Instructions for language assistants in Italics
This lesson is about Easter in the UK. Task 1 starts with introducing the theme using pictures, Task 2 offers some simple true or false statements about Easter and Task 3 explains how to have an Easter egg hunt in your classroom. Task 4 is a reading task about how Easter is celebrated nowadays in the UK and Task 5 asks students to plan a menu for an Easter lunch. Task 6 asks students to write a simple Easter poem.
1. Easter in the UK
Think about what Easter means to you and decide on five or six things that symbolise Easter. Try to mix the typical bunnies, flowers, chocolate, a cross etc with things that are personal to you and remind you of the Easter holidays. If you usually go on holiday at Easter, maybe an aeroplane or if you worked during the Easter holidays you may describe your job. Describe the items for your students to draw then get them to ask you questions about the items they’ve drawn. Explain how you used to spend Easter in the UK.
Task 1 Easter in the UK
Listen to your teacher and draw what she / he describes in the box.
2. Easter quiz
Some simple questions about Easter. If you have very low level students write the answers in a jumbled order on the board and get them to match them up to the questions.
2) False. The date of Easter changes depending on the moon.
4) False. Lent is 40 days
Task 2 Easter quiz
Are these statements True or False?
- Easter day is always on a Sunday.
- Easter is on the same date every year.
- Easter eggs symbolise rebirth.
- Lent lasts for the 50 days before Easter.
- The Easter rabbit is a symbol of fertility.
- The name Easter comes from an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostre.
3. Easter egg hunt
Make ten egg shapes on card or paper and number each one 1 – 10. Before the students come in to the class, hide the numbered eggs around the class and stick them to things – e.g under the bin, behind the door, next to the desk, on the board etc. Tell students they are going to do an Easter egg hunt and put them into pairs. Each pair must nominate an ‘egg hunter’ and a ‘writer’ (they can swap roles half way through). The writer must stay seated as the egg hunter goes around the room looking for the eggs. When they find an egg they must not remove it. They must remember the number and then go back to their partner and quietly tell their partner where it is. “Number four is under the table next to the window” etc.
The first pair to hunt down the ten eggs and write their position in English wins.
If it is the first time the group has done a running dictation style activity, make sure your instructions are very clear and demonstrate the task with a student. In the demonstrations show them that they must not remove the eggs and they must not shout back to their partner from the egg’s location. They must remember the number, return to their partner and whisper the location .
Task 3 Easter egg hunt
At Easter in Britain, some people do Easter egg hunts. You are going to do one in your classroom. Listen very carefully to your teacher’s instructions.
4. Easter: Reading task
Ask the students to read the text and match the paragraph headings.
A – Modern Easter in the UK
B – What it means
C – Chocolate eggs
D - A matter of taste?
Task 4 Easter: Reading task
Read the text and put the paragraph titles in the correct place.
- What it means
- A matter of taste?
- Modern Easter in the UK
- Chocolate eggs
CHOCOLATE, EGGS, EASTER AND…MORE CHOCOLATE: EASTER IN THE UK
For a lot of people in the UK the Christian festival of Easter means the opportunity to eat chocolate eggs.
As soon as 2 January arrives, shops remove the Christmas product lines from their shelves and the Christmas decorations from their windows. What fills the empty spaces? Chocolate Easter eggs, Easter bunnies and Easter chicks, despite the fact that Easter itself doesn’t come along until a few months later. This year Easter Day is on Sunday 16 April. Easter also means we have public holidays, Good Friday and Easter Monday, it’s the longest public holiday after Christmas and people sometimes take the opportunity to take a short break away from work by extending their leave. Cheryl from Liverpool said, ‘I use the Easter break to visit relatives and socialise with friends, the chocolate giving and receiving is a good bonus!’
Easter is a spring festival. In the Christian festival, it celebrates the resurrection of Christ. In the European pre-Christian tradition, it celebrates the return of nature and greenery after the cold, snowy winter. Both the Christian and pagan versions of Easter celebrate life and rebirth. The Easter chick symbolises new life, the rabbit represents fertility and the egg symbolises both. That is why painted eggs or chocolate eggs are given as gifts at Easter.
Chocolate Easter eggs are sold in larger numbers every year in the UK. Confectionery companies make chocolate eggs for every type of chocolate bar available throughout the rest of the year. The British people consume more confectionary than any other country in the world! That's not even per head; that's per country! Of course, it depends on the amount of givers, but the average child in the UK receives 6 – 10 large chocolate eggs and that’s not including the small ones.
Not only are the British eating more and more chocolate, but they are also demanding chocolate of better quality. European Union law means that British chocolate-making companies have to put more cocoa solids in their 'chocolate' than they used to. British companies that fail to do so are not allowed to say they make 'real' chocolate! New chocolate has come onto the market that is slowly educating the British pallet and changing consumer patterns.
- What did you find out about Easter in the UK?
- Would you like to spend Easter in the UK? Why/ why not?
- Are there any special times of year in your country when you eat special sweets or chocolate?
5. Easter lunch menu
In Britain many families get together for a special lunch on Easter day. Ask students to look at the choices and decide if they are starters, main courses or desserts and to mark them with the correct letter. Then discuss in groups which dishes they would choose and write them on the menu. The groups can then compare their choices with each other.
Starters: Smoked salmon, asparagus soup, spring vegetable salad.
Main courses: Roast chicken, roast leg of lamb, lamb curry.
Desserts: Hot cross buns (you may have to help students here!) lemon cake, chocolate eggs.
Task 5 Easter lunch menu
Have a look at the items on the menu. First of all decide if they are starters (S), main courses (M) or desserts (D) and mark them with the letter.
Hot cross buns / Roast chicken / Smoked salmon / Roast leg of lamb / Asparagus soup /
Lemon cake / Chocolate eggs / Lamb curry / Spring vegetable salad
Then choose the menu for your Easter lunch with your group. Imagine you will eat Easter lunch together so you should agree on the menu. If you don’t like the options above, invent your own Easter lunch.
6. Write a poem about Easter
This is a creative task where students write a simple poem about Easter, or if more appropriate about spring time in general. Show an example of a poem like this on the board. I’m sure you and your students can do a lot better, but it’s good to give them an idea of how to set it out.
| ||A||pril 16th this year|
| ||S||pring is here|
| ||T||ime for holidays|
|Too much chocolat||E|| |
| ||R||abbits and flowers|
Task 6 Write a poem about Easter
Use the letters in the word EASTER to write a short poem.
An Easter quiz from CBBC’s newsround site.
A BBC site explaining the religious meaning of Easter.
A BBC site with more about Easter.
A ready made Easter egg hunt.
By Jo Budden
First published 2008