The Books of an Integrated Literature Unit for Advent and Christmas offers a free Charlotte Mason, book-based unit study for Catholic families using a number of books written by Tomie DePaola that cover not only Advent and Christmas but up through the Epiphany. Titles of the books are, Merry Christmas, Strega Nona; Country Angel Christmas; The Lady of Guadalupe; The Legend of the Poinsettia; The Poor Man of Assissi; The Clown of God; Jingle, the Christmas Clown; Mary, the Mother of Jesus; The Story of the Three Wise Kings; and The Legend of Old Befana. You will also use Hark! A Christmas Sampler, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Tomie dePaola and The Donkey's Dream by Barbara Helen Berger.
Elizabeth Foss, author of the unit study, provides weekly lesson plans showing which books to read followed by a list of suggested activities. Activities include reading, research, writing, drawing, cooking, crafts, and field trips, plus unusual suggestions such as learning to juggle and creating a flannel board story of the nativity.
A number of writing and research activities are designed for older students to complete on their own. Foss explains that they worked with another family through the study, each choosing activities that fit their own children four days of the week, then getting together on the fifth day for activities such as puppet making and presenting a drama with the puppets—activities when a larger group or combining resources are helpful.
This unit study helps families prepare for and celebrate the Christmas season while still accomplishing some academic work.