FIAR: Clown of God

A few weeks ago, we studied the book The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola.  It was a great story with many teachable opportunities.  I wish I would have done this book before Christmas because I didn't realize that it has a seasonal theme at the end. 
The book takes place in the Italian town of Sorrento, where a young, orphan boy begs for bread.  He has a talent for juggling, and he is soon included in a group of wandering entertainers.  He quickly becomes famous and travels all around the country performing his routine.  During the height of his fame, he has an encounter with two brothers who are monks.  They explain to him how they try to do everything to honor and glorify God and that he can do the same with his juggling.  As time passes and people are less entertained by his performances, he returns to his life as a child, homeless and begging for food.  He goes home and finds himself in the brother's monetary on Christmas Eve.  He doesn't have gifts to lay at the feet of the statue of Mary and her Child, so he performs the routine of his life.  When the juggler finishes his performance, his heart stops beating.  The brothers who come and find him discover that the Christ Child is now pictured with a smiling face, holding one of the juggler's balls.

Of course, we had to try and learn to juggle.  We watched a video on Youtube, but it was harder than it looked. 

At the end of the book, the man goes ends up at a monastery where he juggles his heart out, literally.  We discussed stained glass windows and how many churches, including ours has them.  Some had ornate photos which told bible stories because not everyone had their own copy of the bible.  I found a tutorial on how to make stained glass cookies. 
They had fun with this part of it.  We couldn't find a hammer so we used wrenches??  Is that what those are??

Once the candy was crushed up, we made the borders for the cookies with sugar cookie dough.
Until this point, I thought we were having great success on this project...then I cooked it.
This made me laugh.  It didn't really work out as I planned.  They were all deformed and dripping out...AND they were terrible!!  They would have looked better if I had separated the colors instead of putting them all together, but still, I won't be trying this one again.  haha!
Landon's was the only one that looked somewhat like it was supposed to.

Click  here for a much better turnout on these cookies.
I wanted to take the boys to stained glass making class, but I had no success.  Instead, we painted sun catchers.  Taylor and Mackenzie were over that day and joined in.
The book is set in Sorrento, Italy.  We made a Salt Dough Map of the country in a pizza box.

We used some blue spray paint for the water.
We let it dry for a day then painted it.
Click here to see the instructions I used to make this map.
In our book, the juggler has a particular order of colors that he juggles his balls.  It is in the order of the rainbow.  We did a rainbow math activity.  Lucas did addition and Logan did multiplication.
Mr. Cheese
We made homemade gelato.  I don't have an ice cream maker so Amanda came over to help out.  It was SOOOO good.  It tasted like creme brulee (my favorite dessert in the world) ice cream.
I'm going to get my own ice cream maker!  I want to make it again.  Here's the recipe: homemade gelato.

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