Friday, November 6, 2009

Topic Update

So what have we been learning about so far this term?

Well as you know we have been learning about Diwali and we have also learnt a little about Easter and Thanksgiving. At the moment we have been learning about Japanese Boys day and Japanese Girls day. Not to mention it will be Christmas before we know it! Christmas in New Zealand is a lovely time of the year, as it is summer time so there are always people having fun at the beach and it is BBQ season.

What are some of your favourite family traditions to do when celebrating a special occasion?


  1. Hi Rising Stars,
    A Christmas tradition in our house comes straight to my mind. We have Ham (on the bone, cooked the night before, or sometimes even that morning) sandwiches first thing in the morning, as soon as we wake up! Not little ones without crusts and a bit of lettuce like you buy in the shops but HUGE ones with freshly made bread cut into 1 inch thick chunks, with loads of mustard oozing out the sides! YUM, I just can't wait for Christmas now.
    I'm looking forward to reading everyone elses traditions too now.
    From Mrs J

  2. We often have a family night - with dinner and games. One of the games is called Take Two. It is like scrabble but without the board. We have made family movies over the last 25 years and we often watch and celebrate the family as they have grown up.

  3. Hello Rising Stars! I'd like to tell you about Hallowe'en (USA). Hallowe'en came to America primarily from 2 different places: the UK and South America. South America primarily celebrates 1 Nov as the Day of the Dead. You might want to do a research project on that!

    In America, Hallowe'en is a very popular holiday (we call it a holiday, but no one has the day "off"). It is a large community event that is family-oriented. Ever year, the whole neighbourhood plans things to make the evening scary. For example, our next door neighbours would dress up like a witch stirring a bubbling cauldron while the dad sat in a chair like a prop, only to rise up and scare the children before the witch would pass out the candy. Two doors down always decorated their house and section like a "haunted house" that everyone could walk through for frights, and near the end of the street the neighbours would always make their lawn look like a cemetery, but they'd dig a hole that looked like a grave and someone would hide in it only to pop out and scare the trick or treaters!

    While all this is going on, mums and dads walk their children through the neighbourhood, going from door to door. You can tell someone is expecting trick or treaters because the house will be all lit up with decorations all about and sometimes spooky music playing. If the house isn't bright and welcoming, you don't visit it. Mums and dads usually chat with each other and the other neighbours while the children go to the door and say "trick or treat!" The people in the houses usually want to have a good look at all the costumes. The children always say "thank you" once they have been given a treat. Generally, everyone is walking around, calling out to one another, and it's really sociable and fun.

    Trick or treating generally starts at 6 pm and ends around 8 pm. It is good manners to only trick or treat in your own neighbourhood, where the people know you. It is generally reserved for children under 13. Older kids and adults sometimes have costume (fancy dress) parties at someone's home, with dry ice in colourful bowls making a fog, and a game called "bobbing for apples" where apples are put in a big bucket of water and someone has a try getting one using just their mouths!

    Apple cider is a popular drink, and candied apples are a popular sweet food served at parties. I have seen candied apples in NZ at the AMP show, but I don't know what they are called here. They are apples on a stick with a red sweet coating on the apple, and sometimes nuts as well.

    While we think it's ok that NZ doesn't celebrate Hallowe'en, as every country has its own celebrations, we are sometimes saddened that people think it's so bad, when it is such a good time of togetherness for the whole family and the community.

  4. Our extended family have a tradition of gathering for lunch on Boxing Day so Christmas Day for us is very quiet with just four of us - Len, who is six, Mum, Dad, and Nana. We enjoy this quiet day very much after all the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas. Then on Boxing Day all the uncles and aunties and cousins and grandchildren arrive for a late lunch. We have an exchange of gifts, play games outside, go for walks, and eat lovely food. Most people stay overnight, so there are mattresses all over the place. It's one of my favourite days of the year. Ms D, Kaipara Flats

  5. CoJo - I bet you have never heard of that holiday! It will be 20 years old next October. Co stands for Connie. Jo for John. When we got married all of our children were grown and we had 4 grandchildren. We decided to start a holiday so they could all get to know each other. Every week in October everybody comes from all over the United States (Chicago, IL, Rochester, NY, Tampa FL, San Francisco, CA, Dallas, TX and Daphne, AL) to Orange Beach, AL. You might have fun finding and marking all of those places on a map. We swim, walk on the beach, play games, eat lots of food (Lasagna is always on Friday night. Connie cooks the best lasagna in the world!). We take lots of pictures and put 100 into books that are given to every family at Christmas. So that's our CoJo Holiday. One of my granddaughters, Margaret, even made a movie for Room 10 at this year's CoJo.

  6. Hey Rising Stars,

    Sounds like your doing some awesome work at Pt. England School! I am looking at applying to be a teacher at your school. So I thought I would jump online and find out what it is like at Pt. England!

    My favouriate family tradition is when we go away tenting during the summer rain or shine we go! I remember one time we went tenting and I was pouring with rain and I don't know why but our tent didn't keep us dry. I ended up sopping wet right through, the wind was howling so loudly I couldn't sleep! Luckly we made it through the night, it was an adventure!

    So I was wondering if you could help me please? I want some information about your school before I apply. Could you tell me what AMAZING things do you do at Pt. England?
    Thank you so much!

    Miss Fox

    Ps. If you think I should be a teacher at your school send a little whisper to your princpal to keep an eye out for my application :)

  7. Hi there :)

    I thought I'd tell you a little about my favorite holiday in Poland called "Dyngus". It's celebrated on Easter Monday, and everyone prepares for it by filling up whatever containers they can with water.

    In the morning, you try to sneak up on anyone you can (including your parents, friends, grandparents, etc.) and try to soak them. Sneakiness is the key - a surprised victim is best :) Some people use the soakers your might find at the Warehouse here in NZ, others prefer straight buckets. It's hard to beat a bucket for the sheer quantity of water that can be delivered quickly. Of course, it's also much harder to hide a bucket of water! :)

    After soaking your family (and getting soaked of course) it's time to go out and see if any of your friends are still too dry. Any strangers you might find on the way are also fair game (but then, so are you!)

    In some smaller towns the fire departments will use their trucks and water cannons to spread some water mayhem. Needless to say, even the biggest bucket has nothing on a water cannon. Some consider water cannons cheating.

    Interestingly enough, a similar holiday exists in Thailand!


  8. Wow Mrs J! That is a great tradition. We wish we were eating some of those sandwiches. During Christmas time we eat lots of food to celebrate it to. Thank you for sending us a comment, From Mary and Te Rina

  9. Thank you for your telling us about your favourite holiday called "Dyngus". In NZ we don't really use a bucked of water, we use water bombs instead. Is Poland a nice place?
    From Carlos and Jesiah

  10. Wow! CoJo must be so much fun. I never would have thought about making up my own holiday. We liked the day you talked with Room 10. It was amazing to see that Room 10 were talking to you all the way in America. Thank you for leaving us a comment on our blog Rising Stars Dr Strange. Hope you leave us another comment one day. From Heather and Mary

  11. Hi Kell, it's Jasmine, Oshania and Alexandria. We would all like to say what we did for Halloween. Well we went to houses to get ourselves some treats. It was cool to see kids in different kinds of costumes. We would also like to say a big THANK-YOU for commenting on our blog and we hope you comment again soon.


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