Saturday, 17 May 2014

Creating Wacky National Holidays! - Learning Dates and Events. (free ppt. download!)

Update 2016: Hi all, I made an updated version of this PPT for the new lesson which has similar vocabulary. Here's the download link, free! 

Preview new slides :

Project outline slide:

Our current 6 Grade topic is "When Is Your Birthday?". Now, this topic is a little strange because in the textbook it starts off talking about your birthday - day, month, ordinal numbers - but then it completely changes in the next parts to National Holidays and events like 'parades', 'helping the sick/poor people' and 'enjoying cookies' . Weird much?

So, basically the textbook wants us to teach ordinal numbers and a few bits of new vocabulary such as 'enjoy' , 'help' , 'national holiday/ public holiday ' as well as practice the future tense "I will..." again as it was in the previous lesson.

(Note: We did a lot of ordinal number based activity lessons leading up to this project)

 So in order to make the lesson a little more exciting and worldly I decided to do a lesson about some strange (Politically correct: 'different') national holidays around the world - because the textbook ones well, sucked. Only Earth Day, Sports Day and random 'Cookie Day' were in there...not my cup of tea.

Anyway, this is my powerpoint lesson for the Strange Holidays Around the World! Note: it does appear a little wordy but you can skip some chunky parts or adjust to your level.
Download "World's Strangest Holidays" ppt.

And here's a link to a free worksheet you can use (optional) with the PowerPoint, it just has them writing down the key info of each holiday. Takes a bit more time though, 

Take a Look at the slides:
Notice how in my slides I am using the future tense "It will, they will, when will..." - good practice !

So you get the idea, I did about 5 more slides and the class were enthralled learning about the strange events in other nations. I even heard them talking about it to their other friends in the hallway - success! And one of the holidays - the punch your neighbour day- happened to fall on the day we had class! I had to tell them they're not allowed to punch anyone unless they're in Bolivia...then that's fine.

After the powerpoint lesson we did our project and this was where the madness begun. I told my classes that they were going to makeup their very own "Crazy Holidays" and they got very excited. As a precaution I prepared two envelopes with random 'crazy name holidays' and in the other envelope I put in 'crazy things to do ...'  and I told the class they could either choose one from each envelope to write about or they could completely make up their own. This really helps the lower level students or those that are less creative. Also, it helps keep a healthy pace because sadly we don't have all day to do our projects and younger kids can take so long to get started (especially those spacey boys of mine).

Some of my "crazy" holiday names included "Spiderman Day", "Cat and Dog Day", "Make a Snowman Day", "Iron Man Day" ... so they're not too out there but enough for the kids to get a laugh. And some of my "crazy" holiday activities included "We will give gifts to our dogs", "We will not eat for 12 hours" , "We will sing Let It Go"... again, using the future tense we are studying.

The Instructions
Your Crazy Holiday Poster Must Include:
  • The name of the holiday
  • The date, and full correct spelling of the day number and month "It's on...."
  • The activity you will do on the day "We will..."
  • The place it is celebrated "It will be in....."
  • Include "Please come!" or "Please bring....."
Note: I did an example with the entire class on the white board before we started that looked a little like this (using the textbook example so they already knew the facts and could tell me what to write):

"Earth Day"
It's on April twenty-second.
We will pick up trash and enjoy the parade.
It's all over the world!
Please come and bring friends!

Here are some of my student's crazy holiday posters they came up with....

Chickens running marathons!

I especially liked the creativeness of this one! ^ "We will throw knives at shoes" - what a wacko!

Update 2015 : My new small school - we did the same lesson, and it went really well!


 Another teacher I know used this idea for her class and these are a couple slides of her powerpoint:

 She added Postcards for the kids to read ! A cool spin on the idea and revisits the Where are you from lesson also!

To see more of her lesson and download her powerpoint go to: My Korean Classroom

Happy Teaching!


  1. This activity looks AWESOME! I'm teaching the last part of this lesson tomorrow. Thanks for the post!

    1. Thanks for the support. Let me know how it goes! my email is, take photos of your student lesson and I'll put it up here to show other teachers how the lesson can work in different classes.
      Good luck and happy teaching!

  2. Wow, this activity went over really well in my class! Some examples of students new holidays were "Delicious Bread Day", "Spongebob Day", "Hot Food Day", "No Phone Day", and others. Thanks so much for the idea!!

    1. I'm so glad it worked out! Your students sound really creative :)