The Trees of the Dancing Goats Holiday Ornaments
This book, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, (Patricia Polacco) is not only one of my favorite holiday books, but one of my favorite books of all times! You cannot really go wrong with any of Polacco’s books, but this one is a gem. I read it to my boys every year between Hanukkah and Christmas since both holidays are celebrated in our home. And, today, I read it to my first graders.
Hanukkah is Trisha’s favorite time of year. Her mother is home for the holidays, her grandma (Babushka) makes potato latkes and her grandpa (grampa) carves animals out of wood to give to Trisha and her brother. During the preparations for Hanukkah, Trisha visits her neighbors only to find them in bed with scarlet fever instead of decorating their home for Christmas. Trisha’s family, who had not come down with the fever, decided they wanted to help their neighbors during their time of need. They decided to cut down some trees from their farm and deliver them along with some homemade food to all the families who lay bedridden. The family wonders what to use to decorate the trees and they all agree that the carved animals from grampa are the perfect answer.
Before our reading, I sketched out the animals shapes from the book on white paper and copied them onto card stock. We then read the book as a class and discussed the story.
I gave each student the blank animals I had copied onto card stock and asked them to decorate them like the ones in the story. First they used pencil and then went over the pencil with Sharpie.
They then used markers to color the animals.
After they were done coloring, we put a piece of colored paper on the back. Cut them out and had the kids sign and date the back.
I laminated them for durability.
Finally, we added a ribbon so the ornaments could be hung in the window or on a Christmas tree.
When sending these ornaments home, we put them in ziplock bags and added a short summary of the book for recipients to read.
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