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kathleenmom
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Posted: Oct 12 2005 at 1:35pm | IP Logged Quote kathleenmom

I am putting together a unit on Sweden. Does anyone have anything to suggest which shouldn't be missed.

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Kathryn UK
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Posted: Oct 12 2005 at 2:28pm | IP Logged Quote Kathryn UK

Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking and Children of Noisy Village books.


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Posted: Oct 13 2005 at 2:17am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

For the picture book crowd - the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and Snipp, Snapp, Snurr books are a lot of fun.

St. Bridget of Sweden

For art - a study of Scandinavian folk art called rosemaling or dalmalning.

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Posted: Oct 13 2005 at 10:39am | IP Logged Quote MacBeth

I bought Annika's Secret Wish for Annika, and she enjoyed it.

And don't forget The Tomten and The Tomten and the Fox, both by Astrid Lindgren.

We have also enjoyed the books by Elsa Beskow which are very Swedish in setting.

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Posted: Oct 13 2005 at 10:59pm | IP Logged Quote Kelly

Google St. Lucia and bring up info on the customs the Swedes follow to celebrate St. Lucia's Day. If you go to the Hemslojd site (in Lindborg, KS, I think), you can even purchase a battery run crown and do your own St. Lucia Day celebration. There are also recipes galore for glog and other Swedish food and drink. The Hemslojd site also has picture books on St. Lucia's Day celebrations in Sweden.

I'd second the Flikka, Rikka and Dikka books and Snipp, Snapp and Snurr, too. We've read these books out loud about, oh, a million times. Big crowd pleasers for the younger set.

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Posted: Oct 14 2005 at 3:22pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I second Kelly’s recommendation. My absolute favorite resource is Hemslojd.com. If you want to make sure you think of almost everything on Sweden, just browse their catalog and you’ll figure out what to include. I bought the battery operated crown for my niece and the brass crown for my house. I use it for a table decoration. And the candles smell wonderful!

Did you find this link Culture Kit for Sweden? It’s a brief list, but some great jumping points to include in your unit.

Scandinavian Influence on Furniture. A visit to IKEA would be a must, or least a copy of their catalog.

Foods:
Lingonberries – Hemslojd and IKEA sells these
Gooseberries
Cloudberries
Peppakakor – In some grocery stores you can find “Anna’s Thins” which are an import.
Swedish Christmas Cabbage Chemistry
Swedish Kitchen has one of the best sites for Swedish recipes
Saffron is included for St. Lucia foods, particularly the Lussekatter. It’s usually very expensive. I found some at Trader Joe’s for a very reasonable price!
Swedish Meatballs
Glogg

St. Lucia in Sweden
Some particularly good sites:
Santa Lucia, The Queen of Lights
How to Celebrate St. Lucia’s Day from eHow.com
Celebrate St. Lucia Day. This page has some cute verses to sing to the tune of “Are You Sleeping.”
Lucia As Rite of Passage
Sankta Lucia Song All verses, in both Swedish and Italian and English translations.
More on the Santa Lucia song including MIDI.

I would recommend the following books on St. Lucia’s Day. Most are available from Hemslojd:

Sweden: The Culture
Lucia Morning in Sweden. The story isn’t great, very basic, but the book includes music, recipes, and patterns for Lucia or Starboy gowns.
Swedish Christmas in America is GORGEOUS with full color photos.
Lucia, Child of Light by Florence Ekstramd

Older books I have that are helpful:
Christmas in the Netherlands from World Book (series of every coutnry’s Christmas culture)
American Girls Kirsten’s Cookbook I hesitate to post these because of the controversy with AG right now. Also Kirsten’s Surprise is about St. Lucia Morning.

Crafts:

Decorative Arts of Sweden Dover Book

Dala Horse (and others made in Dalarna)
Dala Horses, Recognizable Symbol of Sweden
Dala Horse Shadow Puppet
Book: Scandinavian Style Woodcarving
Book: Carving Trolls and Other Scandinavian Characters

Rosemaling:
Rosemaling
Norwegian Rosemaling

Knitting
Book: Traditional Scandinavian Knitting Patterns

Wheat Sheaves
Kitchen Witch

Books
This site has a great collection of children’s books.

Make sure to include Jan Brett's books, as she include many Swedish folktales, cultures and traditions in her stories. Particularly:
Christmas Trolls
The Hat
Hedgie’s Surprise
Who’s that Knocking on Christmas Eve
The Wild Christmas Reindeer

Cristina Bjork's books

Beowulf takes place in Southern Sweden.

I Remember Mama by Kathryn Forbes is also a classic movie by the same name about immigrants to America. I believe they are Swedish, as they talk about their Swedish meatballs and such…but the reviews say Norwegian, so my memory may serve me incorrectly.

Miscellaneous

Swedish Easter Traditions

The study of the influence of Luther on Sweden. And the persecution of Catholics. Unfortunate, but Lutheran was the national religion for a long time. See here for a short summary.

Saints of Sweden.

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Posted: Oct 14 2005 at 3:26pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

After being so longwinded, I forgot to mention. I bought last year Lucia Celebration and Christmas in Sweden cd which comes with sheet music. It has music and a narration explaining the traditions and songs.

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Posted: Oct 14 2005 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote Kelly

Jenn, I ordered the same cd! Great minds must run in the same channel (or do fools just think alike! )

Now, a question. Are the Jan Brett books Swedish in inspiration, or Norwegian, or just vaguely Scandinavian? If Swedish, they would be a great addition to a unit study for the younger set.


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Kathryn UK
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Posted: Oct 15 2005 at 6:30am | IP Logged Quote Kathryn UK

Hmm ... I thought Trouble with Trolls and Christmas Trolls were set in Finland. Why did I think that? Does it say on Jan Brett's website (which is worth checking out anyway - nice colouring pages and so on)?


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JennGM
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Posted: Oct 15 2005 at 8:11am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Kelly wrote:
Now, a question. Are the Jan Brett books Swedish in inspiration, or Norwegian, or just vaguely Scandinavian? If Swedish, they would be a great addition to a unit study for the younger set.


Well, I got my information (or mis-information as the case may be) from the internet...some Teachers' thematic studies. Here's their summary:

Christmas Trolls is a fantasy is filled with Swedish superstitions. The pictures are incredible showing Swedish clothes and treasures, including the Dala horse.

The Hat. This one is generally Scandinavian, featuring Scandinavian clothing.

Hedgie’s Surprise The key character is Tomten, a Swedish elf.

Who’s that Knocking on Christmas Eve Scandanavian tale, so not specifically Swedish.

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Posted: Oct 15 2005 at 8:37am | IP Logged Quote Kelly

Well, that's good to know for future use. I've never known if they represented any particular ethnicity or not. I just knew they were beautifully illustrated .

Someone on another thread-was it you, Jenn?- said they just went to hear Jan Brett speak and that she was lovely. I'm looking forward to checking out her new AFRICAN book!

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Posted: Oct 15 2005 at 10:02am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Kelly wrote:
Someone on another thread-was it you, Jenn?- said they just went to hear Jan Brett speak and that she was lovely. I'm looking forward to checking out her new AFRICAN book!


Twasn't me...I think it was Jenn in PA, not Va. All the signings were too far away from me.

I came up with some other Lucia activities. I'm going through my Advent/Christmas materials, can you tell?

Make a St. Lucia Wreath

Winter Celebrations, including St. Lucia. This is an excerpt from a book, but it's really nice. It's got Lucia biscuits, which is a simple activity.

Swedish Lucia Feast. This is taken from a book by Dorothy Gladys Spicer. She's written some great books about Legends and Customs.

I would also recommend her book 46 Days of Christmas: A Cycle of Old World Songs, Legends and Customs. It's middle level to adult reading with so many countries and really good summaries of customs. For Sweden it has Dec. 13 Lucia and Dec. 24, Christmas Eve traditions.

Catholic Culture has a long list of Lucia customs and traditions...many are Swedish based.

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Posted: Oct 16 2005 at 2:47am | IP Logged Quote Kathryn UK

I just did what I was too lazy to do before . According to Jan Brett Trouble With Trolls is set in Norway. Here is a lovely letter to children she has written about the book. The Hat and Hedgie's Surprise are set in Denmark. Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve is another Norwegian book, and The Mitten is from Ukraine. I added all the links to Jan Brett's letters because they are too nice to miss


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Posted: Oct 16 2005 at 9:22am | IP Logged Quote Kelly

Ah, don't you just love the internet! Getting to sift thru all that is... and isn't!

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Posted: Oct 16 2005 at 12:05pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Thanks, Kathryn! I should have gone straight to the source, too. Shame on me. Now I knew the Mitten was Ukrainian...I didn't include THAT on my list!!! Scary thing is, those kids will be taught much misinformation!

But it's not completely incorrect....Dala Horses are definitely Swedish, Tomten is also a Swedish/Scandinavian thing, not purely Norwegian. This leads to a question I've been pondering. When one studies a geographic area, there seems to many crossovers in culture...language, foods, folk tales. How do you deal with this? If teaching Sweden, do you only stick to Swedish culture specifically, or do you show crossovers? Even Jan Brett incorporates culture crossovers in these books.



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Posted: Oct 17 2005 at 3:50pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Clarice Fox-Hughes has a terrific St. Lucia Unit. She has given me permission to pass on the link. It's located on her site StoryBook School and Homemade Living. Enjoy!

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Posted: Oct 22 2005 at 4:12pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Kathleen,

I just came across a delightful "Swedish Party for Christmas Eve" from Holiday Parties by Dorothy Gladys Spicer. It includes ideas for Invitations, Decorations, Refreshments, Entertainment, including a play of the Swedish Jultomte.

The book was published in 1939 by The Woman's Press. I don't see any copies available online right now, but I'd be glad to scan the chapter. There are some great ideas weaving in Swedish Christmas traditions...probably nothing earth-shattering new, but nicely wrapped into a party.

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Posted: Oct 23 2005 at 6:25pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

An out of print trilogy about Swedish-Americans that is full of Swedish traditions is The Golden Name Day, The Little Silver House and The Crystal Tree. Many libraries still have these books. Ten-year-old Nancy (guess why I picked up these books as a kid!) is sent to stay with family friends while her mom is in the hospital in late-1800's New Hampshire. She becomes part of their extended Swedish-American family and learns all about name days, Christmas and Advent traditions (you'll love them!!!), Swedish songs and food...and the plots and characters are believable and very family-oriented.

Nancy and her "cousin" Elsa love to read and make friends. They have adventures with Elsa's sisters, neighbors and townspeople, and they start a club that even has animal members!

I love these books. Anyone with daughters will love them, too. (There are two key boy characters, although they come along a bit later...) The glimpse of life in NH long ago is wonderful, too. Lindquist, a former librarian, based the books on her own Swedish-American childhood.

PS - Thanks for the Dala Horse link. We have a red one; our Swedish friend (married to a Navy friend) had one made and personalized for us a couple of years ago. It's darling, and a special treasure.



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Posted: Oct 23 2005 at 6:42pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

guitarnan wrote:
An out of print trilogy about Swedish-Americans that is full of Swedish traditions is The Golden Name Day, The Little Silver House and The Crystal Tree. Many libraries still have these books. Ten-year-old Nancy (guess why I picked up these books as a kid!) is sent to stay with family friends while her mom is in the hospital in late-1800's New Hampshire. She becomes part of their extended Swedish-American family and learns all about name days, Christmas and Advent traditions (you'll love them!!!), Swedish songs and food...and the plots and characters are believable and very family-oriented.


Nancy, These books sound TERRIFIC! I can't wait to track them down. Thanks for the tip!

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Posted: Oct 23 2005 at 10:15pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

Jenn,

The author is Jennie Lindquist. I think I only worked her last name into the post above. I really love these books. Be careful; some copies of The Golden Name Day (book 1) were apparently printed with some pages left out and others duplicated. I bought my copies via www.abebooks.com and wound up having to buy another. Not hard, actually.

Several years ago I embarked upon a quest to acquire copies of all the books I really, truly loved as a girl. The quest is complete; the hardest one was a reasonably priced copy of Margaret Leighton's Judith of France. I was surprised when I noticed a thread of spirituality and family loyalty running through most of the books...guess I've always known what I liked...

Hope you can find the Lindquist books!


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