Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hiconic users, here’s hoping your Christmas was happy and your New Year is bright. Thanks for visiting, hope you found some useful tidbits to freshen up your classes in 2012. We will be taking a short break, but will be back in 2013 with tips, hints, and tools to breathe some life into Hi Friends 1 and 2.

So, all you teachers out there, enjoy your holidays and rest up. The kids will be back before you know it!

Let’s make a Christmas Tree!

Just a week until Christmas!  Here’s a fun cutting and coloring activity for elementary students.  Review colors and shapes, give simple instructions in English, and make your very own Christmas tree!  This is a great way to round out the term.  Try it!christmas tree ornaments esl efl eigo christmas tree esl efl eigo

If cut and paste activities aren’t quite what you’re looking for, why not make a Christmas card in English?  Fold in half longways, then fold again to make a book-style Christmas card.  Students can color in the letters, write their names, draw Christmas-y pictures, and write a Christmas greeting in English!

Christmas Card image worksheet eigo note esl efl

Have a great winter break, see you in 2013!

What Did You Get?

As much as I like to downplay the more commercial aspects of the holiday season, the fact remains that kids love to talk about the things they got for Christmas. Here is a worksheet for having that discussion in English.

I teach the question, and give several example answers, and ask for a few volunteers to practice in front of the class. Then I hand out the worksheets and have the kids write their names in English and draw a picture of a holiday gift they received in the provided space. Then we write the English name of the gift, and they proceed to interview each other about the gifts they got. Its a fun and effective way to get students back into English mode after the long winter vacation.

Its especially useful for those of us teaching in Japanese elementary schools using the Eigo Note 1 (5th grade) textbook. The last third of the book is kind of thin, content wise, and this worksheet provides an opportunity to step away from the text and still have a good lesson. Enjoy!What did you get eigo note esl worksheet

Christmas Cards

The season is upon us, the season of the Christmas lesson.  I like to give a little chat about the Reason for the Season (to educate, not proselytize) and then turn the kids loose on these Christmas cards.

Fold it in half and then fold it again to make a card.  Students can draw their own original Christmas illustration on the front (where it says Merry Christmas), then draw a gift or write a letter on the inside (the “For you” page). Then they can write their names and color in the letters and take their card home to Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa.

It’s simple and fun and quiet…all good things for an elementary school classroom.  Merry Christmas!Christmas Card image worksheet eigo note esl efl

Listening Tasks Worksheet

Christmas is nearly upon us, and many teachers like to show Christmas videos and cartoons as a fun way to round out the term.  Students usually enjoy watching movies and such, but attention can flag and minds tend to wander, especially when watching or listening to foreign language media.  For longer listening exercises and especially videos, assigning a specific task helps students to focus and improves overall comprehension.  To that end, I have prepared a listening task worksheet to use with videos.

The worksheet is divided into four sections.  The first section, indicated by the exclamation point, is where I ask students to note things they clearly understood from the video.  In the second section, indicated by the question mark, students note things they didn’t understand but would like to know more about.  The third section, indicated by the smiley face, is for things they found particularly amusing or that they enjoyed.  The stars along the bottom are for counting tasks, counting the occurrences of a specific word or phrase for example.

I am currently using this worksheet along with the Charlie Brown Christmas video in my elementary school classes to good effect.  It’s fun for the teachers as well!

It prints to A4 size, cut it in half for two A5 worksheets.  Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
listening task worksheet esl eigo note efl