Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Discover the Netherlands Through Children's Books

A land of tulips, windmills, delftware, cheese, and wooden clogs, the Netherlands is a fascinating, unique western European country that borders the North Sea, Belgium, and Germany. Sometimes referred to as Holland, North and South Holland are actually 2 of the country's 12 provinces. The Netherlands literally means "low countries," or "low lands." The people and the language are referred to as Dutch.

To begin, you may want to locate the Netherlands on a map or globe. In the library are many books and videos which "tour" the country, creating a feel that you are there.

If you have your students make a report, you may want to include graphics and/or pictures of a windmill, tulips, a girl dressed in traditional clothing, wooden shoes, flag, map of the country or a map of Europe with the Netherlands highlighted. A graph illustrating major products exports (or other interesting facts) or a timeline of famous painters are other possibilities. Topics to cover include a brief history, famous people from the Netherlands, unusual facts related to this country and more.

Games and Activities
Plant a tulip bulb, go bowling, or paint a picture in the style of The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.

Foods from the Netherlands include Edam or Gouda cheese, herring, split pea soup, cruller, pancakes, and many more. Check out the library for Dutch cookbooks.

Questions to Consider While Reading
What makes the Netherlands unique? How have the people of the Netherlands made their country more livable? Can you name some famous Dutch or Flemish painters?

Websites to Visit
Heroes of the Holocaust: Holland.

Various artists/painters (Dutch, Flemish, Netherlands).
Art Cyclopedia
National Gallery of Art
Web Gallery of Art
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, Rubens, Jan van Eyck, Johannes Vermeer, and many others.

St. Lidwina, St. Nicholas Pieck, St. Willibrord (c. 658-739, Northumbrian missionary known as the "Apostle of the Frisians").

Books to Read: Fiction

Picture Books
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
The Boy Who Held Back the Sea retold by Lenny Hort
The Cow who Fell in the Canal by Phyllis Krasilovsky
A Day on Skates by Hilda van Stockum
A Day to Remember by Bernard Stone (OP)
Father, May I Come? by Peter Spier (OP)
The First Tulips of Holland by Phyllis Krasilovsky

The Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the Netherlands by Louise Borden
Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Deborah Noyes
The Hole in the Dike retold by Norma Green (OP)
 Katje the Windmill Cat by Gretchen Woelfe
Kinderdike by Leonard Everett Fisher
The Litly Cupboard by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim
Rembrandt and Titus: Artist and Son by Madeleine Comora
The Two Windmills by Maryke Reesink (OP)

Short Chapter Books (Gr. 3-6)
The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins
The Little Riders by Margaretha Shemin

Chapter Books (Gr. 4-Up).
The Borrowed House by Hilda van Stockum
The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum (Also CD)
Adries by Hilda van Stockum
Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge
The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
When the Dikes Broke by Alta Halverson Seymour (OP)

Books to Read: Nonfiction
The Netherlands (A New True Book) by Karen Jacobsen (OP)
Look What Came from the Netherlands by Kevin Davis
Rembrandt and Seventeenth-Century Holland (Masters of Art) by Claudio Pescio (OP)
Rembrandt (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia
Welcome to the Netherlands (Welcome to my Country) by Simon Reynolds and Roseline Ngcheong-Lum

Parts of this unit study first appeared in mater et magistra, Vol 2, No. 1, Winter 2009. For purposes of space, I have omitted the short summaries of the books that were provided in the unit study. The unit study also included traditional Dutch recipes of Poffertjes and Split Pea Soup and a living history provided by Maria Rioux. Most of these books were found through the library inter-loan system.

No comments:

Post a Comment