GES Celebrates Christmas in BrazilBy Beth Muselwhite
“Ola!” The Kidzeum’s “Christmas in Brazil” exhibit is underway! As students in grades K-3 board the USS Kidzeum to sail to South America, they receive a class passport to enter the country of Brazil. As students gather in front of a large world map with globes hanging above their heads, they learn about directions that are used every day for travel. Students simulate how we experience seasons of the year on our Earth, and locate the continents and oceans of the world. After the children sing a popular song that reminds them about the four main directions, they enter the simulated Amazon Rainforest.
Binoculars and compasses are necessary instruments the children use as they walk through the rainforest to locate various animals and plants. Creatures like toucans, red-eyed tree frogs, monkeys, and even jaguars can be spotted in the trees of the canopy layer and the vines that hang to the forest floor. As students gather beside the stucco and tile roofed Brazilian hut, they count to twelve in Portuguese. The children play native Brazilian games, such as Ball in the Cup and Ring on a Stick, and discover that items such as sugar, spices, medicine, rubber, and coffee are products from the rainforest.
For the second visit during this exhibit, students hear a Christmas story and enjoy a Brazilian slush made from fruits like pineapple and limes. The children learn that some of the fruits that we choose from the grocery store are produced in the Brazilian rainforest. At the end of the visit, the children play instruments such as castanets, rainsticks, and maracas to form a Brazilian band and perform a popular song to wish everyone, “Feliz Natal”!