We spent the month of December working on a different kind of unit study.
We "studied" the story of Jesus' birth and the kids made lapbooks based on the Christmas story.
Because this was not an academic unit study, the work we did was very different then the other unit studies we've done.
Each "lesson" focused on one part of the Christmas story.
The first lesson we talked about the angel coming to Mary and Mary's acceptance of God's will in Jesus' birth. Then I read that part of the Christmas story to them, using a paraphrased bible. The kids colored a "stained glass" picture of the Holy Family, learned the prayer the Hail Mary, and we talked a lot about trust. How Mary trusted God, even in a situation that was difficult and she didn't understand... and how we also need to trust him. Then, on little slips of paper, each of the kids wrote down ways they could trust God and we folded them up and put them in a little paper pocket on the "trust" page in their lapbooks. Those pockets represented the kid's "gifts" to God.
The second lesson focused on "listening" and we talked about the angels telling the shepherds the good news of Jesus' birth, and read again from the bible. We learned the song "Hark the Herald Angel's Sing" and filled a "pocket" on that page with ways the kids could listen to God.
The last lesson focused on "following" and we talked about how the wise men followed the star to Jesus, and read from the bible. The kids learned the 10 commandments (a simplified version they could understand) and the pocket on that page was filled with ways the kids would try to follow God.
During each lesson we also sang Christmas carols, working on some that tied in with the lessons and were carols the kids didn't already know well. They learned Away in a Manger, We Three Kings, and Do You Hear What I Hear? We also read several books that gave them a better idea of what life was like back in biblical times. We finished the unit study by going to see The Nativity Story at the movie theater.
I thought it was a good unit study, although the little pockets were endlessly frustrating because they refused to stay on the page. Neither glue nor tape would hold them so I was constantly putting little slips of paper back into pockets and trying to get them to stay in the book!
DK Eyewitness Books: Bible Lands
By Jonathan Tubb
The Story of the Nativity
Written by Geraldine McCaughrean
Behind the Scenes Christmas (this was an awesome book, both the kids and I loved it!)
The Catholic Living Bible
The Nativity Story (2006) (This was way too intense for R, and we weren't even able to stay for the whole movie... )