Northwest Students Study Holidays Around the World

Northwest Students Study Holidays Around the World photo

Second-graders recently visited several continents without leaving their classroom at Northwest Elementary School. It was part of their Holidays Around the World study with teachers Kerrin Faulkner and Jenny Smith.

During the two-week unit, children learned about holiday traditions and customs in the United States and eight other countries. Each day featured a craft and a snack, such as the study on Sweden in which students made St. Lucia crowns and ate cinnamon buns. For Israel, they were treated to chocolate candy known as gelt and jelly doughnuts called sufganiyah in addition to making paper dreidels. The German tradition of hiding a pickle led to a scavenger hunt in the classroom, followed by a gingerbread treat.

The activity taught students about the origins of many traditions they are accustomed to. It also supported the nonfiction reading and writing unit in the second-grade English language arts curriculum. Students were able to learn more “expert” words, which are vocabulary words that relate to a specific topic. Additionally, students expanded their literacy skills beyond the English language, such as by learning how to write “Merry Christmas” in Russian.

The children kept all of their work in Around the World suitcases and received passport stickers for each country they visited. They improved their knowledge of geography by coloring in each of the nations on a world map.