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ESL New Year's Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan includes New Year's celebrations and traditions for an ESL classroom. Students will write New Year's resolutions, participate in a mock celebration, sample New Year's foods, and summarize what they have learned in a letter.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the reasons behind celebrating the New Year
  • Describe several New Year's traditions

Length

This lesson will take approximately 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards

ELP.9-12.8.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases in oral presentations and literary and informational text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.5

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Vocabulary

  • kick the habit
  • quit cold turkey
  • resolution
  • ring in the new year
  • turn over a new leaf
  • watch the ball drop

Lesson and Activity Instructions

Materials needed: video clip of the New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City, stemmed plastic cups, sparkling apple cider, paper plates, plastic forks, greens, cabbage, ham, black-eyed peas

Activate prior knowledge by asking students how they celebrated New Year's in their native country. Search for commonalities among cultures. Create a Venn diagram as a class that compares New Year's traditions in other cultures to United States' traditions.

Ask students:

  • What is a New Year's resolution?

After listening to student responses, clarify meaning and ask them what they think each of the following idioms related to New Year's resolutions might mean:

  • kick the habit
  • quit cold turkey
  • turn over a new leaf

Make sure students have a clear understanding of each of these phrases.

Give students a few minutes to write three New Year's resolutions for the upcoming year. Encourage students to use these sentence stems:

  • I will kick the _____ habit.
  • I will quit _____ cold turkey.
  • I will turn over a new leaf by _____.

Go around the room and have each student share one of their resolutions with the class and explain why they chose it.

Play a video clip of the ball drop in Times Square on a previous New Year. Ask students to write down the parts of the video that stand out to them. Discuss the significance of the following:

  • the countdown
  • the ball dropping
  • the New Year's kiss
  • the champagne toast
  • holiday dress

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