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This Christmas unit study is unlike any other I have seen. It is part history lesson and part Advent activities. Kids will use the Advent activities to learn about the history of Christmas at the White House. Each lesson covers several White House Christmas traditions in detail. Each lesson contains 6 related activities to engage students and help make learning fun. 4 lessons x 6 activities = 24 educational activities – one for each day of December through Christmas Eve. These educational Christmas activities will be a great addition to any family friendly Advent calendar.
My favorite feature of all Silverdale Press unit studies is the focus on primary sources, and the Christmas unit study is no exception. I love that primary sources are included because it sets the foundation of encouraging our children to look to original documents for facts and not to depend on another person’s analysis.
Lesson 1: Jacqueline Kennedy, The Nutcracker Suite, and the White House Creche
Jackie Kennedy was the first presidential wife to decorate the White House for Christmas according to a theme. Her chosen theme was The Nutcracker ballet.
The First Lady has set up a White House creche ever since 1924. This lesson will examine several nativity scenes and how the White House got its iconic nativity scene in 1967.
Lesson 2: Betty Ford, Handmade Folk Art, and the Gingerbread House
Life in 1974 America was very expensive. First Lady Betty Ford tried to lead a good example for the American public by being very thrifty. She did away with the former glitz and glamour that surrounded White House Christmases. Betty Ford encouraged a natural, simple Christmas.
The activities in this lesson all relate to simple homemade holiday decor.
Lesson 3: Barbara Bush, a Story Book Christmas, and the White House Tree
First Lady Barbara Bush loved books so much she made children’s literature her White House Christmas theme. This lesson focuses on relaxing with good books and the tradition of choosing Christmas trees for the White House.
Lesson 4: Michelle Obama, Simple Gifts and Military Families, and Christmas Cards
First Lady Michelle Obama wanted to create a simple White House Christmas, full of natural elements and easy to create crafts that could be recreated by the average person. In this Christmas unit study lesson students will learn about creating simple Christmas decor as well as the tradition of White House Christmas cards.
It is quite refreshing to see truly nonpartisan lessons that revolve around the White House. Presidents are mentioned, but politics are left out.
Want to try before you buy? Download the free sample Christmas lesson.