Christmas is upon us once again and www.rayenglish.com has put together a wonderful Christmas teaching mega pack for you to use in your English classes.
The Christmas ESL teaching mega pack contains colouring sheets, mazes, puzzles, ESL Christmas worksheets and Christmas quizzes to keep your English classes truely festive.
Additionally, the Christmas teaching mega pack also contains craft activities to do in the classroom with your children and also Christmas party games if your school is running a Christmas party this year!
See the link in red below to download your free Christmas teaching pack.
December is a favorite month for many families all over the world. The weather changes, bringing along fresh breezes that announce the beginning of the Christmas season. Christmas is often associated with Santa Claus, gifts and food. Christmas trees begin to adorn homes all over the world and the quest for those high demand wanted toys, begin.
It is indeed, a time of joy, gathering, sharing, giving and loving and this is the message we should pass on to our children, but how??
We all want our children to be kind hearted and caring and Christmas is a great season to work on those traits we want them to develop. Let me share with you some fun and useful tips for helping your child to care at Christmas.
Share Stories that promote the message you want to send your child
Prepare in advance a set of books that talk about giving, about love, about the importance of an honest heart and begin to establish a daily reading time from December 1st to read and then discuss the books. You could focus on one book per week and talk to your kids about the character’s traits, the plot of the story and their opinions about it.
You could role play the story after they are already familiar with it and also make drawings and crafts about it. Ask questions that help them focus on the areas you want them to notice, for example:
- Was that a kind way to treat her friends? What do you think?
- Would you do the same?
- What is wrong about that attitude?
- Does that show she has a kind heart?
Do not get surprised if your children are not showing much interest in the reading time at first. It’s a new habit they will learn to accept and enjoy if you are consistent and try your best to make it fun. Your children will soon be counting the minutes to have their daily reading time not only because of the rich lessons in the book but also because of the special time with you, the parent or teacher.
Make an “Advent Calendar” together and give them a daily 'kind' task.
It is a great idea to have an advent calendar that visually represents each day until Christmas. There are many DIY advent calendars that are fun and easy to make.
Hide in advance a daily 'kind task' for each day until Christmas and in the morning before going to school, make it a routine to uncover the ‘kind’ task. This is a greating way to encourage your child to care at Christmas.
Some examples of ‘kind tasks’ could be:
- Help someone in need.
- Say kind words to someone
- Give a present to someone.
- Share something with someone.
- Smile to everyone you see.
- Say please and thank you.
- Offer a hug.
After school, ask your children how their ‘kind task’ went. Ask them about others reactions and about the way they felt being kind to others.
Young children are normally used to experience the joy of receiving but this time they would be experiencing the joy of giving … which is in my personal opinion, long lasting and meaningful.
Let them be involved in some Charity Activity.
I would like to share with you a personal story…
5 days before Christmas, my daddy told me and my siblings we were going toy shopping.
I was 9 years old, my brother was 8 and my sister was 5 so you can imagine the excitement level at home about the adventure.
When we got to the toy shop we were asked to each choose 10 toys. I remember running up and down the halls trying to figure out where to start. My brother just grabbed the first 10 cars in sight and ran to the cashier.
After paying for the dolls, the baby stroller (I had wished for since March), the Barbie car and all the wonderful toys we got to choose we rushed to the car wanting to get home as quick as possible to play with the new toys, but our plans were just about to change.
My daddy told us about a school of 30 children in a remote area of our city, Barranquilla Colombia. He said kids there had to walk for almost 2 hours every day just to go to school ,their parents were very poor and the little money they had was used for food and sometimes it was not even enough for 3 meals a day.
He then asked us about the way we felt about getting the toys, we all knew what was coming next! “The toys we got are not for you, we are giving them away", he said as we look at each other with amazement.
When you are 5 ,8 and 9 ;It is just too hard to understand the concept of giving, this is why, it is necessary to experience it. It had to be something that meant a lot to us in order for us to understand their happiness and to feel the joy of giving.
I vividly remember the feeling in my heart. Their happiness meant much more to me, than those 10 toys I had chosen .The lesson my dad taught us is remembered and will remain with me forever.
Some ideas for charity involvement could be:
- Collecting toys the children don’t play with anymore and finding an organization to donate them .
- visiting an elderly home and preparing a song to sing to the grandparents there.
- Giving away clothes that are in good condition.(Recycling)
- Donating books to schools in remote areas of their city.
Last but not least remind your children how blessed they are everyday to have a home, food on their tables, a bed to rest, clothes to wear and parents who love them deeply and forever.
Have a Merry Christmas!
By Karla Angarita
Karla Angarita is a Colombian national ,mother of 3 children and an educator with more than 10 years of experience in the education field. She provides workshops and trainings for teachers all over Asia and Latin America on the use of the arts in the academic curriculum.