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How many days till Christmas?

Target Language: How many .... + (noun) to (verb)
This lesson is in the Teacher's Set

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How many days till Christmas?
by Richard Graham

How many days till Christmas?
How many days to go?
How many days till Santa Claus says "Ho ho ho!"

How many letters to write?
How many toys to make?
How many presents to wrap?
How many cookies to bake?

How many days till Christmas?
How many days to go?
How many days till Santa Claus says "Ho ho ho!"

How many stockings to hang?
How many gifts to buy?
How many reindeer to feed?
How many chimneys to climb?

How many days till Christmas?
How many days to go?
How many days till Santa Claus says "Ho ho ho!"

After "What would you like for Christmas?", this has to be the second most popular question in December: "How many days till Christmas?"

The grammar here is a touch higher level, so make sure you've done the regular How many song and the Genki Christmas lessons to get the vocab so all you have to add are the verbs.

Remember to gesture out all the verses!

Recommended Game:

Simply use the picture cards and get the kids to count how many there are of each item!

Or try the How many? Game

Recomended Game 2: Santa's Helpers!

This has been one of my best games this year, a great hit with all ages.

We're going to use the "How many days till Christmas?" vocab but with a little twist.

So make sure the kids know the song, then ...

1. Give everyone one "How many days till Christmas?" mini card.

2. Everyone hides their own card by placing it against their chest so no one else can see.

Ninja Tip: This is most important part of the game!

3. Everyone shouts out "I have ..... to .... " using the language on the card e.g. "I have letters to write." or "I have reindeer to feed."

4. If they find someone who has to do the same thing as they do, they link up arms. Remember they can only speak in English - in the full sentence - and can't show anyone their card. They're out if they do!

5. They keep going until they have found everyone who has to do the same thing that they do!

Ninja Tip 2: Last year we figured this might be quite a tough sentence but ... we've been amazed at how even this smallest kids have been able to understand and use the sentences due to the "chunking" of grouping the words together. P.S. It also helps if you've done regular How many? and Christmas vocab lessons first.

This is a great game for making groups class and is also fantastic for Christmas parties if you have to split people into groups to prepare things - watch the parents be amazed.

If you keep the number of cards secret then they keep on saying (i.e. practicing) the sentences for ages as they don't know how many cards there are for each activity.

Quick Discipline Technique

One of the things I try and do in my workshops is to try and include as many of the discipline techniques as possible.

This one in the video above I don't think I've introduced on the blog before, but it is a real time saver.

1. Train the kids so that when the teacher (you) puts one hand in the air, everyone has to be quiet and put their hand in the air too!

2. If anyone sees anyone else without their hand raised they have to tap them on the shoulder.

3. Watch it spread like a virus through the class making everyone quiet straight away.

Again, like with any of the discipline techniques, you've got to set out the expectations and train the kids to do it quickly. As you can see I'd been timing them and making it into a game to see how fast they could do it!

If you can get the "getting quiet" time down from 30 seconds to just 2 seconds that saves you a *lot* of time over the year. Plus you don't have to shout, raise your voice or even speak - it's all silent. :)

Plus there is the evaluation workbook so the kids can show their parents!

Some of the feedback we've been getting!

It's a real hit, Richard!! - Julia

That's a great Christmas song! My kids would love it! - Astrid

Brilliant! - Gumby

That's so nice song!!! - Yuppy

Heard the song and right there decided to use it for the lesson... - Nena

Really great song Richard! - Charlie

As always another brilliant addition to the Genki songs! - Linsey

Great stuff! - Liza

It's funtastic! - Susanna

It's just great! - Jaione

Wonderful!! - Irene

Can't wait to use it on Wednesday - Karen

Plus do check out the other Christmas songs!


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