Somewhere between North America and Australia, Santa makes a pit stop, Stevens Creek Elementary School second-graders learned Friday.
"When Santa comes to Australia, his sleigh is pulled by kangaroos," visiting Australian teacher Lyn Davis told the pupils Friday. "He has to give the reindeer a rest."
Second-graders at Stevens Creek begin their studies of Australia next month. On Friday, however, the pupils were treated to a preview of those lessons by Davis.
Davis spoke with the pupils about her native country and some of the characteristics that make it unique.
"Oh, if you boys lived in Australia, I'd think you couldn't spell," Davis said to two pupils after they wrote "color," "tire" and "jail" on a dry-erase board.
She then wrote the Australian spelling of the words on the board - "colour," "tyre" and "gaol."
Davis' link to Stevens Creek Elementary is through her daughter-in-law, Schell Davis. Both teach English as a second language to immigrant pupils at their respective schools.
Primarily, the elder Davis instructs pupils who have immigrated to Australia from China, Lebanon and Macedonia.
Her lessons Friday were a bit more playful.
"The national sport in Australia is cricket," she said. "We don't have this thing there you call baseball."
In addition to sports and educational differences, she discussed some of Australia's wildlife and how invested Aussies are in the animals.
An emu and kangaroo are both part of Australia's national emblem, she said.
"Kangaroos and emus can't move backward," Davis explained. "Australian leaders thought that would be a good way to show that Australia only wants to move forward, not backward."
She corrected a common misconception that koalas are bears when, in fact, they are marsupials, like kangaroos.
"It's great having an Australian here to teach about Australia," said teacher Deborah Governski. "If nothing else, they get to hear her accent."
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