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Kindergarten Goes Global!

Kindergartners learn about winter holidays and cultures around the world.

In December, Shiloh Kindergarteners traveled around the globe learning about winter holidays and cultures. They traveled to Mexico, reading Tomie DePaola’s “The Legend of the Poinsettia” and explored what the poinsettia looks like and how it blooms across Mexico every Christmas, known as the “Flower of the Holy Night.” They studied village life in Mexico, learning about the work, food, houses and animals. Kindergarteners made their own poinsettia flower to share this legend with their parents at home.
We studied Kwanzaa which celebrates African heritage in African-American culture. The students learned about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa and some of the symbols of Kwanzaa including the kinara (candle holder), 7 candles, and ears of corn to represent each child in the family. We also sang a special Kwanzaa song that taught us about the 7 principles.
Students also learned about Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday also called the Festival of Lights. Students learned a brief history of the holiday and looked at examples of Menorahs (candle holder). The students learned that many Jewish families play a game called Dreidel during the holiday. Families who play this game have a Dreidel or spinning top and chocolate coins. The players spin the Dreidel and depending on which Hebrew letter it lands on you can gain or loose coins. The letters are Hay, Gimmel, Nun, and Shin. Finally the students listened to a song sung in Hebrew.
We learned about Christmas in Spain, and we compared the differences between Santa Claus in the US and The Three Wise Men (or the Three Kings) in Spain. We also compared the “transportation” they use, (reindeer or camels), where they leave the presents (stocking or under tree or shoes), and how they get in the houses (through chimney or through windows). They had to choose their favorite “Wise Man” or King, and write down the name (Melchor, Gaspar or Baltasar), on a magic crown they decorated and wore for the rest of the day. We also learned how to say Merry Christmas in Spanish (Feliz Navidad!) and we listened to some Spanish Christmas Carols.
We talked about the history of the Christmas tree - where it came from (Germany) and how the ornaments changed over time (candles on the trees to electric lights). The kids then decorated a paper Christmas tree. Our Kindergarteners had a great time exploring winter holidays and cultures around the world.

Written by: Shiloh's Kindergarten Team
Posted: Feb 03, 2014 by Mark Greene

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