I love autumn. I love the rich reds, oranges and browns and the carpets of leaves that furnish the pavements and provide such an amazing contrast to the black tree skeletons and the skies. Most of all, however, I love the beginning of the Christmas period with freshly lit street decorations and that feeling of expectation of good things to come. So… that’s why this year, I’ve decided to celebrate advent.
I’m not the only one either, and, in fact, I was motivated initially by Macmillan’s lovely Advent Calendar Greeting card which I was so impressed with that I decided to try to make my own using Powerpoint. This is the result:
This is basically the first slide in the presentation and you click on the date to go to the activities.
When you want to go back to the calendar simply click on the star in the bottom righthand corner.
How to use it
There are as many ways of using this calendar as there are teachers, I’m sure but here are two simple suggestions:
1) Christmassy Warmer
Use it at the start of a lesson as a warmer.
Simply get a student to click on the calendar and then use the text as you would any text, focusing on vocabulary, the text itself, of as a springboard for discussion. This could be a quick discussion or could lead to other activities such as writing. It’s really up to you and your learners.
Here is an idea for a competition which departs somewhat from the traditional calendar idea but is fun anyway:
1) Divide the class into teams
2) each team pics a number out of a hat (prepare 24 numbers in advance on cards, slips of paper etc.)
3) The team answers the question and the rest of the class gives the answer a vote from 0-5. (Don’t tell them why they are voting at this stage)
4) When each team has had the chance to “play” once or twice, count up the votes and the winners are the ones with the highest score.
(In my class I have a real advent calendar at this stage and the winners get the chocolate.)
So here is the calendar:
(ON some versions of Powerpoint not all the photos load so here is a PDF alternative (unfortunately this one doesn’t have the animations)
These are just quick suggestions which I am sure can be adapted to suit all needs. I’s be really happy to hear from you if you use the calendar and come up with other ways of using it in class. If you would like to see some more Christmas activities just follow this link to the fun and games page on my wiki, and scroll down until you come to Christmas.
From Sharon and Haggis the cat