Before starting the activity, ask your students what they know about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. Point out that although Christmas is a Christian festival, there are many winter festivals which pre-date it by several centuries, so similar celebrations happen too in non-Christian countries all over the world. Ask the students to go to the following site: www.santas.net/aroundtheworld.htm Once in the site, tell them to click on Open Santa’s Net. They will see a series of options in the red strip on the lefthand side of the page. Tell them to click on Traditions. The students work through the Crosscultural Christmas Quiz Worksheet, clicking on the country named in each question and scanning the text for the information they are asked to find. Answer key: M = masked mummers; E = elf; R = Roraty; R = rice; Y = yelka; C = charity; H = Hogmanay; R = reveillon; I = Irving; S = seed cake; T = taffy; M = marry; A = Augustine; S = service.
There is an extra worksheet, Crosscultural Christmas Fast finishers Worksheet for fast finishers which encourages them to look around the rest of the site to complete a treasure hunt.
The students read each question and decide which section they think the relevant information will be found in. They then complete the multiple-choice questionnaire. If the students have difficulty locating the section, prompt them in the right direction. The sections are included in the answer key below. 1) (Favourites / Christmas facts / Christmas cards): b 2) (Favourites / Gifts): c 3) (Favourites / Carols and songs): c 4) (Recipes): c 5) (Favourites or Traditions / How ‘Merry Christmas’ is said around the world): a 6) (Traditions / Christmas in Ethiopia): a 7) (Favourites / Christmas facts / Crackers): c 8) (Favourites / Christmas facts / Quotes, Sayings and Superstitions): b 9) (Favourites / Christmas facts / Christmas symbols / the wreath): a 10) (Favourites / Christmas facts / General Christmas facts): c
1 Divide the class into two groups. Give out Student A sheets to one half of the class and Student B sheets to the other half. Within each group, students work in pairs (on the same activity). The worksheet can be adapted for higher levels by removing some of the prompts. 2 The students create questions from the prompts. 3 Draw 2 columns on the board denoting teams A and B. 4 Decide who should answer the questions – anybody in the group or a group captain? 5 One pair in group A ask the first question to group B. If the question is correctly constructed, group A get a point. Group B must answer using a complete sentence. If their answer is correct, they get 2 points, etc. Answers (missing words in bold) Worksheet A: 1) Where do people dress up asmasked mummers? 2) Where does an elf play jokes on people? 3) Where areRoraty church services held? 4) What do they (or people) eat in Ghana? 5) What is a Christmas tree called in Russian? 6) How do you say baksheesh in English? 7) Where do they (or people) celebrate Hogmanay? Worksheet B:1) When do they eat reveillon supper in France? 2) Who did Washington Irving popularize? 3) What do women bake in Ireland? 4) Where does taffy come from? 5) What can a girl do in the Czech Republic? 6) Who introduced Christmas celebrations to England? 7) Where do people attend a Bara Din service?
Compare with your country
This is an activity which practises connecting pieces of information using linkers. Depending on the level of your class, you can choose from the following connectors: but, while, whereas, however
1 Ask the students what they eat on Christmas day. Choose an answer and write it on the board, eg We eat turkey on Christmas Day. 2 Ask the students what people in Ghana eat on Christmas Day and write the answer on the board: In Ghana people eat fufu. 3 Ask them if this is the same or different to what they eat. 4 Choose a linker and elicit how to join them together. Write the sentence on the board, eg We eat turkey on Christmas Day, but in Ghana people eat fufu. 5 Tell them to make similar sentences about 3 more facts from the Christmas quiz.