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Colonial Handmade Christmas Ornaments
Old 10-25-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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I want my students to make old-fashioned colonial ornaments from all natural objects. (Nothing store bought.) Does anyone have any suggestions for types of ornaments students could make?


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No ornaments
Old 10-25-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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Well, I went googling and found that there were no Christmas trees to decorate in colonial America. Decorations/ornaments did not appear until the Victorian era in the nineteenth century.

There were sites that listed "decorations" - holly, pine, most evergreens, and pomanders made with oranges/apples and cloves. That was about it.
http://www.history.org/Almanack/life/xmas/customs.cfm

Here are some fairly easy Victorian Ornaments:
http://www.victoriana.com/christmas/craft5-2000.htm

The other thing you might consider - paper. Stars, hearts, snowflakes, etc. were often cut from paper or cut into garland and used to decorate with. One of my favorite snowflake sites is this one:
http://www.daves-snowflakes.com/

The snowflakes are beautiful. I've used them with students as young as third grade. The "three fold" are much easier to cut if you are using regular copy/printer paper. I bought the CD several years ago, and my class cut over 200 of them and hung them from the ceiling for our "Winter Wonderland" Reading night. It was really pretty!
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ornaments
Old 10-25-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Read The Night Tree by Eve Bunting. A family decorates a tree in the forest for the animals using all natural items. This is a great way to decorate and help the area wildlife. Have fun!
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We make pomanders and popcorn strings
Old 10-26-2007, 08:41 AM
 
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I have a colonial Christmas celebration every year in my room! The kids love it.

All you need for the pomanders is oranges, cloves, and cinnamon. Have kids put the cloves in the oranges (some enjoy making patterns or shapes) and then roll the orange in the cinnamon. Put them in a brown paper bag to take home.

For the popcorn strings, I use waxed dental floss (it's just easier than thread). Thread the floss through a needle and string one cranberry on, then tie a knot around it with the floss (this keeps everything else you put on from falling off). Kids can then alternate popcorn and cranberries and thread them on however they want. Make sure they leave some room at the other end of the string to tie a knot.
 
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"Old-fashioned Christmas"
Old 10-29-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I do an "Old Fashioned Christmas" unit every other year with my third and fourth graders. (The alternate year we do "Christmas Around the World.")
We make an old-fashioned tree with NO lights. (I string them elsewhere around the room.) We have done gingerbread cookies, popcorn/cranberry strings, pinecones (cones with glitter on them make awesome ornaments), tin foil ornaments, Christmas card balls..can't think what all else right now.

We also do "stained glass" paintings--which is just an overhead transparency picture colored with permanent markers. Fairly easy to do, but they look awesome hanging in the window!

If you google "old-fashioned Christmas" you will come up with more ideas than you could possibly use!!


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