Amazing Grace — A Christmas Unit Study

 

This unit is ©Copyright 2004, 2008 by Cindy Downes. All rights reserved. Permission is given to homeschooling parents to use these units free of charge in their own homeschool only. These units may not be reprinted in any other form, for any other purpose (commercial or otherwise) without permission from Cindy Downes. Contact her at cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com.

Index:

Directions: This Christmas Unit is recommended for PreK- 5th+. It has been designed to be completed in four weeks. Your students will learn about Jesus and God's gift of amazing grace, John Newton, the author of the song "Amazing Grace", hymns and hymn writers, and sharing. If needed, read over General Directions for Cindy's Unit Studies for more information on multi-level teaching.

In addition to the books listed below which you can borrow from the library or purchase through the blue links, you will need the following activity books:

Week 1: Christmas is Jesus

Books to read:

  • Read Luke 2:1-20

  • I Want to Know About Jesus by Rick Osborne. 32 pgs. One of my favorite books about the life of Jesus for children. Unfortunately, it's out of print. Amazon has some used copies. Get them while you can! ISBN 0310220874. PreK-6.

  • Baby Jesus is Born, Arch Book (Note: set of 5 is an error. It is just one book). The story of the birth of Jesus in simple poetry and colorful pictures. ISBN 057009044X. PreK-2nd+

  • Three Presents for Baby Jesus, Arch Book. Tells the story of the three wise men and their gifts to the baby Jesus in simple poetry and colorful pictures. ISBN 0570075246. (PreK-2nd+)

Websites:

Activities:

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Week 2: Christmas is Amazing Grace — Biography of John Newton

Books to read:

  • Read Ephesians 2:8.

  • Amazing Grace: The Story of a Hymn by Linda Granfield. 32 pgs. Describes the events of the life of John Newton as a captain aboard a slave trade vessel and later as a clergyman that led to his writing the well-loved hymn, "Amazing Grace."
    ISBN 0887763898. (K-8)

  • John Newton (Heroes of the Faith series) by Anne Sandberg. Written for middle grades. This is an excellent series. 203 pgs. ISBN 1557487855. 3-6+

  • Devil on the Deck by Lois Hoadley Dick. 186 pgs. This is my favorite story of John Newton and his conversion. It is written as historical fiction and guaranteed to keep you reading to the very end! It is out of print but well worth looking for. Amazon has some used copies. ISBN 0800712013. Recommended for 7th+.

  • Out of the Depths by John Newton. The original and unvarnished account of one of Christianity's most dramatic conversions-the autobiography of John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace." The enduring story of a slave-trader turned preacher is a powerful message, as spectacular and compelling today as when it was first written. 160 pgs. ISBN 0825433193. 9th+

  • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg. 32 pgs. In this Christmas picture book, children will learn the Christian Symbolism behind the candy cane and the importance of sharing the story of Jesus with others. ISBN 0310212472. PreK-4+

Websites:

Activities:

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Week 3: Christmas is Singing — Hymns and Hymn Writers

Books to read:

  • Read Colossians 3:16.

  • Silent Night: The Song and Its Story, The Song and its Story by Margaret Hodges. 40 pgs. On Christmas Eve in 1818, in a small Austrian town, Father Mohr's church organ broke down. In compelling prose, Hodges recounts the young priest's struggle to write a poem that would bring the beauty of the Christ Child's humble, but sacred birth night to a congregation that expected to celebrate with music. ISBN 0802852270. PreK-6.

  • The Real 12 Days of Christmas,The Story Behind a Favorite Christmas Song by Helen Hardle. 32 pgs. What do eleven lords a-leaping have to do with Jesus' disciples? In the well-known carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," the lyrics were used to teach children Christian doctrine during a time of persecution in sixteenth-century England. The partridge, turtledoves, French hens, calling birds, and other images all symbolized elements of the Christian faith. You'll learn the history of the lyrics and gain a new appreciation for this familiar carol. ISBN 031070118X. PreK-6.

  • Great Christian Hymn Writers by Jane Stuart Smith and Betty Carlson. 204 pgs. Biographies of 47 hymn writers including Fanny Crosby, Martin Luther, John Newton, John Wesley, and many more. ISBN 0891079440. (5th+)

Video:

  • The Story Of Silent Night, DVD. "Silent Night" has been the most beloved of Christmas carols for nearly 200 years. But do you know how it came to be? This beautiful film tells the true story of how a humble parish priest composed a timeless poem that still has the power to move the heart to quiet adoration. Featuring the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir. 55 minutes. ISBN 1568550375. All ages.

Websites:

Activities:

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Week 4: Christmas is Giving

Books to read:

  • Read John 3:16-17.

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. 96 pgs. The story of a family of incorrigible children who discover the Christmas story for the first time and help everyone else rediscover its true meaning. ISBN 0064402754. All ages will enjoy.

  • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. 32 pgs. One of my favorite Christmas stories that illustrates the blessings of sharing. ISBN 0385327218. All ages will enjoy.

  • The Tiny Star by Arthur Ginolfi. 16 pgs. Starlet, the smallest star in the sky, undertakes an amazing journey when she falls to earth. Her inspiring story reminds us that God, who created the stars, knows each of our dreams...and is there to life us up every time we fall. ISBN 0849959292. PreK-4+

  • No Tree for Christmas by Marily Lashbrook. An illustrated retelling of the nativity of Christ. Includes questions for the reader to answer throughout the text. ISBN 0933657714. PreK-4

Websites:

Activities:

Other Recommended Reading:

Be sure to enter these topics on your copy of The Checklist.

Please let me know if any of these links do not work. Email: cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com.

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes