New Game: “Th” practice 1st, 2nd, 3rd Advent Calendar Game! (+ Black Friday Deal)

Pronouncing 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. ( the “ordinal” numbers) can sometimes be a bit tricky, ย especially if the local language doesn’t have all those “th” and “s” sounds.

So…. just like with the other Seasonal lessons, ย let’s use some Christmas spirit to make it Genki!

And what better way to do it than using an Advent Calendar and making it into a game!


1. Either draw a big advent calendar on the board, or make one out of ordinal number flashcards (and put points on the back of each card), or if you want to go all the way make a stack of shoe boxes, one for each date with a door opening at the front and a secret present inside!

2. Ask the kids a review question (any of the Christmas questions will do) and the fastest one to answer gets to throw a sticky ball at one of the dates on the board. ย If they can say that date in English e.g. “December 21st” then they can either rub off that date and get a point (if you just drew it on the board), ย take off the flashcard and see how many points are on the reverse (if you used flashcards) or open the door to get the secret present if you went all the way made the shoe boxes!

Ninja Tip: Or if you want even more ordinal practice try some silly maths by saying “What is the 4th add the 9th?” and the kids have to shout out the answer i.e. December 13th! ย Yeah, it’s not correct English nor maths, but it’s good ย extra “th” practice if you need it! ๐Ÿ™‚

3. ย  Keep going until all the dates have gone.

The team with the most points or presents is the winner.

Ninja Tip: ย If you’re using flashcards, also put a “Whiteout!” card behind a few of the numbers. ย If any team picked that card they lose all their points!

The shoebox one also works really great for Christmas parties, ย make it so each person gets a go and hence a present!

Let’s Genki it up even more with the songs…

If you want to make it even more Genki, do the Ordinal Numbers Song in the When is your birthday? software first, ย the kids love it!

And of course it’s also really great to link up with the How many days till Chritmas? song and lesson.

Do let us know what you think in the comments!


Be genki,


P.S. ย Don’t forget the Software Homework Programme is only open until Nov ย 27th, ย get in now if you’d like to join us.

P.P.S. ย  It’s Thanksgiving on Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving! – and then it’s Black Friday the next day. ย  Now I don’t have a Genki English offer on this year ( the Teacher’s Set is already too heavily discounted) but if you want to have a try learning a language the Genki way yourself, I do have a special offer on my Japanese Learning Kit. ย  Until Saturday you’ll be able to buy the super video version for the same price as the regular mp3 audio only version. ย Full details are here and there are also a ton of great workbooks and posters in with the pack too – I think you’ll like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

See how I got fluent in Japanese!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

3 Responses to “New Game: “Th” practice 1st, 2nd, 3rd Advent Calendar Game! (+ Black Friday Deal)”

  1. Margit

    Great ideas~ though I think better than the game is the “How many days till Christmas”, this song just rocks!

    My kids loved it, got it right away, and for the first time ever I am finally doing the “Twelve days of Christmas” song with even my 3rd graders, this year.
    I always wanted to do this as I love the idea and concept of the song.
    But it was wayyyyyy to hard for my kids even the oldest ones.
    So, I am very surprised that I indeed got this level~thanks GE!!!

    And with the “How many days till Christmas” I am not running out of ideas for games~ it is just so much fun and naturally reviews numbers (ordinary and ordinal!)

  2. Susan K

    I really need to revise ordinals as the ‘th’ sound is so difficult for students. Thanks for this!

  3. Hannah

    One christmas idea from my school (there’s not a lot of English involved, but the kids love it) is to have a “real” advent calendar for the class:
    Every child brings one little wrapped gift (1-5$) and you put dates onto the wrapping. Then you need the name of every child on a piece of paper which all go into a Christmas stocking. Every day somebody can draw one (or two depending on the size of the class) of the papers and that child gets todays present. You of course need to see the class every day for this, but another teacher can easily take over from you.

    The kids find this very exciting and it is a nice ritual at the beginning of the lesson to get everybody into a christmassy mood.

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