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Christmas SLAM DANCE!

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This is a Christmas lesson to teach some symbols and vocabulary of Christmas and to teach the difficult skill of selective listening.
FIRST, copy the lyrics to a Christmas song. (I use the song The Christmas Song-"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...) This song has many difficult words and symbols of Christmas. I use the CD by Babyface, Christmas with Babyface. SECOND, write out the difficult vocabulary on individual cards.These should be the main words which hold the meaning of the sentence and hence the song. THIRD,make some big cards with the same vocabulary and possibly a translation into their language.
Next, divide the class into groups. I usually make groups of about 6. I take the big cards out and practice the pronunciation through mimicicking of the words.This is so they can also practice the listening of the word too.THEN, the learn the translation of each word and also the explanation of context for each one.This takes a while so be prepared. AFTER, quiz the students by showing the word in their language and they have to give you the English one that you taught.
THEN, the students are each given the set of cards. I usually put about 23 cards or so. I especially put three Merry Christmas cards down for some fun.Then the students play SLAM! They listen for the word that I call out and race to pick it up. It is a little loud because of the excitement so be prepared to yell.The Merry Christmas, I usually say near the end so that the enthusiasm goes back up.
FINALLY, students usually have a lot of fun playing and want to play again. They will, but this time to the song. I use the BABYFACE CD. They are instructed to only listen for these words and not to worry about all the song. Play this twice as the first time is difficult. You may also want to help the various groups during the song a little. I usually give the written copy of the song and have the groups work as a team to place the cards in the order of appearance in the song. They usually don't have much time to do this so they must use selective reading which reinforces the selective listening.
This should help your students learn that meaning is more important than grammar or the perfect sentence. They will have a lot of fun doing it too.
Please let me know if it works well for you too. I am usinf this in Japan and it works great. John ---- duke76@iname.com

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