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Global Holiday Unit for First Grade Students

First grade students display their work wiht comparing and contrasting holidays across the globe.

Waxhaw Elementary first grade classes did a quick study of December holidays for several different countries. In keeping with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Objective 4.01 ("Recognize and describe religious and secular symbols/celebrations associated with special days of diverse cultures"), we also compared some of these celebrations to the traditions we have in our own diverse homes here in Waxhaw.

In studying Germany, students read, The Spiders' Surprise, a German Folktale adapted by Jean Warren. They learned that in the legend, the Christ Child let the spiders into the houses to see the Christmas trees. The spiders left cobwebs all over the trees, and the Christ Child turned all the cobwebs into sparkling tinsel. That is why we use tinsel these days. "I still don't like spiders!" exclaimed James Jury, a student in Rhoda Marx's class.

The little elf "Tomte" who gives out the presents in Sweden was also discussed. Several students could relate, as they exclaimed, "Hey - That's the "elf on a shelf" that we have at our house!"

Students also were introduced to "La Bofana" from Italy, Christmas Poppers from England, and heard The Legend of the Poinsettia, by Tommy De Paola, which explains why we decorate with this particular plant for Christmas.

First grade will continue a deeper study of Mexico throughout the rest of this school year, including a guest speaker, and a couple "virtual field trips" using our Promethean boards and other school technology.

Written by: Rhoda Marx, first grade teacher
Posted: Dec 17, 2010 by Kimberly Thomas

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