Fröhliche Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, Vrolijk Kerstfeest and Schastlivogo Rozhdestva!
Kindergarten students at Davidson County Charter Academy learned during their “Christmas Around the World” program on Thursday that no matter what language you say it in, it means Merry Christmas.
Katie Moore, a kindergarten teacher at Davidson County Charter Academy, said during the program, children visit different classrooms to learn about other countries and the different holiday traditions. They also did different activities related to what they learned.
“We just wanted to show them how they celebrate Christmas in other countries,” Moore said. “We also do little projects, just to make it fun.”
In Moore’s class, she explained to the children about “The Nutcracker” as something that came from Russia. The students were able to learn about ballet and created their own nutcrackers out of paper.
In Rachael Kitchin’s class, the students learned about Mexico and their traditions. She began by showing the class where Mexico is located, what their flag looks like and what language they speak. Kitchin then explained some of the different foods and traditions in that country.
“During Christmas in Mexico they have Los Posada,” Kitchin told them “It is a Mexican celebration that takes place nine days before Christmas. So they get to celebrate Christmas for nine whole days. … They have parties and parades and feast for nine days. They also walk from door to door, like a parade, and they dress like Mary and Joseph, putting on the play about Christmas.”
Another teacher, Amanda Bowman, told her students about the Netherlands and how children put out their shoes for Sinterlass during Christmas. As a way to show the children how it was done, the students put a shoe in the hallway during the lesson, which allowed Sinterlass to bring them a treat.
Kindergarten student Clay Hamm said he had fun learning about how other countries celebrate Christmas.
“I think it was fun for me,” Clay said. “I learned about these people from this country who put their shoes out so Nicolas can leave them candy. It reminds me of Santa Claus.”
Samantha Entwistle taught the students about Germany and the creation of gingerbread and helped them make gingerbread-scented modeling clay.
“In 1700 is when they first started making gingerbread houses; so you have to think that was long before you or your mommy and daddy or even your grandparents were born,” Entwistle said. “There were two bakers in town, one baker made bread, but there were special bakers who only made gingerbread and people loved them. The little tiny town that they were in that made the first gingerbread houses were in Ulm, which is a funny sounding town.”
Moore said the program was part of their “Genius Hour,” which is a weekly hour where students are encouraged to develop and create different ideas and projects on subject matters they enjoy.
“In kindergarten, it is a little bit more guided and structured, but the hope is as they get into first and second grade they will be developing and researching their own ideas and be able to create things they are interested in,” Moore said. “If the kids are interested in the things in our curriculum, it helps facilitate extra learning. It helps the kids learn through independent learning. They figure out how to create projects.”