We know that this time of year isn’t just about giving and receiving presents, but the holidays do provide a great opportunity to talk about gifts and toys. Many children get quite excited at the idea of Santa coming for his annual visit and want to discuss the possibilities.
“What do you want for Christmas?” is a question that many children will be asked during the upcoming holiday season. So, we decided to make a very simple, active song to help kids talk about their Christmas wishes.
In addition to talking about different types of toys, this song is a great way to introduce “I want…” You can easily extend the conversation with “I don’t want…”, “I have….” and “I don’t have….”
These are also nice, easy songs for young children to sing and act out at Christmas pageants and parent presentations.
Using realia, or real objects, in the classroom is a great way to keep students’ interest. Flashcards or picture cards also work well, but there’s nothing quite like being able to touch and pass around a physical object. This is the perfect opportunity to bring in actual toys for the kids to talk about.
When introducing new vocabulary or doing a review, we like to build excitement and interest by being very mysterious. Rather than just showing students the objects or flashcards, we slowly reveal them, perhaps putting them in an envelope, bag, or hiding them around the room.
One of our favorite ways of introducing new items is with the Mystery Box. It’s easy to make a Mystery Box and it may quickly become one of your favorite teaching tools. Once students recognize the song and The Box, they will be very excited when they see it, there’s always something good inside!
You can make a Mystery Box out of any box. Just wrap it or decorate it with question marks, letters of the alphabet, seasonal pictures, or whatever you like. Just looking at the box itself can be a whole activity.
Play the “Mystery Box” song and point to the box. Ask students what they think is inside. You can give hints and have them guess. Look inside and act very surprised, intrigued, and excited to build the tension. Slowly pull out one item, in this case, a toy, and have students identify it.
Look it over together, demonstrate how to use it and make up a gesture for it. Pass it around so everyone can take a closer look. Then move on to the next item.
After you have taken all the items out of the Mystery Box, you can use the objects to play games or use with a song.
Here’s a video from MILK English in South Korea. You can see just how fun a Mystery Box can be!
Do you have more tips for using a Mystery Box in the classroom? Please share them below!
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