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Poinsettia Fan Craft · Christmas Preschool Lesson Plan Printable Activities

Activities Materials

The poinsettia is a beautiful flowering shrub native of Mexico. The poinsettia is the most popular and best-selling potted plant in the U.S.A. The global popularity of the plant was actually spread by an American who introduced the plant to the U.S. and it is named after him: Joel Roberts Poinsett. December 12 is National Poinsettia Day, it marks the death of Mr. Poinsett and is meant to enjoy and share the beauty of the poinsettia.

The activities below will explore the poinsettia, and how this plant is meaningful during Christmas celebrations in Mexico and other Latin American countries. The use of hand held fans is also deeply entrenched in Latin American tradition. The craft, a paper fan decorated with a poinsettia, will provide a vehicle to have children participate in this multicultural experience or revisit the traditions in their culture. The craft makes a nice holiday ornament/decoration or gift for friends, and family members.

NOTE: These activities can be adapted for use as a Bible related activity to address the First Christmas - The Nativity -- review suggestions and Bible links at the bottom of this page.

Preparation: Display Materials and Suggestions
1. Display the Pp Poinsettia color poster prominently refer to it during the presentations and discussions.

2. If at all possible, have a real small potted poinsettia (or a fake one), or plan for a visit to a flower shop or garden center, the links below will also provide many images, but the real plant is more memorable. The potted plant can also be displayed to have children make their own painting, join the children in this art appreciation activity.

3. Below are different suggested learning activities, educational links and a craft. Decide which activities and how to structure the order of these activities based on your group or home schooling needs. These can also be spaced over a two-day session.

4. While children are assembling the craft, coloring the Pp Poinsettia coloring page, or doing a painting, have some cheerful holiday music in the background. Your local library may be a good source for cassette tapes that may feature Latin American Christmas songs.

> Social Studies > Places & People > Mexico and Latin American Culture

The poinsettia and the use of hand held fans in Mexico & many Latin American Communities:
The poinsettia is special holiday gift in Latin American cultures. The flower can represent the "Christmas Star" the Three Wise Men followed to visit Baby Jesus. It is given a number of different names in different regions or countries among them: "The Good Night Flower" (or Flower of Christmas Eve). The poinsettia can be seen decorating homes, and religious places of worship, particularly around an altar. The Aztec Indians used it for medicinal purposes and to produce a colorant, among other things.

Activity > Picture Book > The Legend of the Poinsettia

Retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola > on YouTube
The Legend of the Poinsettia >
This Mexican legend has a beautiful and meaningful message that can be shared with the children. Explore it and decide how would like to include its content in the activities. This legend is appropriate for a memorable Bible activity as it relates to The Nativity > The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2 & Mathew 2).

Idea: Hold a finished fan craft during this part of the discussion or have other examples of fans.
The hand held fan has been used mostly by women in one form or another by many cultures. In Latin America it was used mostly to help ease the hot summer days. The fan could me made of many materials and often it could be folded (accordion style folds). These could be very embellished with beautiful images which could be embroidered or painted and reflected family traditions and/or religious scenes. Some fans were regarded as heirlooms and transferred from a mother to daughter on very special occasions like a wedding or birth of a child. A lady could have many fans to match her different outfits or special ones just for the holidays, like Christmas. Ladies would also use their fans during dances and also used "The Language of the Fan," for example, to admonish their children by gently tapping their leg with it (a wordless, "Hush, little one... "). This "Language of the Fan" (distinct for different Latin American countries) , meant ladies would move or tap their fan in different ways to secretly convey messages. Share with the children they will be making a poinsettia fan to celebrate the Christmas and winter holidays and possibly give it as gift to a special lady in their lives, like Mom, Grandma, other relative, child care provider or preschool teacher.

Activity > Science/Social Studies The Poinsettia Plant
View and share facts about the poinsettia you think the children may find interesting here. The biggest misconception about poinsettias is that many believe that it is a poisonous plant, but it is not. Children should not eat them though, and they would have to consume vast amounts and this would probably result in a tummy ache... (they don't taste very good either).

Language Arts >
Activity > Alphabet > P is for Poinsettia or F is for Flower & Fan
Print and present the alphabet materials of your choice.

Arts and Crafts Activity > Poinsettia Fan Craft - Ages 3+

Number Skills:
During the assembly of the craft children will be able to practice number skills -- counting one through six and view and paste the petals in numerical and clockwise position as they will read numbersin a clock.

Color Skills: The main colors to identify and practice here are red, yellow and green.

Printing and assembly options for Bear Head Craft
Option 1: Print fan color template, cut out and tape or glue to a craft stick. Print instructions & petal templates, cut 6 red petals of each size. Conduct learning activities of your choice above and assemble. Discuss colors on the template.
Option 2: Print fan black & white template. Print directly on your choice of background color on sturdy construction or card stock preferably. Print instructions & petal templates, cut 6 red petals of each size. Conduct learning activities of your choice below and assemble.

The instructions page offers some suggested guidelines to make this craft with large groups, particularly with 3 to 4 year olds, where a bit of more preparation can go a long way. Don't be daunted by the twelve petals, it can go smoothly by doing 6 petals first (a song or snack break) and then the next 6 petals.

Ideas for making the craft with older children in mixed age groups, after school programs or at home with older siblings:

1. Children can do most of the cutting and actually trace and cut the leaves on their own. They can experiment with other materials like fun foam or color/paint the petals with different materials.

2. The petal areas can be filled with sequins, beads, and other similar craft materials, instead of a cut-out petal. Add interest to the fan's background by stamping leaves in light green shades (sponging or rolling) first, proceed to finish petal areas.

3. The craft stick can be painted and also embellished covering with a ribbon or paint. Add a pretty bow and long streams of ribbon to the handle.

4. Use a hole punch along the border of the fan. Start lacing from the handle and end by making a bow with red ribbon or yarn.

External resource: The Poinsettia Pages

Bible and Christmas activities:

The First Christmas >
Bible text: Luke 2 | coloring pages

Poinsettia Fan Craft
printable poinsettia fan craft
Illustrations only templates below

Poinsettia Craft
*Fan Template

Black & White
*Fan Template

*Instructions & Petals Template

Alphabet Printable Activities
D'Nealian & Standard block
letter f flower printable activities
Letter F Flower

letter p poinsettia printable activities
Letter P Poinsettia

poinsettia coloring page

Poinsettia coloring page 1

poinsettia coloring page
coloring page 2
poinsettia coloring page
coloring page 3

the first christmas coloring page

The First Christmas
Christmas Bible coloring pages

video the legend of the poinsettia
The Legend of the Poinsettia
Video @YouTube
Find @ a library

Flowers · Christmas · Winter >