This blog is part of our faith celebration series where we look at how people of different faiths celebrate significant holidays and festivals and suggest ways to mark these days at school. Christmas is coming and it’s one faith celebration that most Europeans know all about and are happy to participate in, even if they aren’t practising Christians. It’s a time for festivity, eating, spending time with family and present giving. In this blog, we’ve suggested 5 ways you can use the Lyfta platform to celebrate Christmas in the classroom.
A Christmas table
1. Explore Christianity
Lukas in storyworld Heart of an athlete
Christmas is celebrated by Christians all around the world with church gatherings, nativity plays, carol singing, midnight mass, prayers, feasting and the exchanging of presents.
Some countries such as Germany, Sweden and Switzerland open presents on December 24 and others celebrate on the 25 December. Some mark St Nicholas Day on the 6 December and the Spanish begin the Christmas season on 8 December which marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
To support learning about Christianity, students can explore our storyworld, Heart of an athlete. 12-year-old Luke is from Denmark and his family practise Lutheran Christianity in a unique 'biker' church. Lukas believes in the power of prayer to heal his heart defect and hopes that he will be able to join his friends in the school sports day. Students will learn about different types of prayer within Christianity, explore the meaning and significance of worship for Christians and evaluate the power of prayer in the everyday lives of Christians.
2 Christmas dinner
Habiba with family in storyworld Habiba's home
Christmas dinner is an important part of most Christmas day rituals, but what is served up for dinner varies from country to country. The traditional roast eaten in the UK dates back to Victorian times. In the UK around 10 million turkeys are consumed at Christmas, alongside the controversial brussel sprout which made its way to Europe in the Georgian period.
In Sweden, Christmas dinner is usually a julbord, a grand Christmas buffet including fish such as pickled herring, cold meats and terrines, and desserts. A Greek Christmas day meal will include a bread called a Christopsomo which is baked on Christmas Eve with an 'X' (the first letter of the Greek alphabet) on the top and is served with honey, dried fruit and nuts.
Lyfta storyworlds provide an innovative way to help students think about food and where it comes from. Explore the dinner tables of families from different cultural backgrounds in the Dinnertime 360 storyworld series. Students can explore their hosts' homes in 360 degrees and watch compelling personal stories, offering a glimpse into their lives.
Children will learn how to make the delicious food on offer in the homes and can join their dinner hosts at the table in immersive 360° scenes. Navigating the 360° spaces can provide a unique way for students to observe similarities and differences and see how and what the people they meet in the storyworlds eat.
3. Follow Santa Claus around the globe
On Christmas eve Santa Claus is said to travel the globe delivering presents. Racing against the sun, he has just over 31 hours to complete this mammoth trip from east to west. Do your own Santa-style trip in the classroom and get the children to visit as many of the countries on the Lyfta globe as they can.
Can the children work out which country on the Lyfta globe will celebrate Christmas Day first and which will be last?
There are over 60 Lyfta storyworlds in countries all around the globe. Set the children a task of finding out some interesting facts about each country they stop at. They can visit countries such as Indonesia, Somaliland, USA, Greece, Brazil, Spain, Tanzania and Peru. They can even take a trip into outer space!
4 Take a festive walk on the beach
Rob collecting waste to create artwork in storyworld Beachcomber
Stepping outside for a walk has become a modern-day Christmas tradition. Wrapping up and taking a stroll with the family is a great way to work up an appetite or walk off a heavy lunch.
No need to wrap up warm with Lyfta. Anyone with a free Lyfta starter account can 'take a walk' on a UK beach in Cornwall when they join Rob in our storyworld, Beachcomber.
Rob collects the plastic waste he finds on his local beach and uses it to create art that inspires people to think about the choices they make as consumers.
Invite students to step into Rob's world and experience his powerful story. Explore the sights and sounds of Rob's home, the beach, and the clifftop with interactive 360° spaces, and learn about his work to raise awareness about plastic pollution in a powerful short film.
5 Visit the opera house
Trailer to series Secrets of the Opera
Experience the thrill of a trip to the theatre at Christmas using the Lyfta platform. Invite children to travel to Helsinki in Finland to visit the National Opera and Ballet. Explore the interactive 360° spaces, including the main stage, orchestra pit, ballet studio and more.
Learn about the roles of the Stage Manager, the Paint Manager, the Ballet Dancer, and the Make-up Artist. Find out how many lights it takes to light up the stage, how much paint is used to create a new stage set and how long it takes to create a bejewelled headpiece for a singer.