John's ESL Holidays
Part of John's ESL Community, this site has historical information, interactive activities and printable classroom activities for 15 of America's most celebrated holidays.
35 Reasons Why I Love You! (Valentine's Day)
Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love! At this site, you'll find a list of 35 reasons why someone might love his/ her girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband.
You can send this list to your special someone, but it would be more interesting if you wrote your own list. Read this list for some ideas, and then write your own ideas. Try to make it as personal as possible. Include some special memories that the two of you have together. When you're finished, email your list to your sweetheart, or if you want to be more romantic, write it in a very nice Valentine's Day card and mail it!
Crush Quiz (Valentine's Day)
Do you have a crush on someone now? Is there someone you really, really like or someone that you're dating? Do you have a steady boyfriend or girlfriend? At this site, you can find out if you and your "crush" will make a good couple.
Take the 10-question "Crush Quiz." For example, "If you have tickets for the baseball game, but your "crush" wants to see a movie tonight, what will you do? Choose one of the answers. After you answer all the questions, the computer will tell you how many "daisy petals" you scored and if you and your crush will make a good couple.
The Language of Love (Valentine's Day)
This site will teach you about love in the 19th-century in America (the Victorian era). Be sure you check out the "Flirting with Fans" section, and when you're finished, click on E-CARDS at the bottom of the page to send a Victorian card to your favorite valentine.
Think about the rules of romance in your country. Make a list of 6 rules. For example:
-A woman should never call a man.
-The man should be taller than the woman.
-You should never kiss on the first date.
Read about the rules in the Victorian era again. Are they the same or different than today's rules in your country. Do you think the rules are better today or were they better in the 19th century?
St. Patrick's Irish Word Puzzle (St. Patrick's Day)
St. Patrick's Day is a day when everybody is Irish. Don't forget to wear something green! Here's a fun word puzzle to try for St. Patrick's Day. Try to find the words at the bottom of the page hidden in the puzzle. Good luck!
here to find out more about St. Patrick's Day and St. Patrick himself. Then write take the short quiz. What did you learn about this fun day?
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (Thanksgiving Day)
One of the most popular Thanksgiving traditions in America is Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which is famous for its many giant balloons. This amazing parade takes place in New York City, and millions of people watch it on TV. At this site, you can read about how they blow up the balloons and get ready for the parade. There are lots of great pictures, and you can even listen to what people said.
Is there a famous parade in your country? Write a short essay about the parade. What is it called? When is it held? What is in the parade? Share your essay with your classmates.
Vintage Thanksgiving Cards (Thanksgiving Day)
Thanksgiving in the U.S. is a very special holiday when families meet and have a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and lots more! Everyone gives thanks for all the good things in their lives. Some people send cards to their family and friends on Thanksgiving. On this site, you'll find lots of vintage (old-fashioned) Thanksgiving cards that you can send online.
Choose a card that you like. Then choose some music and the colors you want to use. Write a title for your card and then write your message. In your message, write about the things in your life that you are very thankful for. Then send the card to a friend or family member.
How Christmas Works (Christmas)
Are you getting ready for Christmas? Is Christmas a "big deal" in your country? At this site, you can learn all about the traditions of a North American Christmas. For example, do you know why people put up Christmas trees in their houses? Have you ever wondered why children hang up big stockings on their fire- place mantel? To learn about these and other Christmas traditions, just click on any question.
WorldView! Christmas Around the World (Christmas)
At this site, you can find out how people celebrate Christmas all around the world. Read about each country's traditions and customs by clicking on the country that you want to read about.
How do you celebrate Christmas in your home country? Write a short report about the customs, traditions, and special events that take place in your country. Compare them with the customs in your classmates' countries.
Momisms! (Mother's Day)
Can you remember some of the things that your mother always said to you when you were a child? (Maybe she STILL says them to you!) It's amazing how mothers all over the world say the same things to their children! At this site, you'll find a great collection of "Momisms: Things your mom always said!"
Make a list of things that your mother used to tell you (or maybe she still does).
-Don't sit too close to the TV!
-Eat all the food on your plate!
-Don't run in the house!
Compare your list with your classmates' lists. Are they similar or different?
Mother's Day Message (Mother's Day)
Mother's Day is a special day to honor your mother. This page has a special Mother's Day message. If you like it, you can send the page to your mother, along with your own personal message. (Click on SEND THIS PAGE TO A MOTHER NOW at the bottom of the page.)
American Flag History (Fourth of July)
The Fourth of July is Independence Day in America. The USA became a country over 200 years ago! Americans take the day off to have picnics, watch parades, and enjoy giant fireworks displays. At this site, you can see and read about all the different American flags throughout history. You can see how the flag has changed from 1775 until today.
What does your home country flag look like? Draw a picture of your flag, and show it to your classmates. Do the different parts of your flag have special meanings? Explain to the class what your flag means.
Ghost Stories (Halloween)
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen a ghost? Do you know anybody who has seen a ghost? ARE YOU A GHOST? One of the fun Halloween traditions is telling ghost stories. At this site, you'll find lots of (true?) ghost stories that people have sent in.
Do you know a scary ghost story? Make some notes about the story, and then tell your story to some of your friends or classmates. If you've never actually seen a ghost, or don't know a good ghost story, that's ok. Just make one up! To really enjoy these stories, you should tell them with the lights off, and some candles burning!
The Moonlit Road (Halloween)
Here are some great traditional ghost stories and folktales from the American South. You can READ these stories, or you can LISTEN to a storyteller telling the story. New stories will appear each month, so check back.
Do you know a traditional folktale or story from your home country? Make a few notes about the story, and then tell the story to your classmates.
The History of Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Day)
Thanksgiving is a very special holiday when families gather and give thanks for all the good things in their lives. This holiday started out as a traditional celebration of the harvest time. In fact, this kind of celebration has occured in many different cultures. At this site, you can read about celebrations of the harvest from all around the world.
Tell your classmates about a harvest celebration in your country. What happens on this day? Is it similar to the celebrations on this site? If you don't have a special harvest celebration, talk about another special holiday.
The Many Faces of Santa (Christmas)
How old is Santa Claus? Well, the Santa Claus story began about 1700 years ago with a real man named Saint Nicholas. At this site, you'll learn about the history of Santa Claus and how different countries have different Santa traditions.
Do you have a Santa Claus tradition in your country? Write a short report about your tradition and then compare it to your class- mates' stories. Have a class discussion about other Christmas traditions in different countries.
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