I can still remember the first day I read this story. It was around two or three years ago. I had a subject at uni where we needed to prepare a theatre play in English for a school! It was awesome to perform for all those kids, to see them excited as well as scared each time a ghost appeared “Scroooooogeeeee, under the bed! the ghost is under the beeeeeed!” When we proposed to do Mickey’s Xmas Carol as one of our storybooks, I didn’t doubt it twice.
REVIEWING PREVIOUS VOCABULARY
We started the day by doing a reviewing of the vocabulary that we had learned the two days before. We believe on building knowledge by taking into account the previous learnings. So, that’s why is essential to recycle vocabulary and bring back some learnings before starting with new content.
To do this, we took a board. In this game, every kid has a role so they have a direct involvement. One child stands on the board that is facing the sofa, another kid is sitting on a chair placed between the board and the sofa, and another child sits turning the back to the board.
The first child writes any word that they remember form the last days. The one in the middle can’t see this word but he/she needs to guess it by hearing the descriptions produced by the ones sitting on the sofa.
We wanted to create expectations and predictions before readig the story, and the cover of this book was the perfect one to do that. They looked at the picture, where Mickey appears and they read the headline that says Mickey’s Xmas Carol. As you could expect, the story was going to be about Mickey… and carols. Also, we had a short conversation about carols: which carol was the last one they had sung, …
Although most of the children know this story, the vocabulary from the book can be quite tricky, especially the names of the characters. Because of that, we presented the characters and pre-taught some vocabulary before reading. You can use our free set of Flashcards downloading them here.
While we were pre-teaching the vocabulary, we realized that for the little ones it was a bit hard to understand the concept of ghost. They were getting into temporal concepts and they needed to understand that in the story, each ghost represents past, present or future, and with each of them, Scrooge was going to travel across time. To solve this, we resort to TPR (Total Physical Response) making a clear movement for each of the ghosts.
After the story, we asked them if their predictions were correct. They enjoy to realize that nothing that they predict actually had happened! Here is the Amazon link where you can purchase the book.
THE GROWING TREE-TPR
“Let’s stretch our bodies! Let’s imagine we are a small seed laying in the ground. We really want to grow; we really, really want to touch the sky. So little by little our body stretches in the way to the sun; some branches have started to appear; they really want to feel the warm; and we make our best to reach some rays of light”
We suggest you to try it before by yourself at home. It feels good and with children, it absolutely works to tell them these short stories full of imagination that connect directly to every muscle of their bodies.
GUESS THIS XMAS CAROL
We proposed a listening activity. It had two variations adapted to the level of the children. They were going to hear different Christmas carols. One worksheet had these carols in a different order and with several gaps that they needed to fill in. For the little one, it was a worksheet with pictures related to the songs and she needed to guess which one was in each moment and circle it. For example, bells for the song Jingle Bells.
Here you download our Worksheet.
CRAFT: SECRET SCROOGE
The value of today was sharing, as Scrooge learnt at the end of the story. That’s how we came up with the idea of making a “Secret Scrooge” based on “Secret Santa”. We put their names in some pieces of paper and we bent them, gave one to them and go to our Art&Crafts room. They prepared a present for their secret Scrooge without disclosing their secret!!! Definitely, the best was to hear their nervous, mystery and impatient laugh.
Then we watched the movie, pausing it along the video to make questions about the story. If you are interested in purchasing it, here is the cartoon DVD.
And now, the moment that they were waiting for the whole day…
We discovered that they were into music: two of them played guitar and another the violin. We though that, unquestionably, we should do a moment to connect with their deepest interests and make an experience from that. We didn’t know how we were going to do it but we were going to make real for sure. Finally, we found someone interested to make a collaboration and participate on making this day together for the children.
We asked them the day before to bring their instruments. And at 2 o’clock the musician Erik Sjöholm arrived. He is from Finland and, of course, they needed to comunicate with English. He prepared a wonderful workshop with them, teaching some new movements to the violinist, some finger typing to the guitarist and present new instruments to explore to the little one. At the end of the day, they had had learnt some carols and we performed them for the mums!
It was such an experience for them that they will never forget. It was surprising to see them making their best to speak English to communicate to him, to understand what he was explaining and they were that engaged that they didn’t realize how much English they had had produced!!!
We encourage you, teachers, parents and everyone that share their time with children, to dive and discover what is inside their hearts and make LEARNING EXPERIENCES from there. You will find kids full of enthusiasm and eagerness to learn and explore life.