Well, every last week before our Christmas school break, we ALWAYS leave the course books aside and start….enjoying Christmas !
Actually, it all starts much earlier…..about a month before Christmas, I put up our Advent calendars, full of surprises inside…! This is when all the fun starts! We continue with our 4th graders short Christmas plays rehearsals and our artistic Christmas cards ( to be offered to our Christmas show guests ) and we conclude with the Christmas games and activities week!!
I’ll share some games that have really worked with my students!
Stocking guessing game
You will need a small Christmas stocking (or perhaps a bright red sock). Into the stocking put a collection of small objects that you see or use around Christmas time. Tie a ribbon or rope around the opening to make sure nobody peeks.
Give everyone a piece of paper and, passing the stocking around, ask them to write down all the objects they can feel. The person that guesses the most objects is the winner. A GREAT game to teach or revise Christmas vocabulary!!
This is a take on ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Put a picture of a nose-less Rudolf on the wall, blindfold the students, spin them around and see if they can pin a red nose in the right place. The nearest wins a prize/points.
Same as ‘Simon Says’: The S up is “Santa”. S says “Santa says hop”. All Ss hop. S says “Stop”. Ss should continue hopping on until “Santa” says “Santa says stop”. Repeat for other actions such as jump, run, turn around, sit
The Snowman game
The object of the game is to complete a picture of a snowman ( two eyes, a carrot nose, one hat, one scarf, three buttons, one umbrella) .
One copy of a snowman worksheet for each student
one die for each group
I first review the objects with the class.
I help students practice saying the names in english.
Pupils take turns throwing the die. The player , says the name on the die and the english word for the corresponding object.If the player identifies the object correctly, he may draw it on the snowman.If not, play passes to the next child.A pupil who rolls a number and has already completed that particular feature on his snowman loses his turn.
The first pupil to complete the snowman, is the winner!
I ask them to speak only in english.I put expressions like…” It’s my turn.Throw the die.I can’t go. Pass me the die, please”
For homework: I ask them to write a short description of the snowman.
Scramble Christmas Words
Supplies: index cards, paper bags. How To Play: Choose a Christmas word such as: Christmas, Candy Cane, Santa Claus, Reindeer…. Write each letter of a word on individual index cards. Put the set in a paper bag. Divide the Ss into teams. Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag wins. A variation of the game would be to divide into teams with the same number of Ss as there are letters in the word. Each S gets a letter and the team must arrange themselves in the right order to spell the word.
Who am I Santa?
Blindfold one student. The other Ss stand in circle around the blindfolded student. Spin the student around and then stop him/her facing another student. S says “Ho ho ho. Who am I?”. The blindfolded S must guess who that student is and call out his/her name…Great game for the youngest learners!!
Supplies: timer, paper, pens. Divide Ss into teams. Take a Christmas related word such as: Christmas, candy cane, Santa Claus, etc. and find as many words as possible using the letters of that word. Give a time limit (e.g. 2 mins). The team with the most words wins! Example: Christmas 1: (sit, is, his, miss, rat, tar, this, math, chair, rim…), Example 2: Candy cane (candy, cane, and, dance, day, nay, can, dye, an, any…) Awesome spelling activity!
Supplies: Christmas music
How To Play: Begin playing music, everyone moves and dances until the music stops then they must “freeze” in whatever position they happen to be in. Just for FUN!
I prepare two banners,that say whatever I want them to say, ie Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, etc. Also prepare a set of letters for the same words cut out in two different colors hidden randomly around the room. I I divide the class into 2 teams with two captains–the captains sit and wait for their teammates to bring the letters for their banner. If a student is on the “red” team and sees a letter for the “green” team he/she just leaves it alone. The first team to cover their banner letters wins.
In this game, everyones tries to make the snowman move!
The snowman has to stay frozen still…
They can’t touch him but they can, make faces, make noises, tell jokes, dance!
If the snowman moves, smiles or laughs, it’s the end of the game! Whoever, made the snowman move, is the next snowman!
I usually choose to play this game with the christmas vocabulary I have previously taught!
It works best with lots of people.The first person on a line, whispers a Christmassy phrase to the person next to them.
That person whispers what they think they heard to the person on their other side.
The game continues until the phrase reaches the last person.
That person says out loud what they think the phrase is.
It could start ” Reindeer love to fly in the sky” and finally be ” Raid ear love to fling in a…pea!”
With my younger learners, I use one word each time eg ” Snowflake”.
Pass the snowball
This is a great game to have the class sing new Christmas songs and learn them easily.
For this game, we need a ball- the snowball- and christmas music.
Everyone sits in a circle, and one person holds the snowball. The music starts, all students are asked to sing along, and the student with the snowball, throws it to someone else.That student, quickly throws the snowball to someone else and so on…When the music stops, the student holding the ball is out!
The game continues and the last person still playing, is the winner!
The Christmas tree
I give out the worksheets. You can make them on your own, it’s simple to draw.
I explain that as I name a decoration, they must draw it on the Christmas tree. I call out different combinations of decorations.
eg Draw two balls on the Christmas tree.
Draw three bells on the christmas tree.
I later give them specific instructions on how to colour the decorations.
Colour the tree , green.
Colour the balls blue and pink etc
I use the worksheets to decorate the classroom.
Students can alternatively stick the trees on a poster in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Or, complete sentences below the tree with the correct colour of each item.
The Christmas Tree Game
This is a simple printable Christmas Tree board game, with some exciting cards to pick up every time you land on a square – will they help you or hinder you?
I have come across this amazing game which my students just LOVE in www.activityvillage.co.uk
Print and cut out the Christmas Tree game board, and laminate if you like for durability. Print and cut out the cards and shuffle before placing face down in a pile by the side of the board.
Youngest player rolls first and moves his counter. If he lands on a square, he takes a card and follows the instructions. First to reach the Christmas Tree Star wins!
My Christmas Book
I generally, love mini books and often use them in my class!
They are simple to make. Ideas can be found on line . eg http://www.miikogibson.com/origami/Making%20a%20Mini%20book.pdf
I tell my students that they are going to draw their own pictures about Christmas on the blank pages, writing a sentence for each one. I ask younger learners to write single words.
I can help them get started by asking questions such as :
What do you put under the tree?
I write all possible answers on the board.
eg My tree has got two balls and an angel.
Instead of drawings and sentences/words, they can write lines frfom Christmas carols.
While they are working on their books, they can listen or sing along with carols on the cd.
They finally, staple the left side of the pages together, to make a book!
A letter to Father Christmas
I always ask my students to write their own letter to Father Christmas soon…
I tell the younger ones that, I used to be an elf (!!) therefore, I know the REAL Father Christmas’ address cause, I used to work and live there! They feel really surprised and ask me lots of questions about my life there! It’s so funny! They usually ask me about my ears…and why they don’t look …”elfy”! I tell them that , I had to undergo a plastic surgery as soon as I left the North Pole cause, people used to make fun of me!
Some of them DO believe me and tell all the other students during the break ” Our english teacher used to be an Elf”!!
I have several worksheets that I use to help them write their letters!
I am soon going to upload photos of them. For more ideas you can visit http://www.pinterest.com/indial/printable-santa-letters/
Here, I am sharing with you the address where my students send their letters and ALWAYS get a reply letter by Father Christmas himself, at home!!
They are so proud when they show it to the rest of the class , as soon as they get back to school after the Christmas break!
If they write in english, the reply letter comes in english, if they write in albanian, the reply letter comes in albanian, if they write in greek , the reply letter comes in greek…..! It’s really fascinating!
More ideas soon…stay tuned!!!!!