So I am finally out of school for summer just in time to celebrate Father’s Day with my pop. While thinking about the holiday and my family traditions, I wondered how other people celebrated today. Is Father’s Day celebrated in other countries? It got me thinking about other holidays and traditions and how we communicate those celebrations with others. With those thoughts going in and out of my head I came up with an activity to share these ideas with students. So do you want a fun activity that will get total student buyin? Use holidays to entice and draw them in. Everyone loves holidays and when you get students interested in a topic, it will be difficult to get them to stop chatting!
I don’t know about you, but I know my students love learning holiday vocabulary. In the past I have been guilty of giving them a word list and doing very little with it. Now that I am changing my philosophy of teaching to a more proficiency based approach, I want them to actually use the terms in real world situations.
So how do I do that you ask…
Use fabulous and fun holidays and have students compare and contrast that holiday and traditions with their own customs. You can start with the graphic organizer posted and linked to this blog to get you started.
Another idea to go along with this theme of holidays is to have students create a book of all the traditions they have learned and share the information with each other. Here is a printable book you can purchase from Education to the Core or have students create their own.
I find there are a lot of ideas you can do with holidays and traditions, like share your own and have students talk about what their family does in a round table discussion. Or use this lesson plan I created for my upper level classes. One more idea is to have students look at a holiday they celebrate here in America that is not celebrated in other countries. Have them find a holiday another country celebrates that Americans do not.
You may wonder why I am talking about holidays in June when there is no school and not many holidays happening right now. Well, I am doing it now because I know when school starts up and we are going in fast forward we sometimes don’t have the time or energy to delve deeper into holidays. Plan now and be prepared for the celebrations in all seasons. Give students the skills they need to talk about these topics that are used in real life that aren’t found in their textbook.