Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French. It is a celebration full of feasting and merriment just before Lent is ushered in for the 40 days of “self denial” leading up to Easter. Mardi Gras is the time to march in parades, eat treats, sing and dance, and generally celebrate good times.
This is a great opportunity to have a fabulous party for our students in the English class, too!
Here are some game ideas, I use in my class…..
We play classic children’s games with a Mardi Gras twist, such as musical chairs.
I set up chairs in a tight circle, with the seats facing outward. We should have one less chair than you have children participating. I place a Mardi Gras mask underneath each chair. I play some Latin music. When the music starts, the kids must walk around the chairs. When the music stops, they must quickly find a seat and put the masks to their faces. The child who doesn’t have a seat is out. I take away another chair for the next round. The game continues in the same manner until only two kids are battling over one chair.
For a version of “Simon Says,” have the kids play “Mardi Gras King or Queen Says.”
The leader might say, “Mardi Gras Queen says march in place,” and the kids must follow. However, if the leader gives a command and doesn’t say “Mardi Gras Queen says,” the kids are not to follow the command. Anyone who does is out.
Scavenger Hunt Games
I sometimes, scatter the Mardi Gras bead or Pasta (!) necklaces my students have made at home, following written instructions, all over the classroom area for the kids to find and put around their necks. The person with the most necklaces , wins.
I also, hide a special Mardi Gras necklace, which an American friend who had been in New Orleans, sent me some years ago…. The child who finds that necklace ,earns a special prize.
This year, we had a scavenger hunt with carnival masks and other party stuff. I put them all in a…treasure box. I gave the kids a clue each time ,as to the location of the next clue card. I put the children in pairs to figure the clues to find the Treasure Box. The winners are the first children to bring back all the clue cards, in order.
I ask the students, to come to the lesson dressed in their best or most creative Mardi Gras gear. The outfits can be anything with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold, or not….For example, some of my students, this year have decided to improvise and wear their own clothes, upside down!!. Students, vote for the best costume. They cannot vote for themselves. The most fun thing is, that I have the students do a …Catwalk Mardi Gras Best Costume competition! We have to describe what students who take part are wearing , before we vote! Great order of adjectives, practice!
For a mask contest, I give each of my younger students, an undecorated paper Mardi Gras mask. The children must decorate their masks using any art and craft items you have on hand such as glitter, paint, feathers and stickers. Each child will get to stand up and present her mask to the group. The children then vote — by secret ballot — for their favorite mask.
With my very young learners, we played ” Carnival dictation ” on the board.
1.I draw about 6-8 masks on the one side of the board and the same number of Masks on the other.
2.Assign the kids to either Carnival King or Carnival Queen teams
3.I ask a player from each team in turns, to come to the board and write a word they are given, on one of their team Masks.
4. If they are correct they move to the next ,mask towards the finish.
5.If one student is not correct, their team miss a turn. If both players are not correct, the next two players proceed!
We also did an “Orange dance” with Carnival music! A dance which requires collaboration between the partners and is so much fun!!
Finally, we love playing “ Mardi Gras whispers“!
Similar to ” Chinese Whispers” , but this time, we use Mardi Gras and Carnival vocabulary! It’s a fun way to revise new words! I always ask the last person in the row, to come and WRITE the word on the board! This way, we practice spelling, too! They get a point for their team if they get it right!
We love Mardi Gras in class! What about you?…..