Christmas ornaments - dilemma

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Opal, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Opal

    Opal Companion

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    Dec 3, 2011

    My school has a very diverse population, and I am trying to make sure no kids feel uncomfortable or left out during the December holidays.

    I would like to do a fun, cheap activity with my students and came across cinnamon ornaments. Here lies my problem: The majority of my students are Christian and there are 2 Muslims and 1 Hindu.

    Would it be inappropriate to make Christmas ornaments with 17 of my students, and allow the 3 who do not celebrate Christmas make something else with the same dough? I'm thinking an 8-sided star or crescent and star, or a shape of their choosing.

    There will be several cookie cutters available for all students.

    Am I over-thinking this?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 3, 2011

    How about everyone makes a heart shape?
     
  4. Opal

    Opal Companion

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    Dec 3, 2011

    Oooohh, or a snowflake??!!

    Sometimes the easiest solution is the obvious one.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Noel

    Noel Companion

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    Dec 3, 2011

    Opal, would you mind sharing your recipe for the ornaments? I would like to do this with my students too!!! I love the snowflake idea! Or maybe even a snowman??
     
  6. Opal

    Opal Companion

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    Dec 3, 2011

    Sure! From the Caboose.com website -

    What you'll need:
    1 1/2 cups ground cinnamon
    1 cup applesauce
    1/4 cup white school glue (like Elmer's)
    Bowl
    Plastic food wrap
    Rolling pin
    Wax paper
    Cookie cutters or a knife
    Ribbon or yarn for hanging
    Straw

    How to make it:
    Mix cinnamon, applesauce, and glue together in a bowl. The dough should be as thick as cookie dough. Add a bit of water if the dough is too stiff.
    Remove from bowl and knead. Put it back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for at least a half hour.
    Remove the dough, knead again to make sure it's smooth. Flatten/roll the dough between waxed paper until it's between 1/4" thick and 1/8" thick.
    Cut out desired shapes, use a straw to punch a hole for the ribbon to hang. The circle of dough will pull out with the straw.
    Gently place the shapes on a piece of clean wax paper. They will take 3-5 days to dry, and you will need to turn them over a couple of times a day for them to dry evenly and flat.

    Don't be surprised to see that the ornaments get smaller during the drying process. Keep this in mind when you pick out the cookie cutters for your designs. You will also notice that if you do not turn the ornaments over often enough while they are drying, the edges of the ornaments will curl.


    When dry, thread a piece of ribbon or yarn through the hole to hang.

    One of my friends said she added glitter to her dough - I may do that as well.
    I just bought 2 pounds of cinnamon on Amazon for under $10. That should be more than enough!
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Dec 4, 2011


    You might want to be careful with the snowflake, then. Just make sure it isn't overly ornate. Just a plain 5 sided star is another option.
     
  8. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Dec 4, 2011

    I did a Christmas ornament project with a class a few years back. We had one student who didn't celebrate, so we did an evergreen tree.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You could do a penguin or a snowman.
     
  10. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Dec 4, 2011

    If students don't celebrate Christmas, I would imagine they don't really have a use for a Christmas ornament. And calling it something else probably isn't the best idea.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 4, 2011

    The cinnamon ornaments are a nice country accent...can be hung from a hook or peg rack, tied to a jar or vase, hung fom a window or doorknob...smells great too...doesn't have to be an 'ornament' per se.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    They do smell wonderful and can be hung anywhere. I think they are a great craft to do for all students. You could let all of them choose from among a few designs.
     
  13. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Dec 5, 2011

    Snowflake
    Snowman
    Holly
    Mittens
     
  14. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Talk about families, traditions and love.....the item would them be a "present". Encourage the children to decorate the item that they enjoy, in a manner that they enjoy. If there is a selection, and perhaps they are even allowed to free form then they have a "present" or a "decoration" that is actually from the heart. Many cultures have gift presentation based holidays and who doesn't like to be told that they are special by their child.....just let them come up with the words and with the feeling.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 5, 2011

    I personally would pick a different craft but if you go with this, why not offer magnetic strips so students can choose to turn it into a refrigerator magnet instead.
     
  16. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I don't think I would turn it into a refrigerator magnet. They seem too fragile. Or do I make mine too thin?
     
  17. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Don't change it to a magnet, but try not to call it an ornament, since kids all think you mean "Christmas ornament." Just call it a decoration with a nice spicy winter scent.
     
  18. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 5, 2011

    Just call them scented winter shapes. We're making them this year, too. Interesting that your recipe calls for glue. I've never added glue and they hold together forever! Nice to know though, in case mine fall apart for whatever reason! I like all the ideas for shapes that others gave. A snowman would be a good solid shape that should cut out ok from the dough.
     
  19. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Dec 6, 2011

    We have done ornaments in the past and what they were varies each year. It is usually something where the exact finished product is up to the student. We have done "stained glass" pictures, student choice on the pictures. We have also done the glass balls that students got to paint the outside of it with a Christmas decoration. It has not yet been decided what the ornament will be this year.
    I do need to have my students create some Christmas decorations to put around the classroom to add to the atmosphere.
     

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