Children love learning about festivals and the way other people celebrate them. It’s also fascinating for them to compare how they celebrate the same festival in their own country.

Author: 
Jo Bertrand

Easter is widely celebrated by children across the world and it is interesting from a cross-cultural point of view to develop at least a few activities related to eggs, bunnies and hot cross buns! Don’t forget that Easter is a religious festival and so you can evoke the origins of the symbols of Easter without having to go into too much detail for the younger children.

Aims

  • To encourage cross-cultural awareness
  • To practise prepositions of place: under, next to, behind…
  • To practise instructions: up, down, left, right, go, stop...
  • To practise pencil control for very young learners
  • To introduce months and seasons

 Materials

  • Coloured card for eggs
  • White paper for photocopies of eggs
  • Some real eggs to blow before class and decorate in class
  • A pin to blow the eggs
  • Pens to decorate eggs
  • Blu tack to stick the tail on the bunny
  • Some cotton wool to make a fluffy tail for the bunny
  • Ingredients for hot cross buns to make in class or at home to taste in class (see link below)

Age
All primary (see individual activities for approximate ages)

Easter word poem (10 – 12 years)

  • Write the word ‘Easter’ vertically on the board.
  • Brainstorm all the words they can think of to do with this festival. Write them randomly on the board except the words that begin with a letter from the word ‘Easter’. These words you can write directly next to the appropriate letter.
  • Then see if the children can think of any more words in English that begin with the letters in the word ‘Easter’ to fill in the gaps.
  • If they can think of some Easter related words it’s even better but they may find this difficult. Possible words are eggs, April, spring and rabbit
  • You can then use these words to create a class poem. Remember it doesn’t have to rhyme. They can be creative as they like with the sentences just help with the grammar.
  • Write the poem onto a large sheet of paper that you cut out in the shape of an egg to display. Ask volunteers to write a sentence each. Other volunteers could illustrate the poem by picking a word from the poem and drawing something to represent it.
    Easter is an exciting event.
    April is the fourth month of the year.
    Spring is a sunny season.
    Today is a special day.
    Eggs are delicious.
    Rabbits have fluffy tails.

Activities with eggs

Pencil control (5-7 years)
Decorating eggs whether it be on paper or on the real thing is a fun way for the younger ones to practise controlling their pencil, drawing straight lines, zig zags, wavy lines and dots. This helps them for when they learn to write.

  • Draw and photocopy an outline of an egg for them to decorate. Why not begin a zig zag or wavy line for them to complete.
  • If you’re feeling more adventurous then collect some real eggs, prick them carefully with a pin and blow the contents out. Make sure you have some spares for breakages and prepare them in advance of your class.

Colour dictation (5-6 years)

  • Draw a series of small Easter eggs and dictate which colours should be used to fill them in.
  • Practise ‘big’ and ‘small’ by dictating ‘Colour the small egg blue.’ ‘Colour the big egg pink and yellow.’

Egg hunt (7-10 years)
Do this with small chocolate eggs or simply with eggs drawn on coloured pieces of card.

  • It’s good if you can hide the eggs around the classroom before the pupils come in. If this is not possible then each time you (or they) hide an egg you get a volunteer egg hunter to leave the room.
  • Use this activity to practise prepositions of place such as ‘under’, ‘behind’ and ‘next to’.
  • You could spilt the class into groups by colours. The red team has to find all the red eggs for example. Number the team members and blindfold number 1. The class has to direct him or her using the prepositions of place that you will have taught them before the game or in a different lesson.
  • Make sure the hiding places are easily accessible if using blindfolds.
  • If you have three teams searching at once then it could get rowdy so why not have a whispering rule!
  • Don’t forget that everyone should find an egg by the end of the game. They can then stick them in their books or eat them – depending on what you decided to use.

Activities with bunnies

Pin the tail on the bunny (5-10 years)
Use this party game to practise body parts.

  • Distribute photocopies of a bunny with his body in sections that the children can cut out themselves.
  • Once they’ve cut out the body parts you can get them to put the bunny together again, colour and stick.
  • They can colour each part a different colour then you could play bingo where you call out the body part with a colour – e.g. ‘a green leg’, ‘a pink head’ and they turn them over or place them in their books as you say it until one person has used up the whole bunny. Play a few times before they stick them into their books. They could then label the parts.
  • Have three large sets of body parts made out of card. Split the class into teams and blindfold the first member of each team. They are given a body part and some blu tack and when told to go they must walk to the board, guided by another team member and place their body part on the board. They then pass the blindfold back and the next team member must do the same with the next body part until all the body parts are on the board.
  • You could do a simpler version of this game where you put a picture of the bunny on the board and the children (again blindfolded) must take it in turns to place the fluffy tail on the bunny. Mark each attempt with their names and designate a winner at the end. You could spin them gently before they get to the board to make it harder.

Pet rabbits (10-12 years)
Make the topic relevant to the children by discussing what pets they have. Find out if any of them have rabbits as pets. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to having a pet rabbit. Go to this link for ideas:
https://www.thespruce.com/rabbit-care-guide-1239306

Famous rabbit stories (7-12 years)
Brainstorm the famous bunny rabbits they can think of in their own culture. Tell them about Bugs Bunny, Roger the Rabbit, Miffy, Peter Rabbit, etc. If you don’t have access to any of these storybooks or films you can listen and read online some Peter Rabbit stories here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsUoJ_M0z0lRKe1DdfKTbt4PRQqow3j46

For younger children you can find some printable Peter Rabbit activities here:
http://www.peterrabbit.com/play/

Hot cross bun recipes (10-12 years)
If you have access to a kitchen then consider making these hot cross buns with your class:
http://www.dltk-holidays.com/easter/hotcrossbuns.htm

You can introduce cooking instructions to them such as ‘mix’, ‘stir’, ‘add’ and most importantly ‘clean’!

Rhyme (7-10 years)
Teach this traditional rhyme to your class:

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters give them to your sons
Hot cross buns, hot cross buns.

If you want to use alternative lyrics which talk about buying the buns you can set up hot cross bun stalls and develop a ‘shopping’ lesson. The vocabulary in this version also includes ‘fresh’, ‘sweet’, ‘nice’ and ‘light’. 
https://www.kididdles.com/pdf/songsheet_h064.pdf

Internet links

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