Each year I try to make some attempt to incorporate holiday themes
into our lesson plans, but I rarely do anything that leaves any
real, lasting impression. Very little of these mini-units could
even qualify as teaching. And so I was excited to find Amy Pak's
unit entitled History of Holidays. This set allows you
to make an actual lesson for holidays instead of the typical coloring
page or crossword puzzle, and the lessons are more fun than any
word puzzle ever thought of being. Each holiday lesson shares history
and actual hands-on activities that can be enjoyed by all ages.
Best of all, it is created by Amy Pak, who is well known for her
high-quality art and educational helps. The activity creations
aren't the kind that get stuck to the refrigerator and then discarded
a month later; these are treasures for notebooking and for keepsakes.
The holidays studied include:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Valentine's Day
- President's Day
- St. Patrick's Day
- Memorial Day
- Flag Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- And other common and not-so-common holidays!
The lessons are given in three separate files: one for lesson
text, a second file for project plans, and a third file for master
printouts/templates. I appreciated that these were separated rather
than combined into one file for printing. This way, I can print
out the text and projects on regular paper and the templates on
card-stock. Also, I can choose between printing everything out
for the year or printing out lessons for each month as the holidays
Most lessons include one or two pages of text, providing background
information and history for the holiday to be studied. The Christmas
unit includes four pages of text, and these include a chart comparing
Old Testament verses of prophecy with New Testament verses that
fulfill those prophecies. Each holiday is beautifully shared, and
though the study is geared toward elementary-level students, I
had students ranging from kindergarten through 8th grade that thoroughly
enjoyed the lessons.
The project plans share between one and five activities per lesson
as well as recipes relating to each holiday. Instructions are clear
and easy to read, with photo illustrations of steps to follow.
History of Holidays is available as a file download
or as a CD, both under $20.00, which is incredibly reasonable when
you consider that many companies sell individual holiday unit studies
for over $5.00 apiece.
I cannot emphasize the quality enough. This is not cheesy clip-art;
this is exceptional illustration. Amy Pak has been delighting families
for years with beautiful homeschooling helps. If you are unfamiliar
with her work, you are missing out!