Santa doesn’t need speech to understand

This holiday, our families from New Zealand decided to have holiday lesson swap. Each of the ten families contributed one holiday themed lesson and walked away with TEN LESSONS! Since I am no fool, I jumped right on this swap. All of the lessons have been fantastic but I have particularly enjoyed the lesson about Tinsel and the Christmas Spider, written by Kiwi mum, Jo Lussey.  In the spirit of the holidays, Jo has offered to share her lesson with all of you! I particularly enjoyed lesson because I had never heard this story before.  At the end of this lesson, I challenged my students to create a brand new Christmas story. My kids have come up with all kinds of fantastic stories but this one by friend Alex stole my heart!  ~Merry Christmas! Elizabeth & The GKTC Team

Alex decided to ride my style - tucking his pencil behind his ear!

Alex decided to ride my style – tucking his pencil behind his ear!

So many Christmases ago, there was a boy who did not have real communication. Realizing that he could not talk the way he wanted to, he could not ask Santa for communication. The boy was absolutely devastated.  However, Santa does not need speech to understand. He landed on the boy’s rooftop and slid down the chimney.  He placed a letter board in the boy’s stocking.  Wonder of wonders, the boy who could not communicate could spell. He loved to spell and share his words with the world.  This was the merriest Christmas in his life.

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A Modern Day Christmas Carol

I have been working on a hefty RPM lesson on Charles Dickens with some of my clients this week.  From this lesson, a couple have written brilliant Dickens inspired satires which I will share soon.  In the spirit of the holidays, my friend Paul wrote a modern day version of Dickens’ Christmas Carol.  His story is so timely, on point and simply too good not to share!

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THE CHRISTMAS GHOSTS NEED TO VISIT THE LEADERS OF OUR WORLD.  THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST SHOW A WORLD THAT IS NOT TOXIC WITH POLLUTION.  THE WORLD WAS STILL ABUNDANT WITH NATURAL RESOURCES.  THE WORLD HAS NOT LEARNED SUFFICIENTLY FROM THE PAST.

ENTER THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT.  THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT PLUGS IN HIS IPAD AND RUNS A POWER POINT OF SLIDES SHOWING OUR CURRENT STATUS.  SYRIAN REFUGEES….CLICK….TERRORISM….CLICK….SCHOOL SHOOTINGS….CLICK.  HOW ARE WE TO MOVE FORWARD?

CHRISTMAS FUTURE MAKES AN APPEARANCE.  IN HIS HANDS HE HOLDS TWO CHOICES FOR OUR FUTURE WORLD.  IN ONE HAND IS A WORLD OF HATE, GREED, INTOLERANCE, AND WAR.  IN THE OTHER IS A WORLD WHERE RESOURCES ARE PROTECTED.  PEOPLE ARE VALUED.  TOLERANCE AND ACCEPTANCE ARE THE NORM AND LOVES REPLACES GREED.  CHOOSE WISELY.

Paul asks a great question, “how are we to move forward?”  His solution sums it up….”choose wisely”! Our world leaders and policy makers could learn a thing or two from our RPM students. Wishing you Christmas Ghost free dreams this season!
~Elizabeth & Paul

Learning from Each Other During the Holidays

Today marks the last day of Channukah.  To all who celebrate, Hanukkah Sameach! I had the opportunity to learn more about Channukah from one of my clients, Dustin. Dustin came in for our weekly session and I gave him a choice of lessons, which included a lesson on the traditions of Christmas.  Although Dustin and his family are Jewish, he chose to do the Christmas lesson. Dustin was kind enough to share some of his thoughts on Channukah with me so that I was able to learn too! Like Dustin, I think it is important to learn about the religions and cultures of the world.  Perhaps if we all learned more about each other’s religions, cultures, customs, abilities, and lives we might all contribute to create a more accepting world.

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Here are a few questions from our lesson and Dustin’s fantastic creative writing.  My questions are in italics and Dustin’s responses are in all caps.

How do you think Christmas and Channukah may be similar or different?
SIMILAR BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH HAPPY CELEBRATIONS WITH FAMILIES. DIFFERENT BECAUSE THEY ARE FOR DIFFERENT RELIGIONS.

 

 

What are two theories behind Christmas gift giving?
EYES ON HISTORY WILL RECOGNIZE THE STORY OF SANTA IN THE STORY OF ST. NICHOLAS. I THINK WHAT MATTERS IS THE SPIRIT OF THE GIFT NOT THE GIFT.

Tell me about gift giving in Channukah.
THERE ARE EIGHT NIGHTS OF PRESENTS IN CHANNUKAH.  THEY ARE STRICTLY SYMBOLIC. IT IS NOT REALLY ABOUT THE PRESENTS LIKE CHRISTMAS.  YOU HAVE SO MUCH GIFT GIVING AND GETTING ON CHRISTMAS.

What are your thoughts on gift giving/getting?
THE REAL GIFTS ARE THE ONES YOU CAN’T WRAP. STUFF IS NOT A GIFT. STUFF IS NOT VERY PERSONAL. REAL GIFTS ARE YOUR FAMLIY AND FRIENDS.  REAL GIFTS ARE YOUR WORDS AND TIME TOGETHER. TIME SPENT WITH LOVED ONES IS THE CHRISTMAS GIFT I WISH FOR ALL.
Do you have more to add? ONLY THAT IT IS NOT IMPORTANT TO SHOW LOVE WITH GIFTS.

Let’s do a creative writing of your choice. A poem, story, anything…
I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE A LETTER TO SANTA. (This came as quite a surprise to his mom and me! We could not wait to hear what Dustin was going to tell us.

DEAR SANTA,
NOT SURE YOU GET MANY LETTERS FROM AUTISTIC JEWS.  HERE I AM ANYWAY.  I DON’T WANT TO MAKE ANY REQUESTS FOR STUFF.  I ONLY WANT TO ASK THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF MY FELLOW AUTISTICS.  THEY MIGHT BORE MANY PEOPLE BUT TRUST ME THEY HAVE THE BEST IMAGINATIONS.  TOO BAD YOU CAN’T WRAP UP EVERYTHING AUTISTICS NEED.  YOU CAN’T WRAP UP LOVE, MY FAMILY AND ACCEPTANCE.  YOU CAN’T PUT A BOW ON EDUCATION AND WORDS.  YOU DO A SUPER JOB SO DON’T FEEL BAD.
LOVE,
DUSTIN

Wow! Dustin’s message is on point for any holiday that you may be celebrating this season!  Wishing you a great joy for all holidays that you celebrate.
~Elizabeth and Dustin