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In the upcoming months, there is a range of cultural events that we can celebrate and use to help enrich our curriculum and help our students learn and explore other cultures. For me as a teacher, this time of year has always been fun packed with so many celebrations packed together! I still remember the time that Chinese New Year, Valentine times Day and Shrove Tuesday all fell on the same day! (If you are wondering what we made, it was heart-shaped Chinese pancakes).
Below are the Inspire teams top tips of how LGfL’s Energise award-winning curriculum resources can support you in celebrating upcoming events, either as lessons or as enrichment activities.
Chinese New Year Friday, 1st February
For Chinese New Year have a look at the seasonal calendar in Busy Things, filled will fun activities to explore the celebrations, including Designing your own fireworks display, colouring in Chinese lions and dragons and exploring the Chinese zodiac.
Do please remember that the Busy Things platform also has a range of fantastic printable resources: you can look at activities looking at when and what Chinese New Year is the legendary race, the animals and their characteristics, and the lanterns traditionally used as part of the celebrations.
How about getting your students to make a year of the Tiger card using this Chinese New Year template, made with just2easy’s j2e5 tool, use the template here.
Valentines Sunday, 14 February
Like the day or not, Valentine’s Day does not just have to be a day of spending money on gifts; it can also be a day when we can celebrate the idea of love and kindness and who doesn’t need a bit of that at the moment?
The seasonal calendar in Busy Things has a fun, simple to make Valentine’s Day card that could be posted or sent digitally. Or why not write a valentine rhyming couplet like me? Don’t worry if you don’t get a card on the day, just download the card below!
Another way to make a card is by using the powerful versatile tool Creative Cloud Express* which offers a wide array of designs and templates so you can make your own gorgeous Valentine’s day cards. Simply pick the template that best fits your mood, adds text, or swaps the image with one of your own, see the project template here.
*Adobe Spark for Education is now known as Creative Cloud Express for Education. This new browser-based creativity tool brings together the Creative Cloud Express app, Photoshop Express, and Premiere Rush. You can still use your old Spark passwords and any projects you have saved will still be available. (Adobe has worked with Google to make sure that Creative Cloud Express is fully compatible with Chromebooks.)
Art can be a great way to express and explore the concept of love, you may want to use this idea from Art Skills for Teachers from the Ben Uri Gallery, Drawing with Words, this is a great way to combine literacy and visual art. It works best if the student has sets of felt tip pen-style calligraphy pens, but the same method can be used without them. Think of the object (something or someone you love) you would like to draw. Come up with a list of describing words for that person, scene or object, for example for a beach scene you could write, calm, windy, breezy, and also the words for the objects that you might find there such as shore, waves, sand, beach, boat etc.
You could also do this activity digitally by exploring typography, creating word art in the j2e5 tool, getting your students to think of a word and get your students to explore font style, colour and size to create a simple piece of word art.
Another way to explore the concept of love is to share with your students examples of artwork that students could explore and then create their own digital piece of work using the paint tools found in jit5, I recommend the wonderful emotive piece by Keith Haring ‘Mother and Child‘ or Robert Indiana series called ‘Love’. You can use the recording feature found in jit5 to ask your students to share their feeling on the pieces as well.
Shrove Tuesday, 1st March
The team at Widgit have created this easy to follow pancake recipe it’s perfect for use on Shrove Tuesday or any other day of the year. Each page of this accessible recipe sheet is symbol-supported. Just go here to download this free resource.
If you want to keep the activity mess-free you could also make virtual pancakes using the Busy Things pancake maker activity again found in the seasonal calendar. Let me know in the comments what your favourite filling for a pancake is (mine you ask? It is a melted Cadbury’s Creme Egg!)
Speaking of favourite toppings you could run a quick survey, asking your students what their favourite topping is using just2easy‘s Pictogram tool found in Jit5, a simple activity to do when delivering live registration.
Please do share your upcoming celebratory creations with us on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook pages as we would love to share them with the greater LGfL community.