Note : If you're looking for a Christmas activity to use nearer to the holidays, or with adults, try here for lower level and here for higher level students
If you teach children, you probably want to do some Christmas activities with them. Here’s one which you can keep going right the way through December : get them to make an Advent Calendar.
Objectives of the lesson :
To revise and consolidate pronouncing and writing the date; to introduce or consolidate lexis associated with Christmas.
You’ll need :
A real advent calendar if you can get hold of one; a real calendar (or the children’s school diaries); and for each pair of children – a piece of white paper and a piece of coloured paper, A4 or A3 depending on how many lessons you have in December, a ruler, coloured pens or pencils, a glue stick, sellotape and scissors.
A. Vocabulary Review
- Revise the pronunciation and writing of dates.
- Show the children an advent calendar, and check that they understand what it is. Ask (eg) What’s the picture for December 12th? and let the children open it and find out. Put the words on the board – NB try and use a calendar with simple Christmassy objects that the children have met in previous years.
- Ask them to look at the real calendar and work out how many English lessons they have in December, and when they are. Write the dates on the board.
B. Making the Calendar
- Give each pair a piece of white paper. With a ruler they draw a box for every lesson in December, and inside draw and colour a picture of a Christmas object. They also write the name in the box.
- They place the coloured paper over the white paper, and draw a box in exactly the same position as on the sheet below. (1) They then cut around three sides of each box to form the door.
- The coloured paper is then stuck on top of the white paper, leaving the doors free. The children write the date of a December lesson on each door, and stick the door down with a very small strip of sellotape across the join – just enough to close it, but not so much that it’s difficult to reopen.
- The calendars are then given in to the teacher, or if possible are pinned up on the wall.
C. Using the Calendar
- At the beginning of each lesson in December, give out the calendars, one to each pair (or ask each pair to go in turn to one of the calendars pinned on the wall) making sure that no-one gets the calendar they themselves made. In turn each pair opens the door for that date and says what the picture is.
(1) With smaller children, give them the pieces of paper with the boxes already drawn on.