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Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 83- Happy Kwanzaa!

Just a few days early, we are celebrating Kwanzaa. All this week we have been talking and reading about Kwanzaa and today we put what we learned all together to have a Kwanzaa celebration! The social studies standard we have been working on covers holidays around the world, but this holiday is for Americans! That's not to say that no one else can follow the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, but this holiday was made specifically with African Americans in mind.

Yesterday we made some jewelry to jazz up our celebration, and today we made some traditional African-style clothes. That is to say, we made some rockin' awesome vests!

But that's not all! I brought in some wraps, wrap-around pants, and scarves to help us feel more in the Kwanzaa spirit. I want to give a BIG shout-out to Ms. Harper and Mrs. Amanda for coming in and helping get the kids ready for their pictures! Fashion show!

 The wraps and scarves were for the girls, and the pants were for the boys. (the pants went on over their jeans) Not all the boys were crazy about the pants.

 But today was not all about fashion, today we celebrated the Principle of Umoja- Unity. We show unity when we come together to do things, like work, play, and... eat!

One of the best ways to celebrate Kwanzaa is with friends and family coming together to share a meal and stories. Well, to get into the spirit, we found stories about sharing meals!

First we read Stone Soup by Marcia Brown.
In the story, 3 soldiers came into a town and showed the villagers how to work together, and in the end, the villagers had made a wonderful meal large enough to feed everyone, including the soldiers.

This got me thinking about one of the leveled readers from the Houghton-Mifflin reading series that Hamilton County uses. My highest reading groups had read this story last week, and it parallels the Stone Soup story.

In this story, Miss Hen is feeling lonely during the winter and wonders if her friends are feeling lonely too. Se invites everyone over to have some soup. She tells everyone to only bring a little, because in the end a little will turn into a lot!

Now, while we did not make one of our fabulous charts, we did compare and contrast the stories. My soldiers recognized many of the parallels and were able to identify the Umoja moments. In both stories, characters worked together to accomplish a worthy goal- to get everyone fed.

 In that spirit, we came together as a class to make a meal worthy of a Kwanzaa "First Fruits" harvest meal. I forgot to take a picture of the veggies we used, but here is a list:

2 cans corn
2 cans carrots
1 can green beans
1 can peas
1 can kidney beans
1 (large) can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
We put all the ingredients into my crock-pot and added our spices.
Garlic powder, basil, minced onion, and oregano. I told the kids that if they liked spaghetti sauce, they would like these spices.

We did this in the morning so that it would be ready for our afternoon feast.

I didn't want to admit this to my students, but I have never tried to make veggie soup in my crock-pot before. In fact, I've never made homemade soup before. But this seemed relatively easy, and the result was wonderful! It smelled delicious!

I told my soldiers they didn't have to try the soup if they didn't want to. In fact, most of the kids didn't eat their whole bowl, but some soldiers loved it. We invited teachers to share in our feast as well, since there was so much soup left!

 See the soldier with the pink hair bows? She loved the soup so much, she came back for thirds! The soldier in the picture on the right ate seconds!

All in all, I think our Kwanzaa celebration was a success!

I wanted this post to just be about our celebration, so I am doing another post on what we did in math and a parent reminder for Monday.

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