Celebrating your students’ cultural holidays is a celebration of diversity. Not only does it educate young minds about the world and its people, but it fosters tolerance and acceptance of others different to oneself. It is therefore possible to celebrate Easter in the ESL/EFL classroom in an inclusive way, without involving religion.
Here’s how to liven up your TEFL lessons with some creative Easter activities for all.
In the northern hemisphere, Easter marks the onset of spring, and in the southern hemisphere it celebrates full blooming summer. So for this fun activity to emphasise noting figurative comparisons and recognizing verbs while channeling young learners’ energy, students take turns selecting a physical plastic egg or picture of an egg with an action phrase printed inside/on/behind it. Examples include: Jump like a bunny; reach like a tree; spin like a tornado; smile like the sun, etc. Together with your students, act out the phrase. This activity works well for any of the ESA phases.
Egg Matching Language Games
Using either physical plastic eggs or print outs, such as these, or creating your own to use for online ESL lessons, your beginner to intermediate students can match the egg halves to practice parts of speech, homophones, homonyms, synonyms, antonyms, and sight words.
Tell students about a traditional Easter hunt for hidden treats. Then, for this task, explain that they’ll be going on a noun hunt to identify nouns for each letter of the alphabet! If you’re teaching in a physical classroom, hold the hunt in a designated space outside, or if you’re teaching online, provide a detailed picture (such as a farm, hospital or museum) for your students to scour. This can be adapted to groups or individuals by giving them a worksheet containing all the letters of the alphabet (as illustrated). Challenge older students to write down a mix of all the nouns: common, proper, collective, compound and abstract.
To practice those essential language skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - select one or a few of these secular Easter stories to use in the following ways:
Read aloud to your students. Follow up with a written or listening comprehension from the text.
Have your students take turns reading aloud in partners or small groups.
Act out the story, or roleplay similar situations.
Check out these cute book options, all of which are also read aloud on YouTube:
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick! By Lucille Colandro
Splat the Cat: Where’s the Easter Bunny? By Rob Scotton
How to Catch the Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace
Here Comes T-Rex Cottontail by Lois G. Grambling
Are you interested in learning more about how to create lesson plans appropriate for young learners? Invest in our 50-Hour Teaching Young Learners Specialisation course to fine-tune your TESOL teaching skills whether English teaching abroad or online.