Happy New Year!!!

In Brazil, we celebrate New Year’s by wearing white clothes and having a delicious meal at the strike of midnight. At midnight, we also gather to see the fireworks on the street and the fireworks the mainstream TV stations broadcast from different parts of the world. We stay up until the crack of dawn playing games, talking, drinking and eating a lot. The next day, we wake up very late and eat the left overs for lunch.

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Board Game Project

Despite all the technology available in the classrooms (iPads, data show equipment, computer labs, etc…) I still think that drawing, coloring and cutting out are fun. Also, the project below promotes collaboration/ cooperation among students. My Junior students were learning the affirmative, negative and interrogative forms of the verb THERE TO BE. After some significant practice and in order to wrap the lesson up, students were arranged in small groups (3 or 4 tops) and I assigned a different task for each member.

BOARD GAME

MATERIAL NEEDED: Brown paper, magazines, glue, markers, colored pencils and scissors.

FOCUS: Any Grammar Point or Vocabulary Practice.

WHAT TO DO:

1) Select and cut out pictures from the magazines;

2) Draw and color a race track on the brown paper;

3) Create the tasks to be performed in the game. (Assisted by the teacher)

4) Paste the cut outs.

Possible tasks to be performed when playing the game:

1) Fill in a blank:

For instance, in one of the squares, you see the picture of a cat on the couch and you read: Is there a cat on the couch? Yes, _____. or: ____________a cat on the couch? Yes, there is. 

2) Answer a question:

What is there in the picture?______________. 
Are there any cars in the picture?______________.


3) Ask a question:

_______________? Yes, there is.
_______________? No, there aren´t.

4) Correct the mistake.

There is three children in the picture.
There is a dog in the picture?

The teacher has to make sure (and students should be told that) that during the entire time that they are performing their tasks, they should discuss every decision they make with their peers and collaborate with each other whenever necessary. After they finish making the game, they play it.
In the end, the teacher can have the board games laminated for future classes.

NOTE: This is an activity that requires time, so don’t assign it unless your schedule allows that. The main thing about this task is the collaborative work that takes place. Students learn to share and negotiate. I suggest groups of 3, tops. Assign the tasks in a way everyone has something to do and tell them to be prepared to assist the others in case they need help.

 

Getting Ready For Christmas: A Family Night

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I celebrate Christmas with my parents. It’s great to be together on such night because it’s a family night in which we exchange gifts and have a delicious meal. We say a prayer, sing Christmas songs and eat  when the clock strikes midnight. We talk, play games and then we go to bed very late. It’s so great because the next day we can stay in bed and relax. Because we get up late, we eat the previous night´s left overs. I love Christmas!!!!

Count Down For Christmas: Cooking a Feast

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In Brazil, we usually have a feast that is prepared throughout the day and served at eleven o’clock p.m. However, some families wait until midnight, so they can eat. Turkey is a must on Christmas night. Traditionally, we also have “farofa” (toasted manioc flour), rice and potato salad.

MENU FOR CHRISTMAS NIGHT:
 
STARTER:
A Cold Buffet & Shrimp Cocktail
 
MAIN COURSE:
Roast Turkey with Gravy & Rice with Raisins
 
SIDE DISHES:
Farofa & Potato Salad
 
DESSERT:
Milk Pudding