Parade of nations at Parley’s
First- and second-graders at Parley’s Park Elementary are taking a trip around the world.
Armed with paper passports, kids are learning about foreign countries from presenters who have visited those lands, and some who have even lived there.
Monday afternoon, kids learned about Mexican traditions from second-grader Kody Mera and his mother, Nadia, who are originally from Mexico City. The Meras brought money, maracas, and other Mexican memorabilia.
They eat different food in Mexico, "like tacos," Kody said. The Meras have lived in Park City for five years.
Mexico’s Independence Day is Sept. 16, 1810. Traditional celebration includes "parties, parties, parties" and "big fireworks," Nadia said.
Also, people break eggs over their heads, she continued.
The annual parade of nations is a popular event for Parley’s youngsters.
"They love it, they really love it," Second-grade teacher Randee Kadziel said, "As far as curriculum goes, in second-grade, you teach them about maps, where countries are located It’s part of learning other people’s cultures and traditions."
Since the lessons come during the holidays, children learn about traditions in other cultures.
During Christmas-time in Mexico, Kody said, "They eat cake and they drink hot chocolate."
There are parties for nine days leading up to Christmas, Nadia said, and on Dec. 25, kids attack piatas full of candy and fruit.
"They like them because you get candies," Nadia said.
Children write (brief) reports about what they’ve learned and then get a mock passport stamped with the flag of the country they’ve just learned about.
"So they understand not everyone has a United States of America flag," Kadziel said.
"It’s fun," said Rena Tellez.
"They eat different foods," said Delaney Young. "It’s fun because you see things that are different. I like learning what they wear and what they eat for food, like they eat fish crackers in I forget what country it is."
Jase Porter said, "We’re learning about what kind of foods and what you do there."
In Scandinavia, kids "used to play with little toys that are wooden. They wear high shoes at winter-time so they don’t get their feet wet."
It’s important to learn about other countries, according to Zeke Cohen, "so if they go there they would know about the laws."
Cohen’s favorite country is Australia "because it has a lot of my favorite animals in it" like the kangaroo, koala, and platypus.
Jake Doughman likes to learn about foreign nations "so we can learn about the countries so we can go to the countries I would like to go to Mexico because my mom and dad went there and it seems like a fun place. "
Alexander McKee’s favorite foreign countries are Sweden and Denmark.
"It’s because my mom’s from there and I go there every summer," McKee said. "I really love Legos and they invented Legos."
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