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Nutcracker: A German Tradition

‘Tis the season to be merry at Whitley Central Intermediate School.  The halls are decked, garland is hung, elves are busy being mischievous, and holiday cheer abounds from each classroom.

The third grade classrooms have been busy learning about Christmas around the World.  This multicultural activity highlights that during Christmas, Christians from all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Traditions can be admired and celebrations can be joined in most countries, even countries where Christianity is not the religion of the majority of people.

For example, the third graders learned Nutcrackers are a tradition from Germany, as well as gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies.   Additionally, the Germans are known for the Christmas Markets during the holiday season.

Students learned in Sweden, Christmas time begins on December the 13th in time for St. Lucia Day.  On Christmas Eve, Swedish families exchange presents and enjoy a great feast.  Straw is commonly used in decorations in Sweden.  It is used to make ornaments and yule goats.  The straw is symbolic of the straw Jesus was laid in inside the manger.

Teachers also shared traditions and customs from other countries such as Italy, Mexico, and England.

Fifth grade students entertained us with their Storybook Christmas.  The English Language Arts activities is similar to a Reader’s Theatre.  Students plan collaboratively together to create a performance that mirrors the story.  Additionally, they must create props and write stage directions according to the story.  A couple of the stories featured in the Storybook Christmas were Sneezy the Snowman and Santa’s Surprise.

We hope you and your family and friends enjoy the holiday season as much as we have enjoyed learning about traditions, cultures, and sharing stories.  So, whether it’s Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, or God jul, we at WCIS want to wish you and yours the very merriest of Christmases and a Happy New Year!

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