Number one for English language teachers

Keith's Corner: Entry 19: Winter

Type: Article

The children at Anglia School have been enjoying a wintery theme in recent weeks. It may be cold outside but, with a host of wintery arts, crafts, songs and stories, the children are as merry as can be!

Arts and crafts

A very popular winter craft activity is the personalized snowflake. Each child gets to create their own snowflake model out of coloured paper and stick their photo in the middle. As you can imagine, we’ve now got a school full of smiling snowflake models the kids can call their own.

Something we like to do for each season is to get the children to paint or draw pictures of a scene relevant to that season. This way, learning about the seasons offers a fun way to revise different sets of vocabulary. For instance, we brainstormed the sort of clothes people normally wear in winter. Marker in hand, I stood at the whiteboard and waited for suggestions on how to dress the person I had outlined. First raised hand – ‘Mittens!’ Good idea! So, I drew a pair of mittens. ‘Jacket!’ somebody else said and I drew a big, puffy one. ‘Scarf! Hat!’ a third pupil added. And, so, I drew a warm scarf and a woolly hat with a pompom on top. ‘Hmm, how about shorts?’ I asked the group. ‘No!’ they answer laughingly, ‘Trousers!’ I agree and draw on trousers, boots and so on. Lovely wintery drawings still adorn the Anglia School windows.

The children made wonderful toilet-roll snowmen, complete with earmuffs. We also created a big winter wreath with paint handprints of all our hands (complete with names on the back) stuck together to symbolize the importance of being a team. It’s wonderful to see that our children, from toddlers to school-goers, are still excited about the wreath we all made together.

Song and dance

One of the children’s favourite winter-season songs is the adorable Five Little Snowmen. We learn the words and the actions and, then, perform the song. Each of the children acts out melting in the sunshine into a puddle, pronouncing their forlorn ‘Oops, I’m a puddle.’

Stories

We’re lucky enough to have a well-stocked and constantly growing library at Anglia School. The children can take the books home with them. Some of our pupils are already starting to read by themselves and will often volunteer to read with the teacher at story time.

We’ve also been handing out winter-themed readers to two junior groups. The task is for each child to read their book at home and, then, every Saturday, two kids read the books out loud to the class. The children then swap books. The books are carefully selected to suit the level of the readers. This has been going very well as the children are now reading words in English in a new context, with the added value that they are able to figure out a story for themselves and share it with the class.

A magical moment, which made this winter especially memorable for us, was watching The Snowman, based on the Raymond Briggs book.

We hope your winter is full of magic!

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