Several weeks ago, a blogging friend of mine posted about her new holiday unit study – The Nutcracker. I was immediately drawn to it because I have a deep fondness for both The Nutcracker and ballet. I took ballet from the time I was 3 until I graduated high school. I even continued doing some dancing through college, but no formal training. The Nutcracker is the very first ballet I ever saw in person and I was in awe. I was only in 2nd grade (maybe) and I sat with my eyes glued to the stage the entire 2 hours. I was mesmerized. My mother actually thought I fell asleep when she looked over and saw my head propped up by my hands, which were perched on my knees.
Several years later I learned that the local ballet theatre company held annual auditions for that very production. I was beyond thrilled! I participated in the production several different years and loved every minute of it. Needless to say this Christmas and Holiday classic has long since been a favorite of mine.
So I asked Mary if I could review a copy for her. I was ecstatic when she said yes!!! When the email arrived, I immediately downloaded and opened the unit study. I literally could. not. wait. I have tried to get my kiddos interested in this lifetime favorite of mine to no avail. But, this year I think they’re ready. Ready to embrace all The Nutcracker has to offer. Okay…that might be a little dramatic.
In the nature of full disclosure, I have not yet used this with my kids. I have however, read through each lesson, vocabulary section, looked over the notebooking pages and I can honestly say I’m thoroughly impressed. The amount of work and care Mary has taken in putting this unit study together is amazing. She has thought of everything!! If you’re not like me and have several variations of the Nutcracker Suite on CD, she has included listening links for the music. After looking through this entire unit study, I am beyond excited to add this to our annual December curriculum!!
What I love about The Nutcracker Unit Study
- The flexibility of the unit. While Mary has given different activities and guidelines, she has not given a set daily schedule. This unit study is meant to flow with the learners in your home. Some may soak up the information in a day or two and others may take longer. That’s okay!
- Music emphasis. Being a music major myself, I have always played music for my kids. They all sleep with the radio on and love music to their core. Her advice of “listen to the music and listen a lot!” is priceless!!!! But, she is correct. The more they are familiar with the music, the more they will enjoy the ballet when you watch it. Of course, I would listen to this music year-round if I thought I could get away with it!! lol
- The Notebooking Pages. This is our first year to really use some notebooking pages. And I’ve noticed that when we do, Mister Bull seems to be more engaged and retains the information so much better. It’s been wonderful. I’m thrilled with the amount of notebooking pages Mary offers in this study. And the nice thing about them, they can be tailored to fit any age!
- The amount of links and resources. Mary has done a fabulous job gathering great links and resources for each aspect of this unit study. I have looked through each one and they are great, quality resources!!
I love that this unit study can be what you want it to be. You could easily make it into a two-week study with the music, ballet and composer links alone!! There is just so much information that you can soak up about this Christmas classic.
Want more fun and exciting music activities? Check out Mary’s other site, SQUILT Music. SQUILT stands for Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time and has drawn on her experience and time spent in the classroom as a music teacher herself. She has created two Music Appreciation studies – the Baroque era and the Classical era. If you want a music curriculum that is easy to use, this is it!!! Mary has done all the work for you! Be sure to visit SQUILT Music!!!
Can’t wait? Buy your own copy for just $3.99!!!!