Easter Eggs for Anya is a tender story which can be used not only for curriculum skills, but also for lessons of life. Easter, and the hope inherent in the spring of the year, makes life seem brand new. Anya had a special place where she went to pray for heartfelt desires, but something terrible happened instead. This book shows her journey to the unexpected gifts which sometimes come when people do not get what they want.
Learn About Psanky Eggs from Easter Eggs for Anya
The book shows Ukranian psanky eggs in cultural context and how to make psanky eggs to keep and to give away. The rich culture of intricate designs in psanky eggs has been practiced for many generations in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Symbols of Spring and Easter in Easter Eggs for Anya
Symbols used on psanky eggs include both secular and religious. Secular symbols include birds for spring’s arrival, flowers for love and beauty in nature, chicks for hopes and wishes, animals like deer or horses for health and wealth, and the sun for good luck. Christian symbols include the cross for the Resurrection, dots for Mary’s tears, and fish for Jesus. More universal symbols include hearts for love and circles representing eternity.
A follow up assignment for this lovely book can involve making Easter cards. Also, using the book and other research sources, have children draw symbols of spring and Easter and put captions under each to tell what they stand for.
Teaching Point of View with Virginia Kroll’s Book
First have children write possible adventures of the goslings during the year between the Easter in the story and the next Easter, when the family could have plenty of Easter eggs to decorate.
Then have students write from the point of view of the fox about coming to the yard and capturing the goose in order to bring food home to its family. Although this is a sensitive subject, it enables children to practice seeing a concept from another point of view so it is worth doing. This presents a curriculum skill as well as a cultural understanding and social skill of seeing things from a different viewpoint.
Teaching Children about Life’s Unexpected Gifts from This Easter Book
The eggs Anya so carefully preserved for decorating turned out to be cracked, as do so many people’s plans in daily living. But, as her mother guided her to understand, the gift of the goslings which hatched out from the cracks offered future gifts of feathers as well as more eggs to perpetuate the hope of spring year after year.
Have students in class discussion, then in partners or small groups, practice giving advice to others who hoped and planned for one thing yet something else actually happened. Scenarios can be presented by the teacher or developed together with the students.
An example could be when a child looks forward to having a baby sister and a brother arrive, or when a field trip or field day is planned and the weather changes those plans. From this they can learn that being disappointed doesn’t always mean things will end up bad. They can learn there can be a blessing, or an unexpected gift, in these situations.
The wonderful Easter book, Easter Eggs for Anya, is well worth sharing with your students. They can learn about Easter Eggs activities with a family of another culture, symbols of spring, point of view, and unexpected gifts which may come when one finds the eggs cracked.