Christmas Tree Crafts and Colors (any grades)
Name of Teacher: Michelle Holliday
Class/Grade/Language Level: Elementary School (any grade)
Textbook and specific lesson: N/A
Goal: Practice using colors while learning about Christmas
Preparation: Christmas stickers, Christmas pictures, green construction paper, shiny stickers or origami paper scraps, sample tree. Each student/HRT needs to prepare: glue, scissors (optional but recommended), pencils and/or colored pencils/crayons (optional) Class time: _Full-class lesson
Class time: Entire class
Stages of the Lesson:
Greetings: The usual “Hello, how are you?” is fine, or something more seasonal like “Merry Christmas.” Bonus points for wearing a Santa hat!
Talk: Show the students photos from home (or the internet) of what a “typical” Christmas looks like. Explain the difference between Japan and other countries’ celebrations. For higher grades, differences between the types of celebrations in your home country are also very interesting. Allow plenty of time for questions, but be sure to cut them off with enough time for the activity, otherwise this can easily take up the entire class period.
Activity: Practice saying colors in English by asking about the colors of the supplies. Then show and explain how to fold the construction paper to easily cut a tree and show a BIG (for visibility) example of a finished product. Then give them their own paper and a small handful of ornament paper (cut up shiny origami paper or stickers, personally I find the paper is more fun, it allows the students to cut to their specifications if they don’t like the shape). Talk to the students about their trees as they cut and glue and give them more ornament paper as needed. The scissors optional version would be to precut the trees, and then just hand them out in class. This provides more uniform trees which I think is less fun, but since the students often have many control issues about doing things “just right” it can help make the activity take up less time. If students have their pencils or coloring items handy, they can personalize their trees even more, but the only really required items for this activity are glue and paper.
Final Stage: Make sure students have their names written on the back of the trees. Have students line their trees up at the front of the class so everyone can see. If there’s time, have the students point out what colors people used and count together what colors are the most popular in the class. Encourage them to take them home to their families. Finally, have each student come get a Christmas-themed sticker.
Feedback: Because of time constraints, the first time I did this lesson I ended up cutting up the shiny origami paper for the ornaments in class, which took up a lot more of my time than I would like, though it didn’t interfere with the kids tree-making time. I would highly suggest cutting the night before if at all possible. This would also allow for making not just random shapes but maybe present shapes, bells, candy canes, etc.
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