Sunday, November 11, 2012

American Girl - Marie-Grace and Cecile

We spent September and October reading the American Girl Marie-Grace and Cecile series of books.  We enjoyed learning about late 1800s New Orleans, and how even though they were in the "South", African Americans enjoyed a different freedom there that was not enjoyed in other areas of our Country.

I enjoy not just reading about the culture of the area, but also finding projects that really bring it to life for the kids.  They are hands-on learners, so it really helps them out.


Cecile's father was a stone mason.  So to simulate working with stone, the girls "carved" styrofoam cubes.  This was both messy and fun.  It was hands on for mom!!

They used various kid safe tools to carve whatever design they wanted.

 They liked using a nail file to "smooth" out their stone.

They both decided on a heart...which is why it became hands on for Mom to help them "shape" it.
 Next they painted their designs.

 Their finished work....

They also made masks.  Caty would not make a face mask of herself.  But Lydia loved it!!!  I loved the quiet for the few moments the plaster was on her
 Then we used a doll to make doll masks.

 Finished masks!!

I was really grasping at activities.  We had the Cecile and Marie-Grace American Girl activity book to go through, but alot of the puzzles were above Lydia's level.  So then I got the idea to study about an author or artist from New Orleans....we decided on Mo Willems

 Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus...we watched some great videos on Youtube.

Lydia really....really liked his books!!  She was so happy that she was able to copy his drawings.

She also drew Argos (Marie-Grace's dog) and Cochon (Grace's parrot)

Marie-Grace and Cecile were taking vocal lessons from Madiemoselle Lydia was watching a video on how to sing.

And what would any culture study be in our house without food!!!!

We made praline candy.  This is allergen friendly.  No butter.  We used pecans, brown sugar, coconut oil and milk.  We threw some Enjoy Life Choco Chips on some of the pan too.  So it was super yummy.
 I didn't have shrimp...this was an allergen friendly Jumbalaya.  I made it with all natural chicken hot dogs, green pepper, chicken breast, fresh tomato and seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper.  It was really good!!
 We made Red Gravy spaghetti.  Lydia was very proud of this.  We were still on our vacation when we did this.

We also made Shrimp Gumbo...but I cannot find the picture of this yummy dish.

During our reading, we learned about helping others when there are disaster conditions.  And the yellow fever epidemic definitely left New Orleans with disaster conditions and many in need.  We also learned about what an epidemic is and how epidemics happen.


  1. Newest follower from NOBH! Hope you will come over and check us out. I would also like to invite you to my weekly Mom's Library Link-Up. Every Wednesday we share ideas about recipes, crafts, home schooling, devotionals, DIYs, and so much more! I would love for you to add some of your posts!
    Thanks and Be blessed, Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

  2. Love the idea of making a mask on the dolls face. Going to steal that idea and use it for the future