This week, when the students came in on Monday, they found that our classroom fairy had left us a poem about December celebrations. As we had studied Hanukkah last week the students began talking about other celebrations their families celebrated this month. We uncovered that Christmas was another holiday many of our students celebrated with their families.
The students had the opportunity to explore symbols from this holiday in many hands on ways. We made our weekly batch of play dough as a Christmas tree themed batch. The students were able to create and decorate Christmas trees during sensory play.
As we read books about Christmas and learned factual information around this holiday we also looked to see if we could find any similarities between Christmas and Hanukkah. The students made the connection that both of these holidays use lights. One students said that during Hanukkah Jewish families light candles on the menorah each night and families who celebrate Christmas put lights on their trees and sometimes outside their homes. Another child pointed out that the Star of David is an important symbol during Hanukkah and during Christmas many people put a star on the top of their Christmas tree. Another student said that during Christmas they liked to eat lots of yummy food with their families and during Hanukkah families ate lots of food together too.
During a discussion about what kinds of treats the students like eating at Christmas time a few students spoke about how much they love to eat gingerbread and decorate gingerbread houses. The next day after this conversation the students found a gingerbread person waiting them in the class. Ginger the Gingerbread person had told the students that she loved our class. She was wondering if they could build a home for her using 3D shapes that we had been learning about.
The students used examples from the song Geometric Shapes to decide which shapes they would incorporate into their houses for Ginger. They build pyramids, triangular and rectangular prisms and cubes for Ginger to live in. The students took pictures of their work and wrote about what they had created for Ginger. We also extended this writing piece by having the students write letters to Ginger. Magically, Ginger answered all of the students' questions in his daily letters.