2 posts categorized "My Units" Feed

Saint Lucia Unit



This is a unit I wrote 4 years ago, I decided I need to post it here. As you can see, we are very hands-on in school. I hope it inspires you.

I am lucky enough to live in Poulsbo, WA.which is a Norwegian town and is steeped in wonderful traditions. One of our favorites is at Christmas time. Poulsbo is on Liberty Bay and Saint Lucia is brought in on a Viking boat across the bay. It is sooo beautiful to see the torches from the boat and the lights from Saint Lucia's crown reflecting on the water. Saint Lucia is escorted off the boat by Vikings dressed in full gear to a bonfire which is lit. Needless to say my daughters have always been enchanted by this and this year Chloe (8) gets to be Saint Lucia. I wanted to take all these beautiful ideas and put them in a unit for our family. We will be scrapbooking this and hopefully it will be something wonderful Aubern'e and Chloe will always remember. 


I am grouping this unit by ideas. We will be reading lots of books and watching videos as we do this study. I will list the books and videos we used at the end. We are very hands on in our units. There is so much more we could have done but I have tailored this unit to fit the interests of our family. Hopefully this will be a jump off point for you.

The Ideas.....



Idea 1. Julbock-Goat

Julbock is the goat that Jultomten (Elf, like Santa) rides. There is a site on line that shows, step by step, a straw goat being made. 

 Wheat weaving crafts


Idea 2. Marzipan and Pig

There is wonderful tradition about giving a marzipan pig for good luck. We will make marzipan pigs (and maybe Santa will put one in the girls stockings, if they have been good :)

Marzipan candy  


Idea 3. Baking Cookies

Baking is such a Swedish and Norwegian tradition. There are hundreds of cookies we could bake (and will) but we will bake Peppernuts. The girls have never made them, so they will be new to them. I have a wonderful little book called " Peppernuts Plain and Fancy " by Normas Jost Voth. Which has lots of information and has 2 dozen recipes. We are going to cut our dough with a thimble. You do not have to cut the cookies this small. Here is a recipe from the book.

      Mrs. H. C. Unruh's Yule Peppernuts

      1 cup butter                   1 tsp. cinnamon
      1 cup sugar                    1/2 tsp. cloves
      1 cup brown sugar         1/4 tsp. mace
      3 eggs, beaten                3/4 cup chopped nuts
      1 lemon rind, grated        1 tsp. baking soda
      1/2 tsp. anise oil             1/4 tsp. finally ground pepper

      Pre-heat oven 350* F.
      Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Sift dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to butter. Add nuts, anise, and peel. Roll dough thin and cut with thimble. Place cookies on greased baking sheet. Bake till lightly brown. 
 Here is a nice story about peppernuts..... 



Idea 4. Julenek

"Julenek," a sheaf of grain Norwegians place outside for the birds each Christmas.

We will make a Julenek. A lovely picture



Idea 5. Light

We will talk about how God's light plays a part in Christmas. Then we will make a gingerbread lantern .
A little different lantern.



Idea 6. Heart

Love plays a part of Christmas. Make Hjertekurver Swedish woven hearts. Directions for the woven heart. Here are some patterns of different types of hearts.



Idea 7. Language

Star - Stjärna {shair'-nuh } 

English/Swedish Christmas dictionary



Idea 8. Royalty

The Royal House of Norway

 The Royal Court of Sweden



Idea 9. Jultomten

Jultomten is a Christmas elf who bring presents (like Santa).

We made a Jultomten out of pine cones. Glue a wooden bead (for a head) of the top (pointed end) of a pine cone (the body). You can paint a face on the bead if you want. Glue a tuft of wool for a beard and make a little red cap out of wool.

There is a tradition of setting out a bowl of Julgrot (Christmas rice pudding) for Jultomten on Christmas eve.



Idea 10. Dalahast

Dala horse is a most recognizable symbol of Sweden. It is a painted horse.

Since I could not get these unpainted, I made them myself. They are a very simple shape. I made an armature out of foil and covered it with paper clay. After it dried, the girls could paint them themselves. Here you can see what they look like.



Idea 11. Finally, Saint Lucia

We will make a wreath for Chloe. I think I will wrap twinkle lights around a small wreath for her to wear on her head. There are wreaths with electric candles you can buy as well.

This is a great Saint Lucia site

 We will also make a star boy hat 

Paper crown and star boy hat

And of course Lussekatter, Lucia Buns
 In Scandinavian homes, the feast of St. Lucia (Dec 13) is marked by the serving of these buns. Traditionally, they are served by a young girl wearing a wreath with lighted candles on her head.

Here is a wonderful recipe from Sombra, Thank you Sombra !!!!

St. Lucia Buns 

      dried yeast 2 TBLS
      sugar 1tsp
      Lukewarm water 1/2 cup
      light cream 1 1/4 cup
      saffron threads 1/4 tsp
      sugar 3/4 cup
      flour 6 1/2 cups
      butter 1/2 cup
      ground cardamom 1 tsp
      ground blanched almonds 1/2 cup
      eggs 2
      dark seedless raisins 1/2 cup
      egg yolk 1

      Dry the saffron on a saucer in a 250 oven for 15 - 20 minutes and then crumble it with the back of a spoon. Hull the cardamom seed (reserving the pods) and grind the seeds in a mortar.

      Proof the yeast with the 1 tsp sugar in the lukewarm water. Scald the cream almost to the boiling point with the pods of the cardamom. Strain off the pods and discard. Add the saffron, remaining sugar, and butter and let stand. When lukewarm add the beaten eggs. Check temperature and add proofed yeast. Mix ground cardamom with flour and add to yeast mixture, beaten until dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Turn out and let rest covered with the bowl for 15 minutes. Kneed on a well floured board until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; cover and let rise till double. Punch down, turn out and work in raisins, reserving a few for decoration. Roll the dough into pencil thin strips and shape, as given on the opposite page, for traditional buns. Place on greased baking sheets, covered with a tea towel, and let rise till double. Brush with egg yolk beaten with 1 tbls of water Bake 12-15 minutes in 400 oven.

      The shapes for the St. Lucia buns have these names:

      Wagon Wheel
      Cut two strips 10 inches long. Place side by side, pinch together at center and coil ends. Place Raisins in center of each coil. (you'll have 4 coils joined together.

      Joseph's Beard
      Cut three strips, one 10 inches long, one 8 inches and one 6 inches. Bend shortest strip into an upside down U shape with the ends flipped up into coils. Place second longest strip underneath the U and form it into a similar shape with the ends coiled.. then do it again with the longest one.

      Cut one strip 8 inches long. Coil each end in opposite directions. Place raisin in center of each coil. 

      Cut one strip 10 inches long. Pinch at center to make a v. Coil each end downward to make horns. Place raisins in center of coil.

      Lucia Cross
      Cut two strips 6 inches long. Cross them to form an X and coil ends. Place raisins in center of each coil. 

      Star of Bethlehem
      Cut two strips 10 inches long. Shape each into a triangle. Lay one over the other, pointing in opposite directions.

      Berachah, ('blessing' in Hebrew) 


List of Sites, Videos, Books



Victorian Saint Lucia postcards 



Kristin Paper doll, click on image and save




Christmas in norway

 My favorite DVD is:   "Christmas in Norway"   


"Rogaland : The Jewel of Norway A Musical Portrait"   by Jan Kurtis Skugstad

 "The Spirit of Sweden"  by Ed Lark



Books by Carl Larson


Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydåker  

Once upon             

Another favorite Once Upon A Christmas Time by Thyra Ferre' Bjorn,  author of Papa's Wife


Annika's Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis     



Christmas in Noisy Villageby Astrid  Lindgren 


Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett       

Make a Hedgie basket to go with story

Ekte Norsk Jul Vol. 1,2, &3: Traditional Norwegian Christmas   

Norwaycolor  Swedencolor
Norway Coloring Book, Sweden Coloring Book By:Sevig, Kirsten
   More than just a coloring book, these 48-page books include crafts, recipes, songs, and traditions as well.

My Village in Norway by Sonia and Tim Gildal

Children of the Soil By Nora Burglon. This is a vintage book about a Scandinavian family.

Kristen, The American Girl books

Peppernuts Plain and Fancy by Normas Jost Voth

Olaf and Anne by Virginia Olcott

The Legend of the Christmas Rose

and another
 Thank you for the idea Susan!

Lastly I get a lot of e-mails of people looking for battery run crowns. Nordic Maiden, in Poulsbo carries them. It is a wonderful shop (we go in all the time). Please tell them Storybook Woods sent you.

Also thank you to Jody, who had hosted my unit on her site for several years xoxox 

French Unit


French Unit
Chloe came to me one day asking for a unit on France. "I want to do fun French things"  and that is what we did. This is not a serious unit on France but more just a fun over-view of French things, life and history. We had a lot of fun with this one. As with all unit's there is so much we could have done. But I tailored to to our families interests. We mostly read good books and did lots of hand's on things.
I based my unit around a book called "Charlotte In Giverny" by Joan MacPhil Knight. It has an almost handmade look to it. So we had fun copying pages from it (below). I found it a easy way to learn the French language.
PS. we are girly girls here, so this is a pretty girly unit !!!! But I encourage you to use this as a stepping point for you family (or even if you do not have children, it would be fun) and tailor it to your needs and interests.
Clarice Fox-Hughes


               Grenouille Plus is a wonderful blog full of vintage French  ephemera. Here are jumping jacks. There are others on her site.


Another fun activity for the girls to do, while I read is this fun face.(that really has nothing to do with France, except it is French and fun!! Which is good enough for me)


French Beaded Flowers
Here is a great site with lots of links to show how to make French beaded flowers. 


           Here is another site with a simple beaded flowerto make.

  We had fun making these flowers. We wired some onto safety pins and   made pins. Some we wired on to bobbie pins and other strung on string. They turned out cute but found out it is stressful working with little tiny beads. I now admire anyone who does !!


Eiffel Tower
A coloring page. I LOVE coloring pages

                                       You can create a Lego one!!


Or a paper one. I have one Aubern'e made me in my French bathroom. Thank you sweetie !!!

                                         And another paper one!!

                                                 French Crafts

Here is a fun site with lots to do.
I particularly love this "My house in provence"
French Post Card
Create a French Post card 
French Tea
We read parts of "French Tea" by Carole Manchester
While we had tea we pretended we were at some wonderful tea salon in the book !!
We ate

Gateau Moelleux au Chocolat

 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
11 tablespoons (5 ounces) butter
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup diced walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and chocolate together.
Let butter and chocolate cool a few minutes and then add eggs, sugar and vanilla
In a bowl, put the flour and stir in little by little the chocolate mixture and the diced walnuts. Pour into a greased tube pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool off 5 minutes and remove from pan.

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour cream

Melt butter and chocolate together. Take off the burner and add the sour cream. Pour on icing and top with walnuts

French Fan

Durning our tea we made the French ladies into fans, by cutting them out and gluing Popsicle sticks to the back. I am sorry I do not remember were I found this picture and can not give credit to the person. Enjoy.
First we decoupage bottles we had. Then we made perfume. Which the girls found out is was not as easy blending fragrance as they thought. First batch was thrown out. Rose seemed to be the favorite.
Chloe's, on left, Auben'es middle and mine right (with the glitter of course) Here is a siteto show you how to make perfume.
And another 
Here is perfume time-line.
Here you can purchese Empress Eugeniepaper doll
List of books and Videos
We looked at and read a lot of books. I just used what I had and my mother had. There are so many books on this subject,  I could have gotten many more books. But since my mother and I have a large selection in the subject, I just used what we had.
I do want to say that a  lot of these books are old and out of print. If you see * that means we love the book.
* Both the book and video  Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork & Lena Anderson
A Visit To Giverny by Gerald Van Der Kemp
Guide Naif de Paris (parise thought the eyes of the modern primitives) by Mathilde Hager
The Privet Realm Of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer
Provence (paintings) by Peter Mayle
*The World's Children Series "Jean and Fanchon by Virginia Olcott
(We love these books of different children in different countries. Got the ones form the 30's. The newer ones have been changed)
*Lily and Miss. Liberty by Carla Stevens
Here you can make a liberty starbox
Stories From France by Edward W. Dolch
Sara Midda's South Of France, A Sketchbook by Sara Midda
(A wonderful small book full of water colors, that we tried to copy)
* Paintbrush In Paris by Jill Butler
French Children by Mabel O'Donnell
* "The Orpheline series" by Natalie Savage Carlson
We LOVE these Orpheline books. Any book By Ms. Carlson would be good. Most of her books are set in France!!!
The Jeanne-Marie Books by Francoise
(they are picture books meant for young children but they are very sweet)
That Extraordinary Pig Of Paris by Roni Schotter
Lets Travel In France
* This is Paris by M. Sasek
(if you can get your hands on any books by Mr. Sasek, do it !!!!  )
Nursery Friends From France-My Travelship  by Olive Beaupre'
(for poems and I used the beautiful map on the front)
Charlotte In Giverny by Joan MacPhil Knight
Charlotte In Paris by Joan MacPhil Knight