At last, the new year has come and 2014 is now officially here! Nothing compares to that feeling of excitement and anticipation that a new year brings along, that’s why I feel our first back to school lessons should focus more on retrospection, reflection and decisions. Obviously, most of us will focus on new year resolutions and what our students hope to achieve this year, but we can also opt for alternative ways to celebrate the start of a new year in our lives!
1. My super power! – Ask your students to imagine that from 01/01/2014 all of them possess a super power that no one else knows about! The reason they were all given these powers though is so that they can use them to become better people and change the world! Give me them a superhero template (you can find some great ones here: http://jchriscampbell.com/2011/05/ ) ask them to create the superhero version of themselves, but most importantly explain why this special power is important and what is the thing they can change about themselves or the world.
2. New Year/I’d like to have 2014 – Acrostic poems. Ask them to write an acrostic poem using the first letters of “New Year” or even better the numbers of 2014. In case you choose the number version, tell them that each number should refer to something they would like to achieve/change/have (or not have for 0) this year. For example:
This year, I’d like to have
2 large pieces of chocolate cake every day of the week
0 worries and problems
1 big brown bookcase
4 months of vacation!:)
3. My 2014 infographic – Instead of working on a worksheet ask students to create their own infographics about their hopes/ambitions for the new year. (Use http://www.easel.ly/. Totally worth giving it a try!)
4. Fortune teller – Print one of this amazing fortune tellers here: http://www.thepartyartisan.co.uk/article.asp?article=32&pID=5. Ask your class to write down 3 new things they would like to try this year and test whether their wishes will come true afterwards – great for a warm-up!
5. Year in review (inspired by Facebook) . Ask your students to choose their favourite -or even least favourite photos- of the year that has just passed and create their own collages of 2013 moments. Upper elementary students can write short paragraphs about the things that made last year special or difficult/challenging for them. For intermediate or upper intermediate ones, you can ask them to focus on the mistakes they made last year and the lessons they learnt from them.
6. New Year message to the world. I love the free printables from makebeliefscomix , and this one in particular http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Printables/print.php?category=Holidays_and_Celebrations&file=347_Print.GIF would be great with advanced or proficiency level students.