Help your ESL/ELD students get the most out of their first local New Year’s celebration with these language building activities. An introduction to basic New Year’s vocabulary is a prerequisite for all of these language building activities.
Some New Year’s themed vocabulary words you may want to introduce include: New Year’s, resolution, goal, party, celebrate, celebration, champagne, midnight, fireworks, celebration, parade, countdown, invitation, invite, noisemaker, tradition, and kiss.
Resolution Setting Writing
Have students practice their language and grammar skills by writing paragraphs about their resolutions. Each student should title their paper “My New Year’s Resolution.” Then they should write a sentence stating what their resolution is. The second sentence should say what they have been doing to reach their goal. The sentence can start, “So far, I have been ______.” The next sentence should state what they will be doing to reach their goal. This sentence can start, “I plan on ___” or “I will be ___.”
Encourage students to write one paragraph about a school-related goal and another paragraph about a personal goal.
New Year’s Compare and Contrast Essay
Have students write a couple of paragraphs discussing the New Year’s traditions of their own culture and of the culture they are learning in (United States, England, etc..). The first paragraph should discuss the traditions of their own culture. They can write about how they celebrate the last day of the year and what they do on the first day of the New Year. In the second paragraph they can discuss what they have learned about the traditions of the culture they are currently living in and how they are similar or different from their own culture. They can also write a final paragraph discussing their feelings about New Year’s celebrations and traditions in general.
Language Boosting Worksheets
BogglesWorld.com has a series of worksheets about New Year’s Day designed to boost the language skills of ESL students through fun and games. Teachers will find New Year’s themed word scrambles, resolution writing worksheets, and a future tense activity. Each worksheet will appeal to students from middle school through high school.
ITESLJ.org (I-TESL Journal) has an entire page of conversation starters related to the theme of goals. These questions can be used to begin class discussion, for pair discussions, and as journal questions.
Other ESL Holiday Lesson Guides by This Author
Thanksgiving Lesson Plan
Christmas Lesson Plan