For the Love of Teaching
November 3, 2015
I was recently contacted to do a book review of the picture book Christmas in America by Callista Gingrich, illustrated by Susan Arciero.
I really liked Christmas in America. In the story, Ellis the elephant travels back in time page by page and learns about Christmas in America at various stages of American history. It touches on:
- settlers in Jamestown
- the colonists in Williamsburg, Virginia
- American Revolution – crossing the Delaware River
- George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon
- Lewis and Clark expedition
- Andrew Jackson at the White House
- Civil War soldiers on the battlefield
- pioneers traveling along the frontier
- Teddy Roosevelt and his wide, Edith, at the White House
- World War I troops overseas
- Calvin Coolidge as he lights the first national Christmas tree
- 1920’s, Great Depression
- World War II
- Apollo 8 astronauts as they orbit the moon
Being a Literacy and Social Studies teacher, I LOVE the integration this book provides. When I taught 4th grade in South Carolina, I taught everything from early colonists to Civil War. Now that I am teaching 5th grade, I teach the latter events. This book will be GREAT to use in the classroom this Christmas. It’ll be great to review previously learned topics and a good sneak peek for future units.
I also love that this book talks about God in a few places throughout the text. On the page about the pioneers it states, “They spoke of an infant, so tender and mild, born in a manger, the holy Christ child.” I love being able to share my faith with my students and I love that the author chose to put that in the book.
I would definitely recommend Christmas in America.