Sunday, November 18, 2012

25 Names of Jesus: Christmas Tradition

This year we will be starting a new Christmas tradition!  I ran across this wonderful idea several months ago and instantly knew I would want to do it with my kids.  It's called the 25 Names of Jesus.  Using ornaments, we'll celebrate Jesus' birth and count down the days until Christmas.  Each ornament has a different name for Jesus.  We'll take out the ornament, read the scripture where the name is found, and discuss the meaning of the name.  It does take a little time to prepare so I wanted to share it with you early enough so that you could also begin on December 1.  :)

Here's how it works:   

Step 1:  The first thing I worked on was choosing the 25 names of Jesus.  It was very hard to narrow down the ones to use, but each year new ones can be introduced.  So I'm sure we'll learn more year after year.  I looked at several blogs and websites that have names and scripture listed.  Here are the names we have chosen, and I also included the scripture, discussion topics, and possible activities.

25 Names for Jesus

1.  Jesus
Luke 1:31; put together nativity scene.  Here is a wooden one for kids
2.  Alpha and Omega
Revelation 22: 12-13; discuss Greek alphabet and symbols

3.  Wonderful Counselor
Isaiah 9:6; discuss "counselor" and qualities of a good one; have child give counsel on a "problem"

4.  The Mighty God
Isaiah 9:6; find pictures that depict "mighty"

5.  Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:6; everlasting = never ending; collect evergreen branches; math: discuss circles and infinity

6.  The Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6; what does it mean to be a peacemaker?

7.  The Way
John 14:6; discuss how Jesus can be the way; discuss meaning

8.  Son of God
John 1:34 and Mark 1:1; discuss the trinity = God, Jesus (son), and Holy Spirit

9.  Lamb of God
John 1:29; discuss sacrifice; make lamb art with cottonballs

10.  Good Shepherd
John 10:11; discuss how Jesus can be both lamb and shepherd

11.  Bright and Morning Star
Revelation 22:16; What important star do we talk about at Christmas?  Jesus is even brighter than that star.  Wise men followed the star.  If we follow the star--Jesus--where will it lead us?; make star shaped cookies

12.  Christ
Luke 2:11 and John 20:31; discuss "Christians" and "Christmas"

13.  The Truth
John 14:6; Jesus doesn't just tell and reveal truth, he is the truth

14.  Lord of All
Acts 10:36 and Revelation 17:14; discuss "lord" = master

15.  Immanuel
Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14; "God with us"; how do we know God is with us?

16.  Holy One
Mark 1:24 and Isaiah 43:15; discuss "holy"; sing O Holy Night

17.  Light of the World
John 8:12; discuss natural and man-made light;  how can Jesus be a light?;
light a candle to help remember Jesus is the Light of the World

18.  Rock
1 Corinthians 10:4, Matthew 7:24-25, and Psalm 18:2; discuss how Jesus is a firm foundation and unchanging; collect rocks

19.  The Word
Revelation 19:13 and John 1:1; get child's idea about how Jesus can be the word?

20.  King
Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 24:7-10, and Revelation 7:14; make crowns

21.  Redeemer
Job 19:25; redeem = to free from harm by paying a price; what price did Jesus pay?

22.  Savior
John 4:42; why do we need a savior; discuss the cross; make a cross art or craft

23.  The Shield
Psalm 18:2; discuss what a shield is used for; gather toy shields or make one from cardboard

24.  The Vine
John 15:5; discuss how we grow in Christ; talk about what happens when leaves or flowers are cut from the vine/plant; experiment with this if possible

25.  Messiah
John 1:41; "Annointed One"; discuss meaning; discuss different examples of annointing in the Bible; listen to Christ Tomlin's song Jesus Messiah           

**Depending on the age of your child, more in depth discussions may be possible.  This is geared towards preschool and early elementary.    

Step 2:  Now that the names have been chosen, I worked on the ornaments.  There are tons of possibilities...I decided to go with clear ball ornaments that I could glitter.  This method uses Pledge Floor Cleaner and glitter on the inside of the ornament.  This blog gives more details.  Then I had a sweet friend write the names on the ornaments in her beautiful handwriting.

Step 3:  These ornaments can be added to your main Christmas tree or you can have a separate, smaller tree just for this activity.  I decided to go with a separate tree...something like this.

sweet mini tree

Step 4:  Eagerly wait for December 1st.  I'm really excited about sharing the meaning of Christmas with my children, and this will be the perfect way to do that!!  I can see a new tradition in the making. :) 




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday's Top 10: Let's Talk Turkey

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, turkey is on everyone's mind.  Old Crow even dressed up like one today...with tail feathers, beak, and all.  Here are our top ten turkey activities!

1.  Science...Learning about Turkeys
Old Crow is interested in all things turkey...from their wattle to what they eat.  So we will be researching turkeys by looking on the internet and by reading books.  Here are some graphic organizers to facilitate his research.

2.  Craft...Pinecone Turkeys
These adorable turkeys are not only fun to make, but they will be great table decorations for our Thanksgiving feast.

Pinecone Turkeys Craft

3.  Nature Study...Leaf Turkey
After taking a nature walk and collecting fall colored leaves, we'll use them to create this turkey art.

Leaf Turkeys

4.  Math...Thanksgiving Store
We'll use our money skills to shop for items for our Thanksgiving meal.  Creating a shopping list would also be a great writing activity.  If you don't have food pictures like the ones shown in the picture, magazine cutouts would work too.

Thanksgiving store

These fact family turkeys also make a great turkey-themed math activity.

The First Grade Parade...fact family turkey

5.  Art...How to Draw a Turkey
These step-by-step directions can be found here.  We'll follow these directions to learn how to draw a turkey.

6.  Writing...Turkey's Plea to Farmer
  Old Crow loves reading Turkey Trouble and this free download on persuasive writing goes along perfectly.

Product Details

Persuasive Writing - Turkey's Plea to the Farmer FREEBIE

We'll also complete these precious cards and send them out to family and friends.  They are a free download on Teachers Pay Teachers.

7.  Phonics...Gobble Gobble Sound and Blend Game
This free download from Teachers Pay Teachers is a sound and blend game.  Great way to practice phonics with a turkey theme!

Gobble Gobble! {A Sound and Blend Game}

8.  Vocabulary...Thanksgiving Bingo
Bingo is always a fun game, and it is perfect for holidays and themed celebrations.  Here is a free Thanksgiving Bingo download.  

9.  Craftivity:  Handprint Turkey with "I'm Thankful for..."
This idea came from the First Grade Parade.  Too cute!!  They could even be laminated and used as placemats.

turkey writing

10.  Read, Read, Read
Sprinkled in between all of these activities will be tons of great books!  There are so many great ones that it would be impossible to list them all.  Here are just a few turkey books.


   A Plump and Perky Turkey   

Well, that's all the time I have for turkey talk.  If you would like more ideas, check out my Thanksgiving unit Pinterest board and my Tuesday's Top 10:  Learning about Pilgrims.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cloud Unit: The Heavens Declare His Glory

The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the works of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

Old Crow shared with us that he was interested in learning about the clouds.  So I set out to make that happen.  As I began looking for ideas and projects, a unit began to take shape.
Here's a look into our fun with clouds. :)

Books We Enjoyed



Nature Study
Each day we spent time outside cloud watching.  We would talk about the clouds we saw and take pictures with our camera.  (I saved these pictures in a separate file on my computer for a later activity.)  Then Old Crow would draw in his nature journal.

Bible Study
As I began gathering ideas, I was fascinated by how many times in Scripture the Lord used clouds for his purposes.  Here are the verses we read and discussed.

Our main verse for memorization was Psalm 19:1.

Exodus 13:21   God went ahead of the Israelites in a cloud.
Exodus 16:10   The glory of God appeared in a cloud.
Exodus 19:9   God comes to the people in a dense cloud.
Exodus 24:15-18   The glory of God settled over Mt. Sinai in a cloud.
Luke 21:27   Jesus will return in a cloud of power and great glory.
1 Thessalonians 4:17   We will be caught up in the clouds with the Lord.  

Cloud People:  Our first activity was to make "Cloud People."  I made 3 different clouds in their typical shapes and 3 different pairs of legs in varying lengths.  Old Crow looked at each cloud shape and labeled them and then added the correct pair of legs.  So the stratus clouds are low in the sky.  Cumulus are in the lower/middle part of the sky, and cirrus are high in the sky.

Cloud Art:  To create a puffy and textured paint, we mixed together equal parts of Elmer's glue and shaving cream.  Then Old Crow created his clouds.  Once dry, the paint is a soft and puffy!  Very cool!!!
Then he wrote his memory verse and we added it to his painting.

It looked like a... activity:  After reading It Looked Like Spilt Milk, Old Crow designed his own cloud shape with cottonballs.

Cloud Flip Book:  Old Crow used cottonballs again for this activity as he depicted the three different clouds.  You can get the labels here.  


Sensory Play

Cloud Dough:  Instead of "playdough," we created Cloud Dough.  By mixing together 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil, we had a soft, cloud-like sensory activity.
Soft enough to feel like a cloud...yet it held its shape.  

I suspected Crazy Horse would love this...and boy, was I right!  He played, played, and played!  :)

Ivory soap cloud experiment:  We put a bar of original Ivory soap (and it must be Ivory) in the microwave and watched as it transformed into a soap cloud.  It grew and grew and grew!!  It feels stiff in the expanded form but can be easily smashed into smithereens...looking like snow.  So beware of doing this part in the house.  We also took it into the bathtub and let it snow!  You can find more great ideas for the soap cloud here.

Shaving Cream:  We sprayed shaving cream onto the tabletop and had fun.  Drawing, writing, and playing in the cloud-like shaving cream!


All About Clouds...YouTube Children's Video
Clouds...YouTube Children's Video
All About Clouds reponse sheet for recording information from videos, websites, books, etc.

Cloud Snack...jello and whipped cream.  :)  

Now as for all of those daily pictures we took of the clouds...
Once we have several pictures of all the different types of clouds, I will have them printed.  Then we are going to sort them by type and create a booklet.  We'll also add our craftivities to the booklet to have all our projects in one place.  I made these booklets once we finished our Butterfly study and Crop studies.  We keep them in our Nature Center, and Old Crow loves to go back through them and look at the things we have done.

Happy cloud hunting!  And I hope you see more than just clouds when you look into the sky...I hope see the glory of God and the works of His hands.


P.S.  I'm sure family and friends may wonder where Memphis Belle was during this entire unit.  I assure you we have not given her away. :)  Most of these activities were done during her naptime.  We saved the cloud dough...she'll get her turn. ;)