CHRISTMAS HAPPY CAMP · STORYBOOKS

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch, the well-known and beloved Dr Seuss’ character, who we all feel a little bit like, all the year long. The story is a fantastic way to think about what Christmas really is, together with children and ask them to share their most intimate opinions, memories and feelings.

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LEAD-IN
We asked children to make predictions about the story, helping them with concept questions, looking at the cover of the book: “Who do you think the Grinch is?” “Stole. Do you know what it means?”, “Can we steal Christmas? Why the Grinch stole Christmas?”

NEW VOCABULARY / FLASHCARDS
Then, we pre-taught the key words for the story understanding, using our Flashcards set, which you can download for free here.

THE STORY
We read the story, paying attention to those words and moments which were better to act out with a TPR (Total Physical Response). This means that for words such as: sing, noise, feast, wonderful awful idea, trick, push up the chimney, pooh-pooh to the Whos, hear a noise, popped his eyes, puzzling, ramshackle sleigh; we involved children in making this words becoming alive with their bodies, hands and sounds. Here, an example of how a ramshackle sleigh becomes alive.
After the story we asked children to check if their predictions were right and if not, why.
Here is the Amazon link where you can purchase the book, here the cartoon DVD and here the movie, if you wish. We decided to watch the cartoon with our 9-11 year olds, because it’s actually the shortest option (just 20 mins more o less), even though they would have loved the film too.

STRETCHING HEARTS-TPR
After the reading we like to have the children stretching a little, and if we manage to come up with something story-related, even better. That day we imagined to be little hearts, rolled into ourselves on the floor and imagined to grow one size while opening and stretching a little bit. Then we grow two sizes opening up a little bit more and reaching the third size when we all were standing up right, arms opened and well-stretched. From here we played being stomping-, clapping-, flying- and jumping hearts to get the children moving and get the energy flowing, ready for the next activity.

CRAFT – MAKE YOUR HEART GROW 3 SEIZES!
Among all the zillions Grinch-related activities that we can find online, we decided to opt for this easy, creative craft which children can personalize writing their resolutions on. “How can I make my heart growing one size?” “Help, Stay with my family, Smile more, Love more” these have been the answers.
And then the sharing moment was such an amazing add-on to the last day.

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GAME: PIN THE HEART ON THE GRINCH
We had children drawing and cutting out hearts of different sizes and sticking some tape behind. Then we blindfold them and spin them around, trying to pin the heart the more close to te right position of the Grinch’s heart. We forgot to print the poster and realized just on the moment, so we decided to quickly looking for the image on the net and putting it on the TV. It worked and children had a lot of fun!!
Here below you find the links to download the original game, hearts and poster.
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pin-the-heart-p2

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MAKING COOKIES FOR THE GRINCH
Making cookies in Christmas time is always a fun (and delicious!) activity to do with kids. With the excuse of making Grinch’s heart growing we made cookies for him. We used an already tested recipe, which we tried out in a cold Christmas night. This recipe comes direcly from Finland, from Tami’s mother-in-law and it’s the most christmasy taste and smell I’ve ever tried. It’s the Gingerbread recipe, which we’d like to share with you entirely. We decided to use just one spice, cinammon, to make it lighter for children, besides the original recipe includes three spices: ginger, carnation and cinammon. Children learnt about measurement, weight, substances, solid/liquid status and all the vocabulary related to kitchen and cooking. Here, you can read and know more about the whole experience and the recipe of the cookies 🙂

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CLOSING UP / SHARING RESOLUTIONS
To close up the day we gathered on the mat with our heart creations and read aloud our resolutions. Then we asked: “Which one is the most common?”, “Which one is the less common?” and then we had them reflect on the whole week: “Which moments have you enjoyed most? Which storybook did you like most?”

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