Teaching the Nutcracker is one of my favorite things to do every December. I got my first Nutcracker as a gift when I was in second grade and ever since I have loved to find new nutcrackers, retell the classic fairy tale, listen to the music, and share with others.
As I started to unpack all of the nutcrackers that I own this year I realized that I’d not only collected physical nutcrackers but a whole host of resources that help me whenever I teach about the Nutcracker story in my classroom. So, in this blog post I’ll share a bit about the process I use when teaching about the Nutcracker, some favorite books and resources you might consider, and a bit about how you might sequence the Nutcracker into your K-5 lesson plans.
What are Nutcrackers?
For me, teaching the Nutcracker starts with explaining why we have nutcrackers at all! Kids are used to seeing these little wooden creatures in retail stores and on TV, but many don’t really understand what they are or why we have them. I always pick up a nutcracker to do a demo and give a little explanation about the original purpose of a nutcracker.