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Exploring famous British celebrations

Julia Robinson

There are many festivals, holidays and events throughout the year in the UK that people celebrate. In this article, we’re sharing another activity from Exploring British Culture, part of the Cambridge Copy Collection. The activity explores a range of British celebrations from April Fools’ Day to Guy Fawkes’ Night. Have you heard of them all before?

Warm Up

Ask learners if they know the names of any British celebrations. Prompt them with images of celebrations for learners to identify, e.g. Guy Fawkes’ Night, Valentine’s Day, Christmas. Tell learners they’re going to read about some famous British celebrations. Give out one copy of the questionnaire to each learner and focus on the headings. Ask them what questions they need to ask to get the correct information. For example: what’s the name of the celebration? What’s the date? Drill the pronunciation of questions.

Activity

There are two ways to deliver the activity.

Option 1 (suitable for stronger learners)

Give out one set of cards to groups of six learners. Each learner reads their own card and fills in the information about their celebration on their questionnaire. Learners then ask each other questions to complete the rest of the chart. Go over the answers with the class and discuss any points of interest.

Option 2 (suitable for weaker learners)

Put enlarged photocopies of each information card onto separate tables or pin them around the room. Tell learners they are going to read about some popular celebrations. Learners work in pairs and walk round the room to complete their questionnaires. Go over answers with the whole class.

British celebrations questionnaire

Extension

The class makes a timeline following the British festival year, adding further celebrations and significant days in the calendar e.g. historic days, religious celebrations, sports events and other popular celebrations. Learners can do more research into any of these and/or develop their wall chart/book/blog.

Download the activity and print for students to use in class.

If you’re interested in British Culture why not read our article People who changed British history with free downloads.


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