had been learning in class. Our group was also paid a very high complement. The staff told us that we were the best behaved group they had all holiday season! They were nervous about having a group so close to Christmas break, but told us we were great!

My Third Graders
Making their Victorian Ornament
Finished Ornament

When we got back to school I had more ornaments planned for my students to make. It went along with the Victorian era when children would make their Christmas gifts, rather than buy them. Each student made a little nut bear, a Santa spoon, and the classic Rudolph candy cane. They had the best time working on them. I actually made the nut bear when I was in 2nd grade and mine still hangs on my mom's tree to this day. I have made it with my students each year I have been teaching. I am hoping that my students will look back at their ornaments when they are older and remember their crazy third grade teacher!

Santa Spoons
Candy Cane Rudolphs
Little Nut Bears
It was a busy, but perfect day! I can't wait to see what 2012 holds with these students.


  1. If anyone wants the directions to any of these ornaments for next year, let me know! I also have a reading selection for the Santa Spoon that I have made.


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