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Here's how I used real Christmas cards to create a cool lesson. First I
ask the class what they know about Christmas. I explain that although the
origins of the season are religious, in Australia it is widely celebrated
as a secular event. Christmas is a time when people take a holiday, spend
time with their family and make a special effort to be nice to each other.
I also point out that in Australia it is summer in December - so a lot
of people go to the beach!
Then I bring out a whole lot of my old Christmas cards! I tell the class that instead of New Year cards, in Australia we send out Christmas cards before December 25th. We send them to family and friends, and especially people we are unable to meet - like relatives who live overseas. My mother is English so I have a lot of relatives living in England and I get a lot of cards from England.
As I pass out the cards for everyone to look at I tell the class who sent each one. An Australian friend living in Kobe, My aunt and uncle from England, My grandmother, who also lives in England, Two Australian lawyer friends working in London, My Mum and Dad in Sydney, My best friend in Sydney, An old school friend in Sydney, My sister in London, My cousin, her husband and little girl, in Sunderland, England
Then it's time for the kids to make up their own cards! (tell the school beforehand so there will be paper, glue etc ) Taking ideas from my cards each student makes a card to give to someone close to them - mother, father, best friend. At Elementary School I didn't teach writing, but for this lesson I taught the kids the phrase "Merry Christmas" and wrote it on the board. I also showed them how to address a card with "to" and "from" - or "love" in the case of family members!
For those kids who wanted to I let them copy the phrase into their card, but the rest of the card was written in Japanese. My kids had a ball making their cards, and the best part of the lesson was the number of cards I got!
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