Easter in our english class

Funny Easter eggs

Funny Easter eggs

In our Easter lessons, which last about a week before schools close,  my students are introduced to some common Easter vocabulary, make  Easter cards and  Easter crafts and, of course, play lots of fun games.

Our students  know full well that any games we play in class will be somehow related to an ESL component, that there will be some focus on grammar or new vocabulary. Because they know that in an ESL classroom, we rarely play games just for fun…. Want to surprise your class? AND give them opportunities to learn? Try these Easter games, and you’ll have your students eagerly lining up to play. And learn!

Many  of the activities below, where found either on a Burlington Easter Activities leaflet which was sent to  most schools a few years ago or on the  ESL kidStuff  site which has even more activities than the ones that I have personally used in my class and have REALLY worked!! This site therefore, is highly recommended!

One other  site where you can find lots of craft ideas that have really worked in my class is:  http://www.kidssoup.com/index.html  I should also not forget to recommend my most favourite site of all: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/easter

Activity Village has a huge selection of Easter activities for you to enjoy with your kids, including colouring pages, printables, jokes, crafts and puzzles!

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Easter Games & Activities

Bunny hoping

Bunny hoping

Bunny Hopping Exercises: have Ss hop to your commands (like an Easter Bunny): Hop slowly, hop quickly, big hops, small hops, turn around hops, hop on left / right foot, hop forward / backwards / sideways, close your eyes and hop, flap your arms and hop, etc.  This is a great activity to do after making ‘Bunny Ears’ . (TP: V: hop, slowly, quickly, big, small, turn around, left, right, backward, forwards, sideways, flap, close. F: giving instructions to play a game using adverbs and prepositions of direction).

Bunny hoping

Bunny hoping

Easter Bunny HopConduct a relay race for two or three teams.Each player must cover a certain distance while jumping with a plastic egg between his/her knees.

Easter bunny hop

Easter bunny hop

Chocolate Egg Bowling: roll a ball across the classroom. Ss take turns to roll their eggs to get closest to the ball. (TP: V: roll, closest. F: giving instructions to play a game).

Duck Walk Race: have the kids line up at the Start Line, squat down and grasp their ankles with each hand from behind. On GO, they waddle to a designated Finish Line. They can’t let go of their ankles or they are disqualified. The first child over the Finish Line wins a prize. (TP: None).

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Easter Egg Blow: use real hollow egg shells (before class get some eggs, puncture a hole at both ends and blow out the insides of the egg, then wash out) or plastic eggs. Use a straw to blow the eggs across the classroom. First person across, is the winner!

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Easter egg blow

Easter Egg Decoration: use real egg shells (before class get some eggs, puncture a hole at both ends and blow out the insides of the egg, then wash out). Use colored felt pens, glue and glitter, stickers and anything else to decorate the eggs. You can use these eggs in the ‘Easter Egg Blow’ game. (TP: None).

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Easter Egg Emotions: use real egg shells (before class get some eggs, puncture a hole at both ends and blow out the insides of the egg, then wash out). Use felt pens to draw faces in different emotions (happy, sad, angry, sleepy, etc). (TP: V: various emotions vocab. F: using adjectives to describe emotions).

Easter egg emotions

Easter egg emotions

Easter Egg Faces: review face vocab (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair, eyebrows, cheeks, chin, etc.). Use real egg shells (before class get some eggs, puncture a hole at both ends and blow out the insides of the egg, then wash out). Do as a listening activity – T says “draw a nose” and children draw a nose, and so on. Also good for adjectives – “Draw a long nose”, “draw big eyes”, etc. (TP: V: various face vocab. F: giving instructister Egg Hunt: hide small chocolate eggs around your classroom / school / the park and send your Ss off to find them. Teach them expressions like “I’ve found one!”, “Where are the eggs?”, etc. (TP: V: I’ve found one!, Where are the eggs?).

mosaic easter eggs

Easter egg faces

Fair-For-All Easter Egg Hunt: this stops some kids getting all the eggs and other getting none. Simply, write each Ss names on some eggs. The Ss will have to recognize their own names. (TP: F: recognizing your written name).

Egg & Spoon Races: it’s up to you whether you use real, uncooked eggs! Teams relay race with eggs on spoons across the classroom. (TP: None).

Spoon races

Spoon races

Nosey Easter Egg Roll: Ss roll the eggs using only their noses. The first one over the finish line wins. (TP: None).

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Hot Cross buns game: First, I talk to them about Hot Cross buns….I give my older students the recipe which in case they use at home to make some hot cross buns for their classmates to taste in our next lesson, they are awarded stickers!! I hand my younger students a picture with 10 hot cross buns hidden and I ask them to work in teams and find them. Later, they read five sentences and decide if each sentence is true or false.

Hot cross bun

Hot cross bun

Finally, pupils learn a traditional chant about hot cross buns and play the following game: I ask a volunteer to leave the classroom for a minute. I hide a hot cross bun flashcard in the classroom. I invite the students back in the classroom and ask ” Where is the hot cross bun”? The pupil must look for the hidden flashcard.

Looking for the hidden hot cross bun

Looking for the hidden hot cross bun

The rest of the class can help the student by calling out ” hot cross bun” softly when he or she is far from the hidden flashcard or loudly as he or she comes closer to it!When the student finds the flashcard he/she says a sentence about its location eg ” There is a hot cross bun under the book”.

The Hot Cross Bun game

The Hot Cross Bun game

The Easter Egg game: This is a board game.Pupils play in pairs.The object of the game is to be the first player colouring three Easter eggs. Unfortunately, I have a copy of that Burlington  worksheet at school but, I can’t find it online anywhere . You could ask Burlington books to send it to you, too, I assume…

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You could easily make your own worksheet with three Easter eggs on the top and three on the bottom of it each  divided into three sections , by drawing  lines. Then, ask the students to roll the die, and when they land on a colour,  colour the indicated section of an egg. The winner is the pupil who completes colouring his/her three eggs first.

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Easter Bingo: I ask the pupils to make Bingo cards using the Easter vocabulary I have taught them in class beforehand, using flashcards .

The winner of course, is the first pupil to mark all the pictures on his/her card and call out “Bingo”!

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An easter egg hunt variation for older students: turn the egg hunt into a scavenger hunt. For this idea, the entire game must be thoroughly planned out from beginning to end. Inside each plastic egg, place handwritten clues. The kids can divide into teams. Each team is given the same clue to start. When one clue is figured out, it will lead them to another egg with another clue inside. The team that finds the prize first, splits it. 

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Inside each plastic egg, I place handwritten clues

Easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunt: " It's here..!"

Easter egg hunt

A Christmas Quotes tree ( and 2 more ideas)

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Well, it was my idea a couple of years ago, to have my 6th graders decorate a DIFFERENT Christmas tree , practicing their english at the same time!

I  therefore, made two Christmas Trees ( one, for each of my  classes) using card and put them up on the classroom walls!

I browsed the net and came up with hundreds of famous people’s quotes about Christmas . Later, I  prepared  handouts with them on, and asked my students to go home, read them all, decide about their favourite ones and justify their choices in class during our next  lesson!

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A class discussion followed about what’s really important in life, what Christmas is or should be about, about  life priorities, life values, family, consumerism….and many more topics!

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They just loved it  !

I ask them  to do about the same, every year…..I always provide them with the templates where they write their favourite quotes. I ask them to decorate them and make them look unique  before  we all together , decorate our Christmas trees with them!I’d like to share a couple of my favourite quotes with you all….

” I stopped believing in Santa when I was six.Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph!” Shirley Temple

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under the christmas tree” Roy L. Smith

“At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year” Thomas Tusser

“Christmas ….is  a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart” Freya Stark

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Another idea, I used a few years ago for some time was a Students Photos Christmas tree, outside our classroom: I stick all the students  photos on paper ornaments and asked them to write their wishes or New Year Resolutions on them, before I put them up on our Christmas tree…

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Last year, I decided to use a smaller Christmas tree in the classroom decorated with flags from all the different countries my students or  members of their families come from!  Our International Class Christmas Tree!

I plan to do this again, some year soon…brings the class together!

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Advent adventure

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Every year, about a  month before Christmas holidays, I put up  different advent calendars for  different level classes ,in our classroom….

I am writing about my most favourite ones so far, below….

THE ENVELOPES ADVENT BANNER

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I need:

24 small envelopes

24 wooden christmas or clothes pegs ( which  can be decorated with paint and glitter)

Ribbon

24 pieces of card or postcards

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Instructions:

To decorate the envelopes, I use christmas stickers but, another nice idea is to ask the students to draw on them or paint them, beforehand…

With a pen, I write the numbers 1-24 on the envelopes

To fill in the advent calendar I either use printable capital letters or decorate  24 postcards with the letters myself  , as follows:

Envelope 1- W, envel.2- E, env.3-W, env.4- I, env.5 -S, env.6-H……etc

When done,  we have the sentence: WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS

I usually pop something else into the envelopes.I often put pictures with Christmas vocabulary for my little ones, or christmas jokes for the older students.

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To use the advent banner:

Each day, I take down and open that day’s envelope and peg up the card instead. By Christmas Eve ,the banner will read WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS

I usually decorate a further 7 envelopes adding the numbers 25-31.I make 7 cards .One decorated with a star, 5 with each of the words AND,A,HAPPY,NEW,YEAR, and the seventh with the date of the New Year! I peg these envelopes  at the end of the advent banner and reveal the cards inside in  class, the very last day, before schools close for Christmas…

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THE CUPS ADVENT CALENDAR

Clips: I use mini clothespins or Christmas pegs, binder clips, paper clips etc…

1. Affix number sto the cups

2. Attach to the ribbon

3. Fill cups with messages, christmas jokes, loot etc..

4. Show to kiddies and have fun time each morning checking out the new surprise!

You can use anything to fill in the cups…

It can be a little treat, it can be a note about an activity we’ll do that day. e.g. paint an ornament for the tree, watch a holiday movie, sing a christmas song but, here below, I am sharing with you some Game-surprises, I have used for our advent cups this year:

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A. Santa says (similar to Simon Says)

It’s a fun game to play with young students

B.Pass the ornament game

We  need a straw for each child. we use ornaments cut-out of tissue paper  or real ones.

Pass the ornaments down the line , teammate to teammate, by inhaling and exhaling on the straw to hang on or release the ornament. no hands1

C.Pin the nose on Frosty or Rudolph

Blindfold the player, spin’em around and let them try to stick the nose where it’s supposed to go. Give a sticker for the player who gets the closest.

D. Christmas Scramble

Choose a Christmas word such as : Christmas, Candy, Cane, Santa Claus, Reindeer…Write the letters of the word on individual index cards. Do this two times, making two sets. Put each set in a paper bag. Two teams.Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag is wins.

E.Snowball dance

Better for 5th or 6th graders or high school children.

All the girls stand on one side, the boys on the other.One girl and one boy are chosen to dance in christmas music for a minute while the rest of the class  are singing along. Then, a signal is given and the girl and the boy choose new partners. This continues until everyone is dancing.Great to teach Christmas songs, too!

F. Tongue Twisters

Say each phrase three times as fast as you can. A christmas sticker for everyone who tries.

Santa sings shining star songs

Sally skis super slow

Tip-top tiny tot toys

Sally’s striped stocking’s stuffed slightly

Santa’s super souped sleigh swiftly slides sideways

One of the teams, working on our Advent Cup ,surprise Christmas Games!

One of the teams, working on our Advent Cup ,surprise Christmas Games!

Candy cane cookies keep kids coming etc

G. Book exchange

Inexpensive gift wrap for each child

A christmas book

Children set in a circle,  holding a wrapped book. A Room Mother reads A Christmas story. I prefer the Gingerbread Man story.

Every time the word “ran” is spoken they pass the book to the person on their right. Continue doing until the story is over. Whoever has the book on their lap at the end of the story is theirs to keep and open.

Many activities can follow this amazing story telling game! Draw the story, retell the story, change the story ending, write the story summary etc, according to the class level!

H. Word Find

Take a Christmas related word such as: Christmas, Candy cane, etc and find as many smaller words from it as posiible , working in teams, before the time runs out. Example: Christmas-sit, is, his,miss,rat,this,math,rim…

The team with the longest list of words, win christmas stickers.

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I. Christmas twenty questions

The teacher says ” I am thinking of something…” The children try to quess what it is by asking no more than 20 questions ,that can be answered “Yes”  “No”or “I don’t know”.The student who guesses correctly is next up.

Example: Frosty

I am thinking of someone who wears a hat. He loves snow.He’ll melt if it’s too warm outside

Clues should be age appropriate for the children playing

More ganes ideas you could also find on

http://holidays.kaboose.com/xmas-party.html

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ENJOY!!THE COUNTDOWN ARTISTIC ADVENT CALENDAR

The simplest advent I have ever used in my class , is the one in the photo above! Simlpe but yet, artistic and fun! Children just love it!

We count down together as a class -revising the numbers, at the same time – before I change the numbers each day!

Stay tuned…more advent ideas that work in my english class, tomorrow…