14 April 2010

5 ESL/EFL Activities for Easter

Easter is over but it's still spring and if you are working in another country then the exact date of holidays isn't so important. I am aware that many teachers do not wish to teach culture or religion in class. That's totally ok, and up to you and your teaching methods. I tend to teach secular culture and traditions but stay away from the religious side of things. Whatever works best for you!

5. Slam/Karuta
You will need: pictures (clipart or photos) of things to do with the Easter story.
For larger classes split them into smaller groups each with their own set of pictures. Tell the students about Easter and as you talk they should listen for keywords and slam the picture to win that card. The student with the most cards is the winner. This is best used in conjunction with other Easter activities otherwise the relevance of the cards is lost.

4. Colouring/Painting Eggs
You will need: eggs (hard boiled!) or blank egg-shapes on paper, colours or paints, egg-hunting worksheets
Have the students draw a design using certain shapes, colours and numbers. If you have a very small group the students can ask you for the colours and tell you what shapes they are drawing. If you have a large class (that can do desk work quickly) set a time limit, then after they are finished pin up the eggs on the board. Split the class into teams and have the first member come up to the board. Describe an egg "I see an egg with two red square and one yellow triangle". The students must touch the egg you are describing.

Variation: If you think the eggs will get destroyed as students fight to touch the first one, split this activity over two lessons and instead number the eggs and give each student an "Egg-hunting sheet" which has descriptions of the eggs. The students should find and write down the number of the eggs.

3. Egg-Rolling Quiz
You will need: Hard-boiled eggs, a grid pattern on the floor or printed on paper (for an example see the Rolling to Points printable here) trivia/review questions
This is simply a scoring system. With the students split into teams, ask questions in whatever way works best for you. The winning student gets a chance to roll the egg onto the grid to score points. If you wanted a little more competition you could use a marker and have the teams attempt to get closest to the marker when all the questions are answered, something like bowls.

2. Read 'n' Run
You will need: Easter story worksheets missing keywords, keywords or scrambled word hints (you can scramble words for free at SuperKids Word Scrambler)
For this the students can work individually, in pairs or in small groups. Pin up the scrambled letters around the room and give out the Easter story worksheets (you can choose how much religion to explain yourself) the students should go around the room collecting the hints then trying to match them to the story. For lower level classes use the words as they are, for higher level classes you can try scrambling the words. Check their answers.

1. Mad-libs
You will need: Pre-prepared worksheets of the Easter story with keywords missing, keyword papers.
Before telling the students anything hand out the Keyword papers. The students should fill in the different parts of speech (noun, adjective, a boy in your class etc) with any English they can think of. It's always best to tell them that the craziest words with be best for the next activity. If you have lower level classes, they can work together in pairs or small groups. After everyone has finished, give them they Easter story worksheets and have them fill in the words and read what they have written. If you have volunteers they can read their story to the class, otherwise put the students into groups and have them read to each other. After you can tell them the real story of Easter.

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