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.
In a snakes and ladders game, students roll the dice and move their game piece along the board. Each time they land on a square, they pick up a review question and answer it. If they land at the bottom of a ladder, they move up to the top of the ladder. If they land on the head of a snake, they slide down to the bottom of the snake. Because I want students to spend time reviewing material, I prefer a game template with shorter ladders and shorter snakes, which is what I have made here.
Clicking on the images below will bring up a larger PDF you can print out.
I use this game below with play money. Questions are pre-sorted into four piles, based on level of difficulty, with the $25 questions being the easiest. Students choose a dollar amount and answer a correspondingly difficult question. Play money is awarded for correct answers.
Here are the Christmas questions to use with the games:
Halloween is an important part of North American culture but this fun day for children can cause anxiety for new immigrants if they do not understand what is going on. Help them crack our cultural code with this strip story about Halloween.
I love using strip stories with low beginner ESL and literacy students to practice vocabulary and syntax. Students will need a pair of scissors to cut up parts. I start by having them match these Halloween pictures and words:
Once students have mastered the vocabulary, I call out the words and have students hold up the correct picture.
The next step is having students read the story a few times in pairs. Following that, students cut up the story, put it back together in order, and read it again. I have students read it over again and again as they slowly begin to progressively turn over more and more words and sentences they remember, until the whole story has been covered and is known by memory.
I have students read to one another in pairs and then volunteer to tell the story of Halloween to the whole class when they are ready. My students enjoy volunteering for this but there is no pressure to do so if they are not ready. I follow up with oral questions about Halloween.
The last step is having students complete a cloze passage that they can then take home to review.
Have I missed a step? Or do you have any great follow up activities? If so, please let me know in the comments.
Click on any of the above images to download the PDF of the entire exercise to use with your class.
New immigrants may see something as they walk around their neighbourhoods that they don’t have in their home countries: garage sales. Likewise, they will likely come across thrift stores or flea markets in their neighbourhoods.
A lesson on thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets could be incorporated into a lesson on community. It could also fit into a shopping unit or one on the environment. Buying second hand comes under Reduce in the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) of being environmentally friendly.
Attitudes toward second hand shopping have changed a lot in North America in the last 25 years and immigrants’ attitudes may differ. Unlike in some immigrant cultures where buying something second hand might be an embarrassing secret, North Americans will often brag about a money saving second hand deal.
The following beginner reading exercise has questions on garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores. (Click on the image below to download. )