Monday, December 1, 2008

a theme study for December

Okay... I wasn't going to do it. We were on a good roll with everything we were doing with school. The plan was to just keep on rolling with the norm through December. Well... that was before the tree went up and all of the Christmas stuff came out! We are going to keep going with our normal stuff (scaling back a bit on SOTW though) but we're going to be doing a special theme for the month. Since today is December first and this obsession just came to me on Saturday, it had to be something easy, something that I had resources for already so we could hit the ground running today.

After some brainstorming, I had an idea! See... this summer I got this "brilliant" idea (that was sarcastic) to create a ballet themed year long study for Clara since she LOVES ballet. It's easy finding curriculum ideas for Alex that goes along with what he loves since he loves building and engineering. Clara was tougher so I thought I would try a ballet theme. Well... I began acquiring materials but quickly realized once school started, that I didn't have enough stuff to do what I wanted.... so it was just sitting on a shelf labeled "Clara"... sigh.

BUT.... now, here I was looking for a theme for December... what better use of that stuff on the shelf than a Nutcracker study???

So, here are some of the resources we already had...
Add ImageDK Read & Listen: Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories

This is a beautiful little book that includes all of the stories on CD. It includes several famous ballets, including the Nutcracker.

Favorite Ballets Coloring Book

Clara loves to color pages in this book as we do our read alouds... but thankfully, she had not gotten to the Nutcracker pages yet.

Nutcracker: The Music Game

We haven't played this yet... but I thought it could be fun.

And, so we don't overdo the ballet thing for Alex, we will add in some composer study...

Tchaikovsky Discovers America

This is another resource I had already purchased.... and now get to put to use!

Now on to other resources...

Again... to not overdo the ballet stuff for Alex, I thought we would expand this a bit and do a little "Christmas Around the World" by reading some about Christmas in Russia. I have these two books to pick up at the library...

Baboushka and the Three Kings

Christmas in Russia

Another motivation for this study is that over Thanksgiving we saw a preview of what looks like a beautiful production of the Nutcracker that is going to be on PBS HD.... Great Performances: Dance In America: San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. I couldn't find more info on it... but while looking through the Great Performances site, I found this which looks like fun....

Build and Color Your Own Nutcracker Stage Production

Add to all of this that we're going to see the Nut Tapper this week and the dance school that Clara goes to is putting on their own mini production of the Nutcracker... I think we'll be all Nutcrackered out by the end of December! :-)


Jocelyne said...

We will be doing a Nutcracker study next week. My MIL is taking my son to see the ballet and I want to make sure he is familiar with the story. I would love to hear any other details/projects/etc. you are doing with your study :)

Amy said...

I'm not sure if you have all of your resources for your Nutcracker study yet of not, but I have noticed that the Ovation channel (not sure if you get that in Chicago) is running 6 different versions of the Nutcracker, with the opportunity to vote on your favorite. Thanks again for some great ideas!