I got a few questions from Becky about my thoughts on the GBM: Holidays Around the World Unit that I completed and wanted to share my responses as well as some more ideas that I may use next year:
Q: Hi Kristen,
Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas! I check your blog often and get many great ideas. I love the gingerbread man twist on holidays around the world unit! I have done both of these units seperately in the past and was wondering how you liked it this year? Reflecting on the experience, are there things you would do differently? I am working on making up my unit for next year while it is all fresh and just wanted input from someone who has done it like this. Also- your Brazilian bird project… was there a link for the pattern? Did the finished project work out okay? You had mentioned something about them not drying as well as you anticipated. One more question- sorry this is long- what did you do for Australia? Thanks so much for your input/ ideas/ willingness to share!!!!!
A: I loved this whole unit and will definitely be doing it again next year. I really liked how I could get both things in and give both topics the time I think they should have devoted to them. Intertwining them helped to save time, but also make it exciting for the children and they looked forward to everyday, coming in and finding a new package. I’ll also be working to get boxes and bubble wrap envelopes together to vary the packages. I’ll also post a shopping list soon of everything I purchased from the grocery to make it all happen! 🙂
Suggestions….I think I would have more community members or staff members find packages and deliver them–I want the kids to get to know areas around our school a little better too–It could almost be an Around the School theme within a Holidays Around The World theme.
I would also spread it out over more time–because of the point when I got the idea, I could not start as early as I wanted to.
I also need to rework the beginning. I would love for the GBM to either be cookies baked and shaped by the kids or have a package delivered from the beginning.
Because my kids took this in a CSI direction, this year, it would also be fun to get the police/security persons in and help take a description of the GBM.
In an economics workshop I took this summer, it was suggested that you could interview members of the community and video tape the. You could ask them questions about economic concepts (scarcity, abundance, production, loan, etc.) and then ask them if the GBM had been there (bank, car dealer, grocery store, etc.–think–places you use/get money/do business.
Also, bringing the police in would help to reassure the children that even though they could go missing, we will never stop looking for them–you could also get them all fingerprinted and photographed at that point too.
I would have also loved to have gotten to decorating the felt GBM that I cut out and that I was going to have the children earn our classroom Bull Dog Bucks towards–starting earlier would have helped, but we just never got there!
I’ll be beefing up the basic idea and adding/taking away some new things this year and into the summer. More books, crafts that work, letters that are written better and with more age level content.
A note about the Brazilian birds: I found the pattern by googling “brazilian/toucan bird pattern”. I found it on a site that had rainforest links for kids and was somehow tied to a play in a particular community–but I can’t find it now! I would recommend not painting them with vegetable oil–it was a mess, didn’t dry well, and didn’t really look any different than the birds that weren’t painted!
I would also include more writing, and GBM related math.
For Australia we got our letter, and included were items to make an Australian bellflower. I took pictures and thought I posted them, but I can’t find them on the blog right now. I think they may be on my computer at school. Basically, you take one of those paper condiment cups and glue yellow petals around the open bottom lip and then glue two green leaves on the top. We punched a hole in the top (really the bottom) of the cup and strung a bell on a piece of yarn and threaded it through to make a “bellflower!”. Again, I’ll post pictures when I’m back at school 🙂 We also talked about how Santa rides in to Australia on a surfboard and is pulled by white kangaroos. I’m sure that there is some site out there with more information-so I’ll be working to find it! 🙂
I hope this helps and I’ll post it on the main page as well!
If you have anymore questions, please ask–I’m more than willing to share what I know to help others or spark something in you!
Posted on December 31, 2008, in Building Blocks/Language Arts, Economics, education, GBM/Holidays Around the World, Kindergarten classrooms, Language Arts/Writing, Math. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.