Cultural Celebrations ESL Activities and Worksheets

Tanabata

ESL Tanabata Activity - Vocabulary and Speaking: Matching, Gap-fill, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Writing Sentences - Group Work - Elementary (A2) - 25 minutes

In this cultural celebrations activity, students learn about the Japanese festival of Tanabata and take part in one of the traditions by writing wishes on a tanzaku. First, students work together to complete sentences about the Japanese festival of Tanabata. Students take it in turns to read one of their assigned sentences to the group using the word 'blank' for the missing word. The group members then each read the two answers in their answer box. Together, the group chooses the most suitable answer and everyone writes it in the sentence on their worksheet. Next, students read example wishes and choose the one that is most suitable for them. Students then ask their group members for their wishes and write their names and choices on the worksheet. After that, students write their own wishes in a coloured box. The coloured box resembles a tanzaku—a paper used to write Tanabata wishes. Finally, students cut out their wishes and use them to decorate the classroom.
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Good Times

ESL Celebrations Activity - Speaking: Listing, Asking and Answering Questions, Freer Practice - Pair Work - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this free cultural celebrations activity, students talk about personal and public celebrations they have throughout the year. Working alone, students write down all the celebrations they have throughout the year in a monthly calendar on the worksheet and make notes on how they celebrate each one. In pairs, students then take it in turns to interview their partner about the celebrations, e.g. 'Do you celebrate anything in January?' Students also ask follow-up questions about each celebration to gain as much information as possible, e.g. 'How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?' Afterwards, students give feedback to the class on one of their partner's celebrations.
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Thanksgiving

ESL Thanksgiving Worksheet - Reading and Vocabulary Exercises: Answering True or False and Comprehension Questions, Crossword - Speaking Activity: Freer Practice - Pair Work - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this Thanksgiving worksheet, students learn about the American celebration of Thanksgiving and related vocabulary by completing a variety of exercises. First, students read a text about Thanksgiving. Students then read a series of statements about the text and indicate whether they are true or false by circling the correct answer. Next, students answer comprehension questions about the text in their own words. After that, students complete a Thanksgiving crossword using the key vocabulary from the text and a set of clues. Lastly, students pair up and choose a cultural celebration that is important in their country. Students then talk about the celebration with their partner using the questions shown.
Thanksgiving Worksheet Preview
 

Lunar New Year Crossword

ESL Lunar New Year Crossword - Vocabulary: Crossword, Writing Clues, Describing, Guessing - Group and Pair Work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this Lunar New Year activity, students complete a crossword by describing and guessing words related to the festival. In two groups, students invent and write down clues for the Lunar New Year words on their crossword. Students then pair up with someone from the other group and take it in turns to ask their partner for a clue to one of their missing words. Their partner reads out the clue for that Lunar New Year word and the other student tries to guess what it is. If the student guesses the word successfully, they write it on their crossword. If not, their partner continues to give more clues until the student is able to guess the word. When the students have finished, they check their spelling by comparing crosswords.
Lunar New Year Crossword Preview
 

St. Patrick's Day

ESL St. Patrick's Day Activity - Vocabulary: Matching, Answering Multiple-Choice Quiz Questions - Pair Work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 20 minutes

In this St. Patrick's Day activity, pairs of students race to search for information about St. Patrick's Day in order to complete a matching activity and quiz the fastest. Pairs begin by matching St. Patrick's Day vocabulary to definitions. Next, pairs complete quiz questions with the vocabulary from the first exercise. Pairs then search online in English to find the answers to the quiz questions. The first pair to correctly answer all the quiz questions wins.
St. Patrick's Day Preview
 

Ramadan

ESL Ramadan Worksheet - Reading and Vocabulary Exercises: Matching, True or False, Multiple-Choice and Short Answer Reading Comprehension Questions - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

In this Ramadan worksheet, students learn about the Muslim holiday Ramadan and its associated vocabulary. First, students read a text about Ramadan and match words from the text to their definitions. Students then answer true or false questions about the information in the reading by circling the correct answer. Students then move on to answer multiple-choice questions about Ramadan. In the last exercise, students answer questions about Ramadan.
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