Maconaquah Elementary School fourth-grade teachers and students continued a young tradition this week by participating in Christmas Around the World.

During the three-day event, students rotate between different classrooms exploring how Christmas is celebrated in that country.

“We hope that students will learn the geography, cultures and traditions of different countries,” said teacher Pat Carver. “Since we study Indiana history in fourth grade, this is a fantastic way to compare and contrast with Indiana cultures and traditions.”

Students Jacob Bretzman and Kira Ropes said they enjoyed learning about what other countries do for Christmas traditions.

Bretzman learned about Christmas in the Philippines on Tuesday. He said he didn’t know much about the country before then, and he was excited to make a parol star – a traditional Christmas decoration in the Philippines. He said he would take it home and put it on his Christmas tree at home.

Ropes was learning about Christmas in Germany Tuesday morning. She said other countries likely don’t have as much of an emphasis on gifts like Americans do.

Ropes said her favorite country that she “visited” during the event was Argentina, where natives place cotton balls on their Christmas trees to make them look like they are covered in snow.

Carver said one of the things that astounded the students the most was learning Spanish is spoken both in Mexico and Argentina.

“Students need to learn about different cultures to build their background knowledge, appreciate our culture and traditions, and learn to appreciate other cultures and traditions,” she said.

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