Hello, my dear colleagues!
In December 2020 I met an amazing teacher from India, Shavy, and she invited me to teach a lesson in her school. This post is going to share all the tasks (full lesson plan) for a storytelling lesson for young learners on a book titled Home for the Holidays by Debbie Mumm. I am also going to share comments and observations.
There are a lot of activities (I always tend to make extra activities just in case), and we haven’t completed everything you see below.
Xmas around the world – interactive tree
We started by exploring holiday traditions in various countries around the world. India does not celebrate Christmas like Europeans do, so there were a lot of new information for the kids.
Students select a country to explore. One student reads the information, then all students have the task to search on their phone and check if the information is true. The students who guess the most answers win.
Jump to the front – a short TPR activity
Students start in a line at the back of the class. The teacher reads out a series of statements about Christmas and students take a step forward if their answer is yes.
This activity was super fun and the children were so happy to move around (duuuh, they are children, I am such a captain obvious! 🤣)
Example statements for the jump to the front game:
- I love holidays.
- Hanukkah is celebrated in China.
- My family and I don’t exchange Christmas presents.
- Kwanzaa is celebrated in Africa.
- I enjoy learning about different cultures.
- In my culture, we don’t celebrate Christmas.
Pre-teaching the vocabulary
To pre-teach the vocabulary I used the interactive material I made below. Explore it to check it out!
Memory card game and TPR for verbs – listening to the interactive presentation and demonstrating verbs, clicking on the flashcard to hear the sound.
Listen, watch and repeat, then complete a quiz!
Prediction – based on the title and the cover, what could this story be about? Let’s guess!
Listening task/TPR task during the dramatization:
- Listen for the places – try to remember what places the penguins visit?
- Listen to the holidays – which variations of Christmas are mentioned in the story?
Take a peek at the paper puppets I drew, laminated and glued on a stick. 😀 It’s always DIY when you have so many characters in one book.
Story: Home for the Holidays by Debbie Mumm
Igloo sweet Igloo is where young penguin brothers Mummford and McFinn hope to be for the holidays-if they can find their way back from a snowy trek. Enter husky pups Flake and Crystal as the designated search party. A predictable reunion is in store-but not before readers slog through a meandering story line. Despite uneven depictions of the canine protagonists, Mumm’s watercolor depictions of festive street scenes in neutral tones will charm fans of her popular folk-art designs.
Purchase the book here (not an affiliate, just a regular link), so if you don’t like the price try to find a cheaper one.
I dramatized the book with this interactive material I made (includes musics and sounds), while also using puppets and asking question directly while dramatizing.
Post dramatization activities/group work: practice & application
- What is the name of the boy in the story?Is the boy good or bad? Why?
- Which machine does the boy use to suck out happiness?
- What is the first person he sucked out happiness from?
- Can you remember some of the places he visited?
- What is your favorite character? Why?
- What is your favorite part of the story? Why?
- What happens with boy at the end?
- Check if the predictions before reading were correct.
- Retelling game – start and stop (retell the story and have students stop you when they hear a mistake) – this activity was especially fun to the little ones because students don’t have a chance to say STOP to their teacher often! 🤣
Play performance – performing the actions from the story as the teacher reads.
Imagine that you are the package in the story. Rewrite the story from the package’s point of view. What does the package think it’s happening outside?
Additional activity – Christmas tongue twisters + rhythmic orchestra
Use your body – clap your hands and feet while chanting the following funny Christmas tongue twisters:
- Running reindeer romp ’round red wreaths.
- Chilly chipper children chant cheerfully.
- Eleven elves licked eleven little licorice lollipops.
- There’s chimney soot on Santa’s suit.
- Frosty froze frequently, furthermore fell on frozen frost freezing his fiddly thumbs.
- Prancer presents pumpkin pies and presents.
- Pretty packages perfectly packed in paper.
- Tiny Timmy trims the tall tree with tinsel.
Once Upon a Time in India – rebus emoji writing task
If you want to do this activity, feel free to download the material by clicking HERE.
Shavy said the children were engaged and they all enjoyed it! It makes me so happy when I join a classroom on the other side of the world and meet so many lovely little ones.
- Shavy’s English Hut Instagram
- Shavy’s English Hut Facebook
- Shavy’s English Hut YouTube
- Shavy’s English Hut website
*Video posted with Shavy’s permission
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