5 Minutes Prep - 2 Hour Interactive Lesson!
Looking for a game to play to review Christmas information? Learning about the holidays is not just fun, it helps students crack our cultural code. I've made three sets of review questions for Christmas and two game templates for playing with them. You could use the game templates for reviewing any material.
The Christmas story below is geared for literacy and low beginner ELL students. It is adapted from Callan’s Canadian Holidays for Low Beginner ESL, but is suitable for use in America as well. Further low beginner exercises on Christmas, with pictures, are found in that book. An audio CD and cloze exercise are also available. (For free material for mid-beginner or intermediate level, check out my blog post on Christmas from last year, here. Or why not try a jigsaw lesson for Christmas? Check out Callan's Holiday Jigsaws.)
Imagine you are teaching abroad for a year in the country of Slavarnia, spending part of your time in classes learning the language of Slavar. It's not a real country so follow along with this hypothetical example. The biggest holiday of the year is called Glistin. Stores close and there are two statutory holidays associated. Hallmark has commercialized Glistin significantly, creating a large gift giving fairy as the main character. But actually, the roots of the holiday are religious. When the subject of the holiday comes up in class, you read and played games centred around the Hallmark fairy, but learn nothing about the historical and religious origins of the holiday. Apparently, the school is concerned about religious proselytizing and so keeps the focus on the secular aspects. As a result, you remain in the dark about half of the holiday's significance. You have no interest in converting your religion, but just want to understand what is behind the holiday.
One of the most important things we can do as ESL teachers is to help our students crack the cultural code. Gift giving has a lot of unspoken rules which may seem inscrutable to newcomers. Unconvinced? See if you were aware of these cultural attitudes to gift giving in other cultures: