Halloween: fortune-telling, vampires and witches, brain pudding and eating “land shrimp” –

Fortune telling – only 100 czech crowns (4 euros) per question!

I gave a lesson around Halloween time involving the future tense, with a complete Fortune Telling business – only four euros per question! Every child has a role (not fixed, rotated): a secretary for writing the questions, another for writing the various answers, a cashier, two fortune-tellers, a “cook” whose “soup” contains some of the answers, a “turtle-whisperer” whose turtle is named Nostradamus, a crystal-ball interpreter, two witches, and of course, some knowledge-hungry customers. Everyone contributes to the questions and answers. Roles are rotated to avoid monotony and to have fun while including all kinds of verbs, nouns, adjectives, geographical locations, famous people, facts and principles from various school subjects so the children remember what they learned in their lessons with their classroom teacher. All in English!



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Above:  Halloween is a great way for children to learn not to be afraid of the images associated with death.  Mexico’s Day of the Dead is a good example of this.  Next year I will introduce the Day of the Dead to my students; this year I focused on some of the more American stapes of Halloween: Count Dracula in his coffin, the Grim Reaper by his side, and their teacher as a witch ;), eating vanilla pudding from a brain mold and making “witch soup” in a cauldron.



In another Halloween lesson, I created a “Zombie Restaurant” complete with both real and imaginary dishes from around the world. The students had to look at a powerpoint presentation of various dishes and vote which ones were actually real.  Some of the real dishes included various stir-fried insects from Thailand, grasshoppers from Mexico, snails and frogs’ legs from France, fried bats from New Guinea. We discussed nutrition, personal tastes and the concept of an open mind.  We also talked about what hot-dogs and chicken nuggets from fast-food restaurants are really made of.  The point here was not to convert children into eating strange and foreign things for their own sake, but to not be quick to dismiss them or at least to understand the idea that what seems “gross” to us can be a delicacy to someone else… and that some of those strange foods are actually full of nutritional value and certainly healthier than the fat, salt and processing that goes into making a hot-dog!  Some aspects of the animal treatment behind the making fast food and processed food was also discussed.

At the end of the class, one child cleverly suggested that insects were “land shrimp” … and most of us will agree that shrimp are delicious!


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