Thursday, 13 November 2014

Christmas ideas (1)

This week I am sharing my Christmas ideas, hope you will enjoy them!
My Christmas activities start with the Spanish Lottery. The draw is on the 22nd of December, and it is a really interesting "show" on the television, because children SING the numbers! We play lottery or bingo, and the pupils can sing the numbers, they love it!
We learn to say "Feliz Navidad" by playing the hot/cold hiding game. A pupil hides a gift in the classroom while a volunteer detective is out, and when this comes back, everybody has to say "Feliz Navidad" whispering when the detective is far and they get louder and louder as he/she is getting closer.
I really surprise the children with the next "celebration", they never guess that the Spanish celebrate something similar to our "April Fool's Day" on the 28th of December. It is actually the Día de los Santos Inocentes, but people play tricks on each other like we do in April. We play "Trick the teacher" or "Trick your classmate". I point to colours, numbers, flashcards, etc. and say their names. If I am right, they have to repeat it, if I am wrong, they have to stay in SILENCE. The two teams (teacher against class or pupil against class) get points and the winners get stickers. Say the words quickly for extra challenge!
On the 31st of December, the Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight. Every time the clock strikes, they have to eat a grape, for 12 seconds. I take in grapes to school  and we play the secret signal (rules are here). When we see the pupil making a secret signal, we move on to the next number, or grape. You can get somebody to actually eat the grapes in front of the class!If you live near an Instituto Cervantes, you could borrow the Manolito Gafotas movie and watch the family celebrating New Year's Eve. We also thought about what we wanted to have in the new year and made these grapes with our wishes on. I got this idea from the Janet Lloyd Network Facebook page, follow it for great tips, songs, games, etc.
On the 5th of January, there is a street parade with the Three Kings (los Reyes Magos). They throw sweets for the children to catch, and this year we will have a sweets fight! This is an idea I have stolen from Twitter, Eleanor Abrahams (@elvisrunner) has a great blog, and she shared her snowball fight idea earlier this year here. I will use coloured paper for this activity and write a different question on each one. We have played snowball, Tomatina and pumpkin fights in the past and it is such a good game/writing activity, do read Eleanor's blog for the rules. 
On the 6th of January, the Three Kings bring gifts to the children, who put milk, biscuits and water out to feed the kings and the camels. We made these boots last year, the idea is from the Fun for Elementary Spanish Teachers Facebook page, join the group for good discussions and great ideas!

We always sing "Feliz Navidad".....

But this year we are facing a real challenge.... Carmen, a Spanish teacher (and blogger:-)  from Sunderland sent us songs we will sing together with her pupils in December using Skype. This is part of a sharing project we are doing together on the eTwinning website. Every class is learning a different song now, and so far we are doing really well! See her fantastic blog for more details!

If you want to find penpals and send Christmas cards or exchange videos, join the eTwinning website, go to the "Find eTwinners" menu, and browse the topics or open one! We will send our cards soon, this year I will give my pupils Christmas cards I bought at the January sales, because we won't have much lesson time to decorate them, they will just write messages inside.

If you want to take turrón in to show your pupils (or eat some:-), you can buy them in TK Max. They are not cheap though, usually around £3.50 for a small box. I got some on my Spanish trip 2 weeks ago... wonder if they will last till Christmas:-)

Or you could bake a Roscón de Reyes, just find a simple recipe on the internet, make the roscón and let the pupils decorate it with icing or Christmas decorations (good practice of colours/shapes/following instructions/expressing opinions). Baking is not as hard as it sounds, my oven is more reliable than my printer and the cake will make a great display if you are not allowed to eat food in the classroom.

Bookmark/ puppet with lolly sticks: I made this one the other day, I used milk carton to cut out the head of the snowman.

I will look for more crafty ideas on, I saw a Nativity Scene there I would like to print out and make with my pupils. Just go on the Christmas menu and you will see loads of links!

Well, that is all for today... and a picture of Saint Nicholas for my French teacher friends-) He comes to Hungary, too!

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