Students study Christmas traditions via the web

By Paula Pustanyk and the Grade 7 Class
Banded Peak School
Bragg Creek, Alberta

In Banded Peak School, the Grade Seven students are celebrating Christmas their own way by doing projects on the meanings of Christmas.

Everyone has been working really hard to finish these projects before school ends for the holidays. We are showing our projects as HyperStudio, Power point, Web page, or a text essay. We use the Internet to find some of the information.

The teachers put most of the work and what we are assigned to do up on the net in the Banded Peak Website. If you want to see our Meanings of Christmas web site, click here. That will show you how the Grade 7's do a lot of their work. When we don't find what we are looking for in the school's Website, then we search for it somewhere else on the Internet.

For the projects, some of the examples of what we are doing are:

    • Santa Claus, is he real or not?
    • Where did Rudolph come from?
    • Christmas around the world.
    • A really old-fashioned Christmas
    • What Christmas is really about
    • Christian's Christmas.


Here are some of the more unusual things we have learned about Christmas traditions:

  • Candy canes are religious symbols. The candy cane was invented a long time ago to represent the birth of Christ. The thick red stripes on the candy cane are to represent the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. The thin red ones are to represent the scourging of Jesus before the cross. The white on the candy cane is to represent the purity and sinlessness of Christ. It's in the shape of a J to represent the name of Jesus or it can be turned around to represent the staff of the "good Shepherd".

  • Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Ward employee as part of a promotion. The owners of the department store were unsure about the red nose on the creature. They thought people might say that Rudolph's red nose was a result of drinking.

  • There really was a Saint Nicholas. He was a wealthy and kind man who threw small gifts to children through their windows and dropped coins down the chimney for the poor on Christmas Eve.

  • Christmas is not just celebrated in North America. It is celebrated differently all over the world. There is no "right way" to celebrate Christmas. Sometimes it is just the present-giver who is different. For instance, in Australia they currently have Santa Claus, but they are afraid he will get heat-stroke down there, so they are thinking of replacing him with a Swag Man who lives with his dingoes all year until Christmas, when he gets in his huge 4-Wheel Drive and delivers presents!

Here are some things we have to say about having our assignments set up as web pages on the Internet:

  • It helps with knowledge and information. Books can be useful, but sometimes they are outdated and they don't have the information we need. When we use the Internet, the world is the click of a button away.

  • Using the Internet gives me new experiences with computers. When I go home and tell my parents about it, they want to know more and try it out for themselves sometimes.

  • Having our school work posted on the Net helps us to work better because we can access our assignments and resources anywhere

  • Information on the Internet can be up-to-the-minute, especially in Science.

  • When I am at home I can go to the Internet to see what my homework is, if I forget.

  • People can know what I want them to know because of the web pages I create.

  • There's a way for me to see a kid's point of view.


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