Dorval Elementary students share holiday traditions, learn different Christmas customs

Click to play video: 'West Island students learn about different holidays through each other’s eyes' West Island students learn about different holidays through each other’s eyes
WATCH: With Christmas less than three weeks away, many schools are preparing for the holidays with class presentations and plays. Third graders at Dorval Elementary School are learning a valuable lesson about different cultures and traditions, through their classmates. Tim Sargeant reports. – Dec 6, 2021

It was a class assignment steeped in religious, geographic and ethnic history.

But the school project the third graders presented in front of their classmates was also based on family experiences filled with fun.

Grade three students at Dorval Elementary School spoke about Christmas, holiday customs and their family traditions — sharing them with their classmates.

The kids showcased the countries where their families originated and the traditions that were celebrated.

“My Aunt came from Portugal and I wanted to share it. And I love it, and I’m kind of interested in Portugal,” Sofia Ferreira, a grade three student, told Global News.

Another third grader, Jilian Hiltser, talked about how Hanukkah is celebrated in her family.

“What we do in my family, sometimes, we spin the dreidel and that decides what present we get in Hanukkah. And we also play dreidel games,” she said.

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The school children used traditional poster boards, the classroom smart board and plenty of props to help in educating each other about their personal holiday customs and culture.

It’s been an invaluable learning experience, says teacher Sylvia Fanous.

“If somebody is a doing a project on China, we can just go to China on the smartboard and watch a dragon dance,” Fanous told Global News.

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The student projects are placed on one of the classroom walls and there is a large display at the school entrance.

“It’s very important that students see this as important as the math, learning of French and so on,” Wusua Mitchell, the Dorval Elementary School principal, told Global News.

There is still plenty of formal education left to be taught before the holiday break, but these presentations help the students learn more about the true meaning of the holidays.

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