Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Song in Bethlehem, Learning Activities


Musical Instruments:
In the book, Naomi receives a flute and discovers a hidden talent she never had before. Talk about other musical instruments your child may be familiar with. Perhaps you or other family members play an instrument. If you have a CD with classical music, find one that features a flute to show them what the flute sounds like. Have them identify other musical instruments. I recently picked up Can You Hear It?a book/CD designed for 5-10 year olds with the a similar premise. I especially like this one because the book features art masterpieces and the CD has an accompanying piece of classical music where children are encouraged to identify the different instruments.

There are a number of animals in the book. Go through and identify all of the animals, asking your child to say their name and make the “sound.”

The flute Naomi receives in the book is a special gift. Talk to your children about gift giving. Have them identify and describe a gift they’ve received or given. If they’re learning question words, try this format or something similar:
*Who gave the gift?
*What was it?
*When did you receive it?
*Where did you receive it?
*How did you receive it?
*Why did the person give it to you?

The Christmas Story:
This book is the story of the first Christmas. While the book never identifies the family in the stable as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, it’s clear that that’s who they are. Retell the Christmas story with your child and then read A Song in Bethlehem again. Ask your child to identify the main characters from the story of Christmas from the three wise men to the child in the manger.

*In the book, Naomi first steals from the family in the stable but is soon forgiven by Joseph. Naomi clearly feels remorse for her action. Children may ask why she received a gift even after she did something wrong. Discuss why Naomi stole in the first place and that sometimes desperation can cause you to do things you normally wouldn’t do. Also talk about the act of kindness Joseph displayed and the idea of forgiveness. To help your child make a connection, talk about a time your child did something he/she shouldn’t have done and how he/she was forgiven. Talk about a story in from your own life that demonstrates this.

There are a number of activities to help your budding artist make connections from the book with arts and crafts. Here are just a couple:

Draw the story: Make a book by stapling blank paper together. Have your child retell the story in his/her own words through pictures.

Nativity Scene: Have your child draw the nativity scene, including all the animals found in the book. If you’re really crafty, check out this nativity scene crèche I found online. You can make it using pipe cleaners and yarn.

Do you have any ideas?

Check in tomorrow to learn more about the author and illustrator of this book.

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