New Uses For Old Calendars – Naomi Epstein
Many teachers around the world have recently replaced their classroom calendar with a new one for the New Year. Seeing a calendar hanging in a classroom is a common sight. Calendars are useful, every teacher knows that!
However, calendars have a hidden quality – they continue to be useful, particularly for an EFL teacher, well after the calendar-year has ended. So, make sure to ask everyone you know to save their old calendars for you, because once you begin using old ones, you can never have too many!
Here are a few things you can do with old calendars. Even better, try the following suggestions with your students. While some lines may end up crooked and the lettering of the signs not uniform, involving the students is greatly beneficial.
1) Liven it up!
Decorating the classroom with pictures cut from old calendars is a great way to begin. Liven up unattractive surfaces such as old doors:
or ugly binders:
2) Visualise Prepositions!
Calendars tend to portray –
* pictures of places (in, at, on)
* pictures related to the weather (seasons – “in”),
* pictures of sunsets and nighttime shots (“at night” “in the evening”, etc.)
* names of months (in) and days of the week (on)
(our classroom cupboards)
3) Utilize the Paper!
* Many calendars are made of good quality paper. Some are made of thicker paper, resembling (to varying degrees) construction paper. The parts of the calendar that have been written on, crossed out and marked, make an excellent backing for pages/worksheets (paste them on!) that need to be laminated or hung on the wall.
* Students often prefer to create their own personal set of flashcards. Many schools limit the amount of construction paper they will supply. All the empty white spaces around the “date section” of a calendar make great flashcard material.
4) Destroy and Enjoy!
Have the students practice following instructions by cutting out corresponding words and pictures from the old calendars. The instructions can be simple or complex:
- Paste something blue here.
- Paste the name of the month after March here.
- Paste a picture of a person. Then paste pictures of three things you could give this person.
Remember! The sky is the limit so save those old calendars!
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