Topic: Blog Carnivals!
Ok, so one of the rules of Tuesday's Toolbox is that it has to be an everyday object. I know a Christmas tree is not an everyday object, but it is an object found in most homes for a least a week or so throughout the year. And it is useful to teach some lessons in life.
Biblical - Of course we would have to mention the obvious. Usually people either put a star or an angel at the top of their tree. This is an excellent opportunity to emphasize what Christmas is really all about - the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The tree could also be used to remind them of why Jesus came to earth - to ultimately die in "the tree" to provide forgiveness of sins.
Math - How about how many ornaments are on the tree? How many blue, red, etc? What is the difference between the amount of green ornaments and blue ornaments?
History - Look up the history of the Christmas tree. Be careful though! Some history may contain non religious content. Do you have any ornaments that have been handed down from one generation to the next? What about studying about the historical significance of those ornaments?
Science - Do you have a live tree? What about studying pine trees? Ecology? Forestry? Even studying plants themselves - why do you have to water a Christmas tree? Where does the water go? Why do you have to keep filling the base with water?
Spelling and/or Vocabulary - Many words can be added to your word wall. For the younger kids - tree, bulb, pine, star, angel, etc. For the older - Christmas, ornament, present, coniferous, etc.
Language Arts - I could think of many creative writing topics:
- Describe the Christmas tree.
- What steps do you take in putting up a Christmas tree?
- What is your favorite thing about a Christmas tree?
Art - Have them draw the Christmas tree or a favorite ornament.
Reading - Many books and internet articles are available about Christmas trees.
Geography - When I was young my parents subscribed to a great program - I think through Reader's Digest - called "Christmas Around the World". Each year we would get a box containing a traditional ornament from the country of the year, recipe cards for traditional dishes from that country, and a large colorful book that described Christmas in that country. I have inherited those ornaments, and they are one of the highlights of our tree. Why not start your own tradition and adopt a country every Christmas. Learn about their Christmas trees, ornaments and traditions. Make your own book.
Life Lessons - My boys are always fighting over who is going to put on the first ornament, or put the angel on top. This can be a great time to teach patience, sharing, love for one another, cooperation, etc.
There are many unit studies, lesson plans, and resources for homeschoolers to use at Christmas. Some can be overwhelming. When you focus on just one aspect of Christmas, however, it can be less of a challenge and more fun to use as a teaching tool. Even non-homeschool parents are looking for something for their children to do over the school break. The Christmas tree can be a great teaching tool for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.