Kindergarten: Learning and Honoring New Traditions
Kindergarteners in Mrs. Demartini’s class have been busy learning about new traditions throughout the month of October. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the class worked together to identify every Spanish-speaking country on the map. After completing this activity, Mrs. Demartini selected Guatemala as the kindergarten country of focus.
“I chose Guatemala after I found out about the kite celebration that celebrates ancestors and honors their spirits. In class, we read a book about Guatemala and watched several videos about the kite festival that takes place on November 1 each year. The students were in awe of the kite shapes, colors, and sizes,” Mrs. Demartini said.
After watching the video, the kindergarten students got to make their very own kites to celebrate the Day of the Dead. “These activities open doors of understanding, empathy, and inclusion. They allow students to see similarities and differences and to develop respect for others in a non-judgmental way,” Mrs. Demartini said.
After noticing how engaged and focused her students were throughout the lesson, Mrs. Demartini introduced another fun tradition to her kindergarten class: Cranberry Day!
“In ancient times, the Wampanoag Tribe, who lived in the Northeastern part of this continent, celebrated the harvest of cranberries during October. They would spend three days harvesting in the bogs and would gather for a community lunch. The men and boys would play drums and sing while they gave thanks for their bounty,” Mrs. Demartini shared.
To join the Wampanoag Tribe in continuing this important tradition, the kindergarteners studied indigenous people around the world, read lots of books, and had many discussions about how different cultures (past and present) give thanks.
For the hands-on activity, Mrs. Demartini asked each of the kindergarteners to think about how they give thanks while stringing dried cranberries and popcorn. She then asked each of the students to take their homemade creations home and hang them outside as a treat for the birds.
“Giving thanks is so important and understanding how others give thanks gives us a deeper understanding and a more global perspective,” Mrs. Demartini said. Great job kindergarteners!
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.