Culture in the FL classroom: Happy Easter! Frohe Ostern!

Easter is long gone, I know – as is Easter break. It’s back to school for everybody, back to good old routine…. As you may know, the celebration of the Easter Week is an important moment here in Spain. Countless processions have taken place all over the country, while we have been indulging ourselves with special dishes characteristic of Spanish cuisine. But how do people in other countries celebrate Easter?

On this occasion students found out more about Easter traditions related to German-speaking countries. From Year 5 up to Year 8, every class was assigned a different task in order to create the colourful decoration you can see in the photos.

The decoration of the Easter tree, an absolute must in any German household, was created by Year 5 students. Year 6 was charged with writing the Easter greeting, both in Spanish and in German, as well as with making some paper daffodils.

Year 7 and 8 did an activity on traditions and folklore that are paramount to the celebration of Easter in Germany. Each group was given a picture about a specific tradition which had to be matched with 3 suitable text passages. Finally, each text received a title in bilingual version Spanish – German. Texts and pictures were made into two huge banners to complement the decoration of our school’s entrance hall.

By: Lucía Rodríguez Cuenca

A Charity Easter Bazaar in 201st Primary School St St Kiril and Metodiy

Many students, parents and teachers from 201st Primary School St St Kiril and Metodiy joined to the Charity Easter Bazaar, which provides a unique opportunity for pupils and their parents to introduce themselves to the local community. The students raised a lot of money for charity that will be provide to charitable organizations to help people in need.

First day at school in Germany

Generally, traditions we do not have in our own country strike us as rather odd or, at least, surprising. This might well be the case with children’s first day at primary school in Germany. On that particular day parents give to their children a paper cone filled with candy, which is actually taken to school. Yes, it is all about sweetening things up! The origin of this tradition goes back to 19th-century Germany and should spread to Austria later on.

Nowadays those cones can be bought at the beginning of the school year in stationary shops or department stores. They are usually decorated with cartoon characters or other motives youngsters are keen on. There are families, though, that go for a homemade approach and design and make their own cone. Cardboard, glue, crepe or glossy paper, yarn, paint – any material will do to craft a unique model that cannot be bought in shops.

In order to experience this tradition, in German language class, Year 5 students created their very own cones. This activity took place after only 3-4 hours of German and was the perfect excuse to have fun with something rather unpopular among children: writing. Our “mini cones” (the original models are approximately 70 cm long) were decorated with newly learned words in German that were written down in very careful handwriting. There is only one catch to our cones: they aren’t filled with candy!

 

By Lucía Rodríguez Cuenca

THE THREE WISE MEN

Once the end-of-the-year parties are over and the New Year begins, in Spain, the children are still waiting for the most important day of the holiday season. Every year, Three Kings’ Day is celebrated on January 6th.

The tradition says that the three kings (also known as the three wise men) had a mission to go to Bethlehem. They followed a star that showed them the way to see baby Jesus, who had just been born. Upon arriving, these three kings offered three gifts: gold, incense, and myrrh. For this reason, every year, when Christmas approaches, all the children begin to write letters to one of the kings (or to all three): Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar.

In these letters, the children tell the kings how well they behaved during the year and ask for the gifts they would like to receive on January 6th. In theory, the better the children behaved, the better their gifts will be. But all children know that if they misbehaved, they run the risk of receiving a piece of coal instead.

Each year, the three kings travel on camel from the East to visit all the children. When they arrive in Spain, several days after New Year’s Eve, they go to each of the villages to listen to the children’s requests and collect their letters. On the night of January 5th, after having seen the three kings parade through the city, the children run home to clean their shoes and place them in a good spot for the kings to see them. That way, the three kings will know who to leave each gift for. 

Since the three kings travel such a long distance and have a lot of work to do during the 5th and 6th of January, families traditionally leave water, turrón (a typical Christmas nougat), and milk out for the three kings and their camels to eat and drink.

On the morning of January 6th, Three Kings’ Day, children get up early and are more nervous and excited than usual. They run to the place where they left their shoes to see what gifts they have received from the three kings of Orient. They happily discover that there is no water or milk left and the nougat has been eaten, a sign that the three kings have recovered their strength to return home.

With these traditions, excitement and joy flood each house on Three Kings’ Day, and little by little everyone realizes that Christmas has come to an end… until next year!

Taken from the three kings

 

However  “Times change and the internet has become an indispensable tool to search information. Children, at certain ages, do not hesitate to ask everything they can think of, including the whether The Three Wise Men exist or not … The first answers I found in the internet are good examples of how lie after lie  illusion is being eliminated in a single click. The results of the search engine were a unique, uniform and disappointing speech. Many comments from experts were moved by revenge to have received coal or to seem “cool.” The message was denialist: they did not admit the existence of The Three Kings. It was unfair. So as a research journalist and former private detective I began to collect all kinds of evidence of how The Three Kings are working nowadays. That’s why this website was born to tell  children that The Three Wise Men do exist. It is important that many people type www.losreyesmagosexisten.com. That way, when  children have doubts and Google it to find evidence, the first entry they will find is this website and what appears here:

THE THREE WISE MEN DO EXIST. FIND EVIDENCE HERE”

REYES MAGOS

 

 

Happy Holidays and 2019 From Everyone at Töölö Elementary School!

We started off the holiday season with our traditional Lucia Day event! Our fabulous Riitta has been organizing the Lucia Day event for 24 years!
Our Lucia girls sang traditional Lucia Day songs, spread holiday cheer, and shared gingerbread cookies with students and staff.
Students practicing Christmas songs.

After our lovely festivities, we are all ready for the holiday season!

Everyone at Töölö Elementary School wishes you a lovely holiday season and all the best in 2019!

Töölö Elementary School Celebrates 101 years of Finnish Independence!

Students at Töölö Elementary School celebrated Finland’s 101st Birthday in school today. 

Fourth grade students in Helsinki practice dances every year in order to take part in the Independence Day Ball held at the Finlandia Hall. In the videos you can see our lovely students showing off their new dancing skills. 

Students sang songs and shared information about Finland. Moomin characters also took part in our special celebration!

To end our assembly, students and staff stood together to sing the national anthem of Finland. 

Now the students and staff are off for a long weekend to continue celebrating Finland’s 101st Birthday!