Theme-based syllabus design: Christmas celebrations and suggested EFL activities for Greek senior high schools
Celebrating Christmas in Greece! Theme-based syllabus design for EFL senior high school teachers B1 ,B1+, B2 (Intermediate level) Christmas activities and tasks Vasiliki Papaioannou, EFL teacherEdD in Teacher Education, MA in ELT, BA in English Language and Literature, QTS
Introducing Christmas Expressions- How many expressions do you know forChristmas and New Year?• Merry Christmas!• Happy Christmas• Happy New Year!• Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!• Wishing you a prosperous New Year!• All the best for the coming year!• Seasons Greetings!- Can you think of any more seasonal expressions?
-How much do you know about Christmas? - Can you think of any local or international Christmas customs and traditions?- Can you answer the following questions about Christmas traditions all over the world?- In the Christmas vocabulary which follows, how many words do you know?
Writing a Christmas PoemInstructions:• Get children to think about and brainstorm things that remind them of Christmas.• Then ask them to write a two-verse poem, verse one starting with the words "Outside at Christmas...." followed by several descriptive sentences, and the second verse starting "Inside at Christmas..." and followed by more sentences.http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/themes/christmas/christma (4/12/2012)
Tips for poem writing:Students can try and link their linesbetween verses to show contrast, e.g.(outside at Christmas) trees are bareand branches thin/animals search forfood in the cold and in the second verse(inside at Christmas) trees are ladenwith baubles and lights/people areeating mince pies around the fire etc.
Example of Christmaspoems with activities: -‘What kitten sees’ -‘Long, long ago’
Long Long Ago – Christmas poem! Author Unknownhttp://www.teachingideas.co.uk/themes/christmas/_files/nightbef orechristmasassembly.pdf (4/12/2012)Winds thro’ the olive treesSoftly did blow,Round little BethlehemLong, long ago.Sheep on the hillside layWhiter than snow;Shepherds were watching them,Long, long ago.Then from the happy sky,Angels bent low,Singin their songs of joy,Long, long ago.For in a manger bed,Cradled we know,Christ came to Bethlehem,Long, long ago.
Can you write your own Christmas poem now?-What is the ‘Long, long ago’ poemabout?-Who is going to read your poem?-Which words related to Christmas doyou want to use?
Before you take a look at the acrosticpoem below, try to answer the questions:• Do you know what an acrostic poem is? Can you guess?• Are there any seasonal/festive words you would like to use in order to write an acrostic poem?• Would you prefer to write an acrostic poem alone or as part of a group?• Can you think of some of the features of an acrostic poem?• Have you ever written an acrostic poem in English or in your mother tongue?
Can you write your own Christmasacrostic poem now?You can get help from the following Christmas vocabulary word list GOOD LUCK!
Christmas Vocabulary Word Listhttp://www.myvocabulary.com/word-list/christmas-vocabulary/ (4/12/2012)
Writing task: Write to Santa!Compose a letter to Santa andpersonalize it with information aboutyourself.Tip: You can have a discussion session firstto decide what kind of questions studentswant answers to.
Can you follow the instructions? (1)• 1. Draw a square blue present under the tree to the left of the bucket.• 2. Colour the bucket in red.• 3. Colour 5 baubles in purple.• 4. Draw a star on top of the tree.• 5. Hang a small red stocking from the bottom branch.
Can you follow the instructions? (2)• 6. Colour 5 baubles in orange.• 7. Draw a triangular green present under the tree to the right of the• bucket.• 8. Draw a candy cane on the top branch of the tree.• 9. Colour 5 baubles in blue.• 10. Finally, colour the rest of the tree in green.
CHRISTMAS TREE: ORIGIN AND MEANING - How much do you know about the Christmas tree?• The Christmas tree is one of the most popular and cherished Christmas customs.• Each year, 35-40 million live trees are purchased and decorated in the United States alone.• But when, where, and how did this custom begin? What is the origin of the Christmas tree? What does it mean?
Is the CHRISTMAS TREErelated to the Greek Orthodox Church?• The Christmas tree comes to us from the Gospel from the family tree of Jesus Christ, which is read the Sunday before Christmas in the Orthodox Churches. • During Byzantine times as the manuscripts testify, Christmas trees were placed in the churches in state of the ornaments they had the prophets icons. On the bottom of the tree the icon of Prophet Jesse on the top a star and in the middle of it the icon of Christ blessing with His two hands.http://www.stdgocunion.org/christmastraditions.html (4/12/2012)
How much do you know about the Christmas tree in the West?In the West though the tradition ofChristmas Tree flourished especially duringRenaissance. Not only churches decoratedChristmas trees but also the town squaresshops and houses. The pine tree was chosen,imitating the Cedar of Lebanon, that is atree that never throws its leaves but standsstill during the strong winds of winter, so tobe strong during the New Year facing anyproblems that we are going to face.
CHRISTMAS preparation & celebration in Greece• Who is St. Nicholas?• St. Nicholas is important in Greece as the patron saint of sailors. According to Greek tradition, his clothes are drenched with brine, his beard drips with seawater, and his face is covered with perspiration because he has been working hard against the waves to reach sinking ships and rescue them from the angry sea. Greek ships never leave port without some sort of St. Nicholas icon on board.• When is Christmas celebrated in the Greek Orthodox church?• The Greek Orthodox Church is celebrating Christmas on December 25th, on the same date as the Catholic and Protestant Churches.
- How is Christmas celebrated inGreece?After 40 days of fasting, the Christmas feast is looked forward towith great anticipation by adults and children alike.Pigs, lambs and goats are slaughtered, women usually bakeceremonial pastries during this time for the big family meal, servedafter church services on Christmas Day.Melomakarona are honey-dipped cookies often stuffed with nuts.Kourambiedes are cookies dusted with powdered sugar and verywhite, Diples are fried dough cookies, dipped in honey.On almost every table are loaves of Christopsomo ("Christ Bread").It is a round loaf, decorated on the top with a cross, around whichpeople will also make symbols shaped in dough that representwhatever it is they do in life.
- What do you know about Christmas decorations in mainland and Athens:Christmas trees are decorated in homes andcolourful lights strung outside on balconies and ingardens. Towns and villages are lit up withChristmas lights and displays. Boats are alsodecorated - not just those in the harbours, butsmall boats placed in town squares and in gardens -in honour of St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailorsin Greece.Christmas in Athens is enchanting with the mainSyntagma Square being transformed into a winterwonderland of Christmas lights, decorations, acarousel and Christmas stalls.
- What happens during the Twelve Days ofChristmas?• The 12 days of Christmas run from Christmas Day to January 6th, Epiphany.• There are a number of special traditional Greek Christmas and New Year customs.• Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th December, while Santa Claus or "Agios Vassilis" (St. Basil) as he is known in Greece, visits Greek children on New Years Eve rather than Christmas Eve.• Christmas Carols (the Kalanda) are sung by children on Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and the the Eve of Epiphany.
- How is the New Yearcelebrated in Greece?• New Year in Greece is celebrated with large outdoor parties in the town and city squares, usually with live music, dancing and fireworks.• Greeks also love to gamble on New Years Eve and play a game of dice zaria.
- Who’s St Basil in the Greek Orthodox Church?• On New Years Day, a special cake called Vasilo Pitta the cake of Saint Basil is cut at every house hold. A gold coin is placed in the cake and is cut into triangle pieces for Christ, for Virgin Mary, for St. Basil, for the house, for the business, for the father, for the mother, for the children, an so on.• Who ever gets the coin is the lucky person of the year. This tradition comes from St. Basil when he was distributing loaves of bread to the poor he was putting in a gold coin to help them.
- What is Epiphany ?• Ephiphany, "Ta Fota" or "Theofania" in Greek, on the 6th January commemorates Christs Baptism and is another important Greek national and church holiday.• The Blessing of the Waters is symbolised by the throwing of a cross into the sea by a priest, while swimmers brave the chilly waters to retrieve it.http://carolinacrete.hubpages.com/hub/Christmas-in-Greece (4/12/2012)
Name days in Greece for some of themost popular Greek names aroundChristmas days
A thoughtful Powerpoint presentationfollows encouraging children to think ofothers at this time of year.Contributed by Lisa Daniels.http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/themes/christmas/ind ex.htm (4/12/2012)
Our ChristingleToday we have made a Christingle toremind us that Jesus is The Light ofthe World. Here are some images tohelp us focus our prayers today. Aftereach prayer read by your teacher we allsay:“Jesus shine your light.”
The War In Iraq Lord we pray that you will help to restore peace in Iraq soon. “Jesus shine your light.”
Poverty Lord, around the world there are so many people who have no homes or money. Please help them this Christmas time. Amen.“Jesus shine your light.”
Hunger Lord, we’re so lucky that we have plenty to eat. Please help us to remember all those children in Africa who will die this year because they have nothing to eat. Amen. “Jesus shine your light.”
Your Prayers Think about somebody you know that needs help from Jesus at the moment. Maybe you know someone who is poorly or upset. Ask Jesus to shine His light into that situation. You can take your Christingle home tonight. When you look at it remember that Jesus is always with you,shining His light into your life, helping to show the way.
- Can you write your own prayersfor Christmas? Think of aperson/relative/family/country etc. in need and write down a prayer!
Reading Comprehension Christmas ActivitiesRead the following textscarefully and answer thequestions:
Melomakarona (honey cookies with walnuts)• INGREDIENTS • Preheat oven to 200c• 2 cups oil • Beat oil well with mixer, then add the sugar, both zests, orange• 1 cup sugar juice, semolina, and then, a little• 1 cup orange juice at a time, the flour mixed with• 1 cup fine semolina the baking soda.• 1 kilo soft flour • Form the dough into small shapes, as the pastries will get• 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda quite big while baking. Make sure• Lemon and Orange zest the oven is hot before baking, otherwise the pastries will• Simple syrup: (In a pot, mix flatten. Bake for about 30 together 1 cup each of water, minutes until pastries are firm honey and sugar and bring to and golden brown. boil while stirring • When completely cooled, arrange constantly.) in rows in a pan and pour warm• Crushed walnuts syrup over them. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts.
Fill in the blanks in the following recipe: • Melomakarona INGREDIENTS 2 cups oil 1 cup sugar 1 cup orange juice 1 cup fine ……………… 1 kilo soft ……………………….. 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda Lemon and Orange zest Simple syrup: (In a pot, mix together 1 cup each of water, honey and sugar and bring to boil while stirring constantly.) Crushed ………………
KourampiedesINGREDIENTS: • Preheat oven to medium (175c).• 2 kilos soft flour • Whiten the butter by• 1 kilo butter beating by hand for ½ hour. Add the sugar, cognac,• 300 grams powdered almonds and finally the flour, sugar mixed with the baking soda. Continue to beat until all• 300 grams crushed ingredients are well mixed. roasted almonds • Mold into the familiar• 1 small glass cognac shapes of the kourambiethes and place• 1 teaspoon baking soda on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.• Rosewater Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with rosewater, then roll in the powder sugar.
Fill in the blanks in the followingrecipe:‘Kourampiedes’ INGREDIENTS:• 2 kilos soft flour• 1 kilo ……………• 300 grams …………………• 300 grams crushed roasted …………….• 1 small glass cognac• 1 teaspoon baking soda• Rose………………………
Can you guess the preparation for‘Kantaifi’?In a large bowl, mix the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon andcloves. Melt the butter. Brush the bottom of a 9 x 13inch pan with melted butter. Open the kataifi dough,divide into 5 parts. Take one part, loosen the dough andfluff. Spread on bottom of pan. Sprinkle with walnutmixture. Repeat this three more times. Spread kataifi ontop. Pour butter with a spoon evenly over whole pan. Cutinto pieces. Sprinkle a few drops of cold water on top.Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until golden lightbrown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slowly pour hotsyrup over the kataifi letting it soak in before pouringmore. Cover tightly.http://cordelia.typepad.com/anastasia/2009/11/mondays-greek-recipe-kantaifi-soropiasto-kataifi-in-syrup.html (4/12/2012)
Stuffed Turkey Ingredients for Stuffing • 3 medium onions, finely sliced • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed • 5 tablespoons olive oil • chicken liver and heart, rinced and thinly sliced • 90 gr. long-grain rice, rinsed and drained • 200 ml hot water • salt and black pepper • 90 gr. pine nuts, browned in a frying pan • 45 gr. sultanas (optional) • 1 teaspoon oregano • 1 teaspoon thyme
Can you guess the preparation forturkey stuffing? Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the chopped livers and ground lamb. Cook, stirring to crumble, until evenly browned. Stir in the rice, cinnamon, mint and tomato paste. Mix in 1 cup of the water, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Tips about…the Christmas turkey• Remember that a fresh Turkey can be recognized by the following: The chest has to be long and broad, the skin shiny and stretched. The legs should be fat, full of meat. If you press the meat it should be soft and the legs shiny• Choose a seasonal salad. You can easily prepare a vegetable soup out of the Turkeys broth. Just boil the Turkey and dont waste the broth. Use it for cooking the soup.
Xristopsomo http://greekfood.about.com/od/greekbreadspitas/r/christopsomo.htm• Ingredients:• 8 cups of all-purpose flour• 1 teaspoon of salt• 1 1/2 tablespoons of dry yeast• 1 cup of warm water (105F, 40C)• 1 cup of warm red wine• 1/2 cup of olive oil • 1/3 cup of pine nuts • 1 tablespoon of grated gum mastic or 1• 1/4 cup of orange juice tablespoon of crushed anise seed• 1/4 cup of brandy • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon• grated peel of 2 oranges • 1 teaspoon ground cloves • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg• 1 cup of sugar • ----------• 1 1/2 cups of raisins • For the Topping• 1 1/2 cups of walnuts, coarsely • milk chopped • 2 whole walnuts in shells • sesame seeds
Can you guess how‘Christopsomo’ ismade? Can you guess how the following chicken soup is made?
Chicken (egg-lemon) souphttp://greekfood.about.com/od/greeksoups/r/Chicken-Soup-Avgolemono-Greek-Egg-Lemon-Chicken-Soup.htm (4/12/2012) Ingredients: • 1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs. with excess fat trimmed and breast skin removed • 12 cups water • 2 carrots cut in half • 2 celery stalks, cut in half • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in half • 2 bay leaves • 5 whole black peppercorns • 2 tsp. salt • 1/2 cup orzo pasta, or rice • 3 eggs, at room temperature • 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
Chicken soup - Preparation:Add first eight ingredients to a large stockpot. Bring the water to a rapid boil,lower heat to medium low and simmer partially covered for approximately anhour to an hour and a half.Remove the chicken and vegetables to a bowl and carefully strain the broththrough a fine sieve into a large bowl. Return the strained broth to thestockpot and bring to a boil.Add the orzo pasta and cook, uncovered for approximately 10 – 12 minutes untiltender.While the pasta is cooking, prepare the egg-lemon mixture. Using a whisk beatthe eggs until nice and frothy. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice in asteady stream while continuing to whisk.When the pasta has finished cooking, turn off the heat. Ladle about two cupsof broth into a bowl or large measuring cup. Slowly add the hot broth to theegg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk. This will temper the eggs andprevent them from curdling once they are added to the hot broth.Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the pot and heat over very low heat forapproximately 5 -10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil thesoup once the eggs have been added.Adjust your seasoning for salt and pepper and add more as desired.Traditionally, this soup is served without the chicken meat or vegetables. Youcan add them back or serve on the side as you prefer.
Can you describe your favorite(Christmas) recipe?-Is it food or a dessert?-Is it complicated or simple?-What are the main ingredients?-How often do you cook it at home?
MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Vasiliki Papaioannou firstname.lastname@example.org