Friday, January 10, 2014

Welcome Aboard AIRWAY 5!

Every year, I celebrate Christmas/Winter Celebrations around the world, however, with the shove push towards Common Core and preaching teaching only the standards listed, I have had to push a lot of these not important non essentials out the door. Don't I sound enthused ;) This year, as I was trying to figure out how I could still squeeze in my Christmas Around the World - I realized we could do it for the Christmas party! Genius.
WARNING: This is a LONG post with LOTS of pictures! You've been warned!
So with no further adieu, 
Who says fifth graders wouldn't enjoy a plane trip in the classroom - don't let kindergarten and 2nd graders 
have all the fun! 
To begin our journey, we checked out baggage (brown paper bags turned into suitcases - idea from HERE), turned in our tickets (template from HERE), grabbed our passports (template from HERE), boarded "Airway 5", and headed off to INDIA! 

In route, we watched a safety video {this is an actual Virgin Airlines Safety Video} The kids LOVED it!

Once we arrived in India, we were greeted by costumed "Indians" who passed out a cultural snack for us to try. For many of the kids this was a new experience - good for some, not-so-good for others! Snack = Fennel seeds and liquorish candies - intended as a breath freshener sweet. 
We also watched a short clip about the winter celebration of Diwali pronounced "DiVali"
Our cultural craft included creating stained glass lotus flowers using laminate, tracing sheets, and permanent markers. 
 Our next destination was Sweden! 
In route, we read an informational article on their winter celebration St. Lucia Day and viewed a short powerpoint showing us the different aspects and the history of St. Lucia. 
Once we arrived in Sweden, we were greeted by our very own "St. Lucia" who passed out a cultural snack of sweet cookies to everyone.

In my partner teacher's room, we continued our travels to the country of Mexico where they celebrate Las Posadas! In South American countries, the nativity and story of the Christ Child is performed and reenacted by children. Poinsettias are native to South America and flower throughout the winter. The shape of the flowers petals are often referred to as the "Star of Bethlehem" which led the shepherds and wise men to the Baby Jesus. Here we learned about the celebration and acted out the story of Baby Jesus's Birth. For the cultural craft, we created paper poinsettias to wear. 

After re-boarding their plane, students found themselves arriving in the Land of Dragons! The largest winter celebration in China is the Chinese New Year. There are lots of similarities to this holiday and Christmas including eating special foods, giving gifts (of money), and celebrating with lots of light! In China, students created chinese paper lanterns and learned about this holiday through a short movie clip. 

The next destination was to the country of Israel. Many Jews, around the word, celebrate the winter holiday of Hanukkah. Students read about the Miracle of the Maccabees, lit a menorah, created a paper dreidel and played for chocolate coins. 

The final stop on Airway 5 found us back in our own country - the good old USA! Here we learned about the history of Christmas music and the different golden ages - we answered the questions, what is the oldest song? (I Saw Three Ships) When was the first golden age? (Victorian Era) Why did Christmas stop being celebrated for years? (Puritans/Pilgrims banned it) When was the second golden age of Christmas music? (1940s - 1950s)
We also looked at the history of Christmas Cards and answered questions like, When was the first Christmas card created? (1843) Who began the first "official" Christmas cards? (Queen Victoria) Who started the first US "affordable" card company? (John C. Hall - Hallmark!)
Our Cultural Craft included creating our parents Christmas cards to go along with our science ornaments - We hope, parents, all enjoyed these :0) We used stamp pads and markers to create thumb print holiday designs. 

We also made sure all of our items were packed safely in our luggage (paper bags) and that we had filled out our passports correctly and been stamped for each country. 

To end our day, we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, ate cookies, created SUPER scrumptious cups of hot chocolate at our Hot Cocoa bar (yes, we fixed the sign! LOL), and opened our stockings. 
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