ONLINE LITERATURE UNIT STUDY
by Trinka Hakes Noble
Unit Study written by: Joan LaCelle
Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka
Published by- Dial Books for Young Readers -
2 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
This is a wonderful read
aloud family book. My children enjoyed our reading of the
Ansterburgs and how they lived in upstairs of the barn.
They enjoyed the simple pleasures of life with Katrina and Josie
their daughters. This the story of an apple tree and how
they harvested the apples and the goodness of it all- how the
bitter disappointment of losing that beloved tree in a snowstorm
brought a different kind of happiness on Christmas day.
It's a wonderful story - that is so good in putting what
Christmas is really about back in it's proper setting.
Below are some neat
activities you may love to do with your children. Don't
try and do them all - just enjoy the book and the opportunity to
spend time together.
Apple Pie- Make two pies and share one
- this can be shared with a grandparent, neighbor, or
someone who needs some uplifting.
Learn how to make
Apple Butter - this is very simple to
do and so good. This can be shared with friends and family
They ate Apple Fritters in
the book - why not try to make some healthy Apple Pancakes.
Make some clove apples like
they did in the story. Take cloves and push them into an
apple - if the apple is hard - you can easily prick the skin
with a small nail and then insert the cloves into the apple -
covering it! Smells so nice!!
Have you ever made applehead
dolls? - this is so much fun and can make nice gifts too.
There is a video on Applehead dolls in our library system - it
might be worth the effort to see if your system has one.
Basically to make Applehead dolls you just peel the apple &
gentle core - cut slits for eyes & mouth and shape a nose
(realize all this with shrink up and look like a very wrinkled
face). Take your apple head and soak it for 1/2 hour in 2
Tbs lemon juice and a quart of water. Remove from the
water and allow to dry. This will take a few weeks.
Once it has dried out you can decorate with cottonballs for hair
or anything else. One year we did this and the boys made
pipecleaner body (that were wobbly) and sewed some neat felt
clothes for their Apple Person.
Read a good book on Johnny
Appleseed. And then chart his travels on a US map to see
how far he traveled and planted appleseeds in the North East.
A couple of good titles to read:
Johnny Appleseed - John Chapman God's Faithful Planter by David Collins -
Johnny Appleseed - A poem by Reeve Lindbergh - Paintings by Kathy Jakobsen
Johnny Appleseed - by Aliki
Find kind things to do for
others - including most of all, those in your immediate family.
One good story for this is "The Last Straw" in Volume 2 of
Christmas in my Heart by Joe Wheeler. This story is
included in our newsletter this month - we pray you really enjoy
Make a "story" book of
your own Christmas memory or a family heirloom story with your
child. Is there a Christmas that stands out in your memory
as being memorable? - journal it - if you don't have photos to
remember it by - make drawings/sketches to dress up your story.
Is your church or community doing some nice Christmas outreach
to the less fortunate? Why not use this opportunity to
photograph the going-ons and making a book to remember it by.
Another idea for a booklet - how about photographing the steps
in making applesauce or applebutter as a family - then writing
about it - you can bind the book using
Valerie Bendt's book
Creating Books with Children
or just stapling it together or using a notebook. Anyway
you do it - it will be a treasure.
Make a cardboard box barn
with the house above just like Katrina lived in. Use
wallpaper sample books, contact paper, odd fabrics, carpet
samples and wood pieces, cotton and so forth to decorate both
the outside and the inside of the barn/house. Make people
and animals out of homemade playdough or clay (or store bought).
1 cup flour
1 Cup warm water
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring or koolaid to color it
Optional: you can also scent the dough with Frangrance or Essential oils -
Some Christmasy scents would be nice: cinnamon, vanilla, spice
etc. Make sure Small children don't eat this, though!
Make some homemade Ornaments. We've done different ones
over the years. Our favorites are the Cinnamon ornaments -
they just smell so nice and look so nice on the Christmas tree.
1 cup cinnamon
1 Tbs Cloves 1 Tbs Nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce (let this drain in a strainer for an hour or so)
2 Tbs white glue
Mix cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg
add applesauce & the glue. Work mixture with hands until
smooth and well mixed. Divide into 4 portions roll out to
1/4 inch thickness cut with cookies cutters. Use straw to
make hole for hanging (if needed). Put on wire rack to dry
at room temp for several days. These need to be turned a
few times a day so that they do not curl up. We poked a
hole in ours and hung these with gold ribbon. Really nice!
Make snowflakes out of paper and
put glitter on them - hang these from the ceiling of the child's bedroom
or make Christmas cards with them.
Read good stories - spend
time as a family just really enjoying some good stories this
Christmas Season. My favorites are the Christmas in MY
HEART! Joe Wheeler compiled these and they are absolutely
wonderful classics that your family will love. There have
been some we've laughed over and some we've had a hard time not
shedding tears reading - but they've given us some really good
"stuff" to talk about.
Don't get bogged down this
season in the rat race of Christmas presents and shopping!
- Remember it's not our birthday - it is Christ's! No, we
don't know the day that Christ was born - but we do know that He
chose to lay down His GLORY and come to this world and was born
to save us. With whatever little you have the this season
- just enjoy it in His name and glory Who came and GAVE us HIS
ALL! That is what matters!
This free online unit
was written by Joan LaCelle!
Please feel free to share this unit with friends - just link or print the
entire page. Thank You!
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