CURRICULUM, MUSIC, AND COMMUNITY | HIGHLIGHTS OF SCHOOL PROJECTS
Cedar Ridge Elementary: Breaking Up Christmas
THE CD Blue Ridge Mountain Holiday The Breaking Up Christmas Story, available from County Sales, provides varied opportunities for curriculum integration. Specific suggestions for classroom use are given after the CD contents below.
There is some music on all tracks. We have focused here on describing the contents with regard to the story of "Breaking Up Christmas."
Tracks 13. An introduction to and description of the "Breaking Up Christmas" tradition (who, what, where, when, why, how).
Tracks 47. Mostly music, not much story; the beginning of track 4 tells a little about the differences in carrying on the tradition today.
Track 8. Discussion of the origins of the "Breaking Up Christmas" song (all conjecture, there is not agreement on how the song began).
Track 9. Recitation of the words to the "Breaking Up Christmas" song, description of the changes that occurred after World War II, how music/dance traditions were effected, conjecture about why the "Breaking Up Christmas" tradition faded (including the emergence of new music styles, like Elvis).
Track 10. Mostly music.
Track 11. Discusses a revival of "Breaking Up Christmas" in 1972; many names are mentioned, but there is not a lot of information shared
Tracks 1213. Mostly music.
Track 14. Discusses new continuation of the Breaking Up Christmas tradition; an advertisement for a modern-day Breaking Up Christmas party is read aloud.
Track 15. Not much story. The story teller pretends to drive to the advertised party, listens to the radio on the way to the party, eventually gets to the party and goes inside.
Tracks 1618. Mostly music
Track 19. A little wrap-up of the tradition in the context of another continuation of the house party tradition; the CD ends on a playing of the "Breaking Up Christmas" song, but it is interrupted by acknowledgements to various people.
Suggestions for classroom use
1. Use a study of the Breaking Up Christmas tradition as an introduction to students writing about their own family or cultural traditions.
2. Create a timeline of the Breaking Up Christmas tradition.
3. Create a Venn diagram or other organizer comparing the time of this tradition (late 1800s, early 20th century) to today. (Examples of a double bubble chart and another organizer are available here in PDF format.)
4. Discuss origins of the Breaking Up Christmas song by listening to/looking at the lyrics.
5. Students might consider what it would entail to plan such a party today.