Exploring the sweet smells of Christmas

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Over at Kindy Ready, we recently read the book, “The Sweet Smells of Christmas” which is a story I love to share with my students every school year. It is a great book to invite my students to use their sense of smell to explore the Christmas season.

Throughout the book, the little bear discovers the things he loves about Christmas using his nose. He discovers the sweet smell of a pie, pine, candy cane, gingerbread cookie, hot cocoa, and an orange. The book has a scratch and sniff place for each of these wonderful smells but I prefer the children to experience the smells in real life.

Putting the Book into the Hands of the Child…

I often talk about “putting the book into the hands of the children,” and when I say this, I don’t mean putting the actual book in their hands, although that is something I hope you are doing. What I mean is to take something from within the book and bring it to life right there in the read-aloud moment. For example, in this book, we took the time to talk about and smell each item in real life just like little bear did in the book.

Retelling the Story…

And of course, a little bit of tasting went along with the experience too. But as the children were using their senses to explore Christmas, they were also retelling the story without actually knowing they were retelling the story. The children were focused on the experience while I am focused on the learning process. That is what you call teaching with intention – and when it works, it is amazing!

Tasting Christmas

Drawing our Storybook Charts…

To add a drawing or writing component to our experience, the children made their own storybook charts as a way to document the experience (and as another way to retell the story). In each space of the chart, the children drew one of the objects we had smelled as we read the story. Of course, depending on the age of the child, the chart looks a little different but every chart was perfect.

Even virtual learning can be hands-on and active…

Okay, so where am I during all of this amazing story telling, drawing, smelling, and tasting? I am in the room too but since this is my virtual preschool called Kindy Ready, I am in the room sitting right there inside that laptop you see on the table. You see, even virtual learning can still be very hands-on and active oriented. You just gotta put a little planning into it and make it happen.

I hope you enjoyed walking through this little Kindy Ready lesson with me today. I know I enjoyed sharing it with you! Now if you haven’t signed up for Kindy Ready yet, let me encourage you to join me for the winter session. Head over to Kindy Ready today and get signed up! We will be starting our next session in January!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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