Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebrating Traditions!

This week Mrs. Ranney's class is starting a new unit in Language Arts
called Celebrating Traditions!

 A tradition is something that family, friends,
or another group of people has done for many years and continues to do on a regular basis.

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The story for this week is "The Keeping Quilt".

 In the first story, "The Keeping Quilt," by Patricia Polacco, the author retells the story of her family's handmade quilt. In the story, a Russian immigrant mother and family arrive in the United States. She plans to make a quilt from a basket of old clothes, telling her daughter, "It will be like having the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night."  The quilt is passed along from mother to daughter for four generations. It becomes a Sabbath tablecloth and a wedding canopy. It even becomes a blanket for new generations of children. "The Keeping Quilt" is a heart-warming story about one family's tradition.

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In the comment section, please 
share a tradition your family celebrates. 

It can be an annual party, a holiday, or any traditional event.

Please include details about: special foods,  decorations, songs, and/or activities.
 Your comment should be 4 to 6 sentences long.


  1. Dear Class,

    Every year I go to my aunt and uncle's clubhouse for Chanukah. All my grandparents come with us. My cousins and I always play tag. We eat latkes and applesauce. Sometimes the boys play football in the street, including me. Then, we light the Chanukah candles.We play the dreidel game.

    See you soon,
    P.S. It wasn't tackle football.

  2. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    One of favorite traditions is the Fourth of July. I like it because I get to see fireworks. This holiday is the birthday of the United States of America. We barbecue with friends and listen to music.

    Your classmate,

  3. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    My tradition is all the Jewish holidays. My favorite Jewish holiday is Hanukkah. I get lots of presents and there are eight candles, one for each night. There are so many prayers! It is so much fun! What’s your tradition?

    Best Wishes,

  4. Dear class,

    My favorite family tradition is Shabbas. On Shabbas,which means Saturday or Friday Eve,we light candles. We also eat a special bread called Challa, make a special prayer with wine and eat a nice dinner together with the family. When we finish eating we say a special thank you prayer again and then we like to sing songs together. Sometimes I go to the Synagogue with my dad. I love the Shabbas feeling!

    Good Shabbas,

  5. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I want to tell you about celebrating Iranian Traditions. Noroose is one of the most ancient Iranian celebrations. Noroose begins at the first day of spring. Everything starts a new life. Trees bloom and some animals wake up from hibernation. We clean the house, buy new clothing, we make Persian cookies, we sprout wheat, we paint eggs, we set the Half Seen table. We set seven things that start with s on the table. They are all colorful and beautiful. For Noroose eve dinner we have rice and fish as a tradition. One of the other traditions is going to visit family and friends and we receive and give gifts. In Conclusion, this is one of my favorite traditions I am telling you about.


  6. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Every year my family goes to New Jersey to celebrate Chanukah. My mom's side of the family are all from there. I love seeing my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We always light the candles before dinner, and sing songs. My favorite part of the night is opening presents!

    Best Regards,
    P.S. I was born in New Jersey too!

  7. Dear Class,
    One family tradition that I enjoyed when my daughters, Kari and Sarah, were young was our weekly outings to the public library. Every Saturday, we would take turns selecting a place to go out to breakfast. We usually devoured omelets or pancakes with maple syrup! Then it was on to the library. Kari and Sarah would choose the books they wanted to check out. Then they would take turns finding a book for us to read to them. The following Saturday morning, while we waited for our breakfast to arrive at the table, each of the girls would read one of the books out loud to their dad and me. It warms my heart to recall this special tradition now that my daughters are all grown up. I am sure that it is one of the reasons they both love to read so much today.

    Mrs. Ranney

  8. Dear Mrs. Ranney and students,

    One family tradition that I thoroughly enjoyed when I was growing up was our annual trip to Pelican Lake, Minnesota. When school got out in June, my mother would pile my two siblings into our 1968 Chevy Bel-air wagon, and we endured the long 1,800 mile journey from California. At Pelican Lake, we fished for rock bass and walleye with my Uncle Paul. At night, we dined on Grandma Smillie’s delicious cooking. One of my favorite dishes was Hungarian goulash. After dinner, we coated ourselves with mosquito repellent and dashed outside to play Kick-the-can with the neighbor kids. This annual vacation was a tradition I looked forward to, and I cherish those memories today.

    Mrs. Y♥llis

  9. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    My family and I celebrate Hanukkah. We have a family dinner. I like eating the latkes, soup and jelly donuts. After dinner we play dreidel. If you win you get chocolate gelt. My brother and I get one present each night for eight nights. Also, we light the candles on the menorah.


  10. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    My family has many traditions, but my favorite one is to celebrate Hanukkah. I love Hanukkah because there are great foods, amazing decorations, and lots of fun activities. First, the food we eat is latkes, jelly donuts, and my personal favorite is chocolate coins. Second, the activities are: spinning the dreidel, and every night we light a candle on the Menorah for eight straight nights. Finally, the decorations are: we put blue and white ribbons around the room, and we put chocolate coins all around the table. In conclusion, Hanukkah is so much fun.

    Your classmate,


  11. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    My family shares a tradition every Christmas Eve. It's called The Feast of the Seven Fishes. We cook all different kinds of fish like shimp, calamari, flounder, and clam chowder(for me, it's fish sticks). Then we have a big family dinner.

    I am enjoying reading about the other family traditions.

    Your student and classmate,
    Bella :)

  12. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    Every year we go to Colombia to celebrate the Independence Day, in July 20. We celebrate this day with my grandparents, uncles and cousins. We eat "the bandeja paisa", this is a traditional plate from Colombia. We dance the cumbia, that is a typical dance. We also go together to the Parade and celebrate this day.

    Your classmate,

  13. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    I celebrate many traditions, but my favorite one is Passover. My favorite part is when my parents have a piece of Matzah and hide it, and when I find it I get a present. When we eat dinner we use something that is called a Sedar Plate that is decorated with many items. On the Sedar Plate there is a lamb bone, an egg, parsely, bitter herbs and haroset, which is very sweet. On Passover we light the candles and we sing prayers. For Passover I celebrate with my whole family at my Nana and Papa's house.

    What is your favorite tradition and your favorite part of that tradition?

    See you in class,

  14. Dear Class,

    My family celebrates Christmas. We go to Colorado every year. My family also goes skiing. We all go to my grandmother's house for Christmas Day. We sing songs and open presents. What I love most abut Christmas is that I get to spend time with all of my family members. What is your favorite tradition?


  15. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    One of my favorite family traditions is celebrating Chanukah. This is a fun holiday because it lasts for 8 nights. Each night, my sister and I light a candle. My family and I play a dreidel game. A dreidel is a top which spins and has 4 Hebrew letters on it. We eat potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce. They are delicious! Since Chanukah is eight nights, we get many celebrations with friends and family.

    Adam :)

  16. Dear Nicole,

    Noroose seems like a fun holiday. What type of Persian cookies do you bake? What type of fish do you eat for the traditional Noroose eve dinner?

    Your class mate,

  17. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    I would like to share the traditional things we do at my house. Every Friday before sundown, my mother lights the Shabbat candles. Shabbath evening at my house is festive. The table is set with the best white tablecloth and dishes. There is a yummy challah bread and wine for my father to recite the Kiddush blessing. Now it is time for the meal, special Shabbath foods. My mother makes the best food and the smell is already in the air.
    God finished the creation and then rested on the seventh day, and declared the Sabbath Kadosh, and holy for the Jewish people.

    P.S. Yes, I can't wait for Shabbath dinner!

  18. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    Every other year I go to England and visit my grandma and grandpa to celebrate Christmas. While we were there I had a snowball fight with my uncle and my grandpa. On Christmas Eve we read a book called "The Night Before Christmas". After we finish reading we put out cookies and milk for Santa. On Christmas morning we open all our presents,and play board games. All of my relatives come over to my grandma and grandpa's house in the afternoon, and we eat a big turkey dinner. We all play charades, we have so much fun. I can't wait to go next year!

    See you tommorow,

  19. Dear Class,

    My family tradition is Christmas. Every December, my dad goes out and gets a tree. We are always surprised because we never know what day he is going to bring it home. Every Christmas Eve we watch a Christmas movie on ABC and sometimes my mommy will record other holiday shows for us to watch. On Christmas day we each take turns opening up presents. Last year I think I got about 13 gifts. I really love Christmas it is so much fun.


    Elijah :)

  20. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    One of my favorite traditions is Vietnamese New Year, also known as Tet. On Tet we wear silk dresses with white pants. We clean the house and buy delicious and special foods. We usually have beef, pork, rice cake, soup, and fruits. Inside the house, we light candles and put pictures of people in our family who have passed away so we can remember them fondly. Most people light lanterns and hang them up. Adults give children lucky money. They usually put them in red pouches that are decorated with golden designs.
    My family goes up to my grandparents' house in San Jose to spend time with the rest of our big family. The house is filled to the top with joy. In conclusion, Vietnamese New year is not about about the money you receive but is about spending time with your family and honoring those who have passed away.

    Happy Tet,


  21. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    One of my favorite traditions is Three Kings Day. I celebrate this because I am half Puerto Rican. On January 5th, my brother and I put out lettuce, carrots, and water for the camels that the Three Kings ride on. Three Kings day is like Christmas but you don’t get as many presents. It celebrates the day the Three Kings met Baby Jesus. I can’t wait until January 6th!

    Nate :-)

  22. Dear Elijah,

    Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. What is one of your favorite Christmas shows that your mom records? My favorite Christmas movie is “Home Alone.”


  23. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    My favorite family tradition is Hanukkah. I love having my family over and spending time will all my cousins, especially Caden, Cole, and Sage. Most of all I love to see my Cousin KK. First we light the Hanukkah Candles, then sing and eat latkes, and play dreidel games. Then my favorite part of all is opening presents! I can hardly wait until December for another fun Hanukkah!
    Your Classmate
    P.S.- Im not that picky with presents!

  24. Dear Nicole and Class,

    I would like to celebrate Noroose like you. The holiday sounds really fun. Maybe sometime we can get toghether and you can teach me more about Noroose.

    Your Friend,

  25. Dear Mrs. Ranney & class
    Armenians celebrate Christmas Eve on January 6th of each year.
    We gather around the table to have a feast. First we say our prayers then we have dinner called khootume.
    Traditional khootume foods are spinach & eggs, fish, yogurt soup, and Kalajoush (a mixture of lentils, fried onions and yogurt on a bed of lavash bread). Armenian children in the neighborhood go house to house singing Armenian Christmas caroling songs. I always look forward to next year’s Christmas Eve. What is your favorite tradition?

    Your classmate,

  26. Dear Grace,

    Your tradition seems a lot of fun .What do you eat on Christmas? The weather might be cold in Colorado be careful!

    Your friend,

  27. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    Thanksgiving is a very special holiday in my home. It is a night filled with close friends and family sharing a feast that my mom makes. Everyone comes to our house by 5:00 P.M. We eat turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, apple pie, and pumpkin pie. Each person at the table says what he or she is grateful for.


  28. Dear. Oliver,

    I've never been to England. Your tradition sounds pretty cool. I've read the book "The Night Before Christmas." Can you tell me more about what you did? I do snowball fights when I go to Chicago.


  29. Dear class,
    My family tradition is about Christmas time,we gather around the tree and decorate it with red candles and pinecones too, little figurines shiny and bright! We sing Christmas songs together, and in German too.Mom cooks a large spread, the table is set, family and friends gather around to eat, after Father Mark says a prayer. Our neighbor Allan lights the Chanukah candles. We are all happy.

    Your classmate, Jace

  30. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    My favorite tradition is Reyes Magos Day(A tradition from Spain in which the kids received presents if they behaved well throughout the year on every January 6th) that day my family wakes up at 5:00 A.M to read the Bible. When we finish the Bible, we go look at our
    Christmas tree to check the presents we received. If you received 3 gifts it means you were excellent, 2 good and 1 a little bit good.I always receive 3 presents. After we check my presents we go to have breakfast. It's always a beautiful day to be with the family celebrating Reyes Magos day.


  31. Dear Class

    I love Passover because of finding the matzo and if you find the matzo you get a 20 dollar bill. I also get to spend time with my family. I love Passover because I get to eat with my family and see my cousins.I also love Passover because the Jews got out of Egypt.



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