Learning With Literature: Angelina Ballerina
This post may contain affiliate links.
I have a 5 year old daughter who loves all things ballet. Thus, the idea for Angelina Ballerina Week. I packed Mommy’s Book Bag with some Angelina supplies: a stack of Angelina books, by Katherine Holabird, and a little Angelina posable doll (all found at a consignment sale for only $10!).
Each day, I’d take out the book bag (signifying time to transition to learning activities), and we’d read a book or two. I’d ask her a few questions for reading comprehension, define a few new vocabulary words, and she would act out the story with the Angelina doll. If there were any character traits of interest, we’d talk about those. For example, Angelina works very hard at ballet. She practices a lot, and thus, she is good at it. There are examples of this in many of the Angelina stories, so we talked about perseverance and working hard at something you love.
Here are some more Angelina activities that we did:
- Make Your Own Tu-Tu Kit. I found this in the discount bin at the craft store. It should be called “Mommy Makes a Tu-Tu While Her Five Year Old Watches Her and Asks Repeatedly How Long It Will Be Until the Tu-Tu is Finished”. Nevertheless, The Queen Bee was thrilled that I was making her a tu-tu and she spun and twirled and modeled it for her brothers.
By the way, if you can’t find this kit and really want to make one it is just a thick elastic band with strips of tulle netting and a few ribbons tied to it. We added that to our Angelina Book Bag, to be worn when we did other activities, such as…
- We looked at pictures of Edgar Degas’ paintings of ballerinas.
- We practiced our basic ballet positions, Angelina style. “I’ll be Miss Lilly, you be Angelina,”, then switch. We played classical music while we did this.
- We made an Angelina Ballerina “puppet” theatre by cutting up the book jackets and glueing the pictures to popsicle sticks.
Click here for my Pinterest links to many Angelina and ballerina themed activities.
She asked if she could have an Angelina play date. This turned out to be a great opportunity for her to do a little writing practice (addressing invitations), calendar skills (to plan the date of the party) as well as just plain fun.
I made the invitations by cutting out pictures from the book jackets.
We made mouse ears for our play date guests out of dollar store headbands and foam, you can Google “mouse ears template” on line (there’s one in the Pinterest link mentioned above) or use a scrapbooking circle cutter.
Finally it was time for our Angelina play date. Three little friends, dressed in their ballerina gear came over for an Angelina story, some snacks, Angelina coloring pages, dancing and fun. The Queen Bee and I went all out with the decorating. I’m afraid once I start, I can’t stop. It’s an illness really. It runs in the family.
I began with a simple roll of crepe paper and a package of pink polka-dot napkins and before the night was over, I had also made tissue paper flowers, wrapped the juice boxes in Angelina printables, and used some of the pretty napkins to make the plates of food snazzier.
This learning unit was more fun than academic. My main goals were to give The Queen Bee some special Mommy time with a project all her own, apart from her brothers and engage her in learning with books.
“Mommy, I like learning about Angelina,” The Queen Bee says for about the zillionth time. She then proceeds to bring me a pile of other books, asking, “Can we learn about these, too, Mommy?”
Mission accomplished. And that makes my heart happy.