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Monday, December 13, 2010

Festive Fun!


The festive season is now upon us and only two more weeks of the term to go. This year's holidays begin quite late compared with previous years - I won't be truly on holiday until 10pm on the 23rd December. All the students will have two classes in that final week before Christmas, and I'm trying to decide what festive things we can do.

In previous years on the last day, there has always been some Christmas craft type activity with the young learners, games or parties with the teens and a drink in the bar with the adults! However, I'm changing things round a bit this year. I haven't yet decided what to do with the little ones but it won't be a craft as we are doing one in our Winter topic the lesson before. Maybe a Christmas song? A nativity play? That would take up too much preparation time, we just don't have the time for a proper play but we could do a bit of acting out - they always love that! We could write a letter to Santa. Maybe we will watch a bit of Dora the Explorer Christmas Special and maybe we will have a party. In any case, with the youngest ones you can make fun out of anything. The main thing is that they go home for the holidays happy, feeling successful and looking forward to coming back in the new year.

What about the older children? Well they all enjoy singing, so I'm sure we will be performing a Christmas song. But which one? Not wanting to do the dreadful "Jingle Bells" yet again, maybe we will go for something a bit more comic such as When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney. One class will be having parties that they themselves have organised. Maybe we could try a traditional Christmas Parlour game like Charades. There are lots of good ideas on the BC Teaching English website.

Now, the tweens are a bit harder to engage, especially at this time of year when they have finished their school work. It can be hard to find materials suitable for their age that actually interest them - they don't want to watch a cartoon as it is too babyish, but adult films and shows are not suitable. I have a copy of the Mr Bean Christmas Special, but it seems so dated now! I think the best think to do is to ask them to suggest several ideas of things to do, put them in a hat, and luck will decide! Either that or have a democratic vote. Maybe it won't be so Christmassy, but they could bring in things they'd like to share such as songs or videos. One idea I have is to do a kind of Christmas Top Ten. I would play ten songs (they could be past UK Chart Number Ones or current songs) and get the students to choose the number one.

That leaves the older teens and adults. My group of adults have suggested having a Christmas party on the last day, with typical local festive treats and English songs and carols. I was thinking of doing something with the Mr Bean episode in the previous lesson - having them write down what Mr Bean would say if he spoke properly, making a note of all the typical British customs the can see in the video.
The teen groups are very small and a party would not work - unless we joined up with another class. Any ideas for a really fun last lesson with the 16 plus?

Sometimes I have just completely ignored Christmas with the adults. They sometimes actually prefer to have a normal lesson. This year they have suggested having a party themselves and they seem quite into the spirit of things, and I'm going to take advantage of this and have a bit of festive fun myself!

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