Describing NZ Holidays Exercise

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Lesson Plan: Describing Holidays in New Zealand

Curriculum Area and Level

- Subject: English
- Year Group: Year 5 (Ages 9-10)
- Curriculum: New Zealand Curriculum
- Level: Level 2 (Year 5)
- Strand: Listening, Reading, and Viewing
- Key Competencies: Using language, symbols, and texts; Thinking

Lesson Duration

- Total Duration: 50 minutes
- Class Size: 25 students

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Describe various New Zealand holidays using appropriate vocabulary and descriptive phrases.
2. Identify and explain the significance of each holiday discussed.
3. Create a short written or oral description of their favourite New Zealand holiday.

Materials Needed

- Internet access for viewing online resources
- Whiteboard and markers
- Handouts with descriptions of various NZ holidays
- Worksheets for writing exercises
- NZQA website for referencing holiday significance (Optional) NZ Curriculum Online

Lesson Outline

Introduction (10 minutes)

1. Greeting and Overview:
- Briefly outline the objectives of today's lesson.
- Discuss the concept of public holidays and cultural celebrations in New Zealand.

2. Engagement Activity:
- Ask students to quickly name any New Zealand holiday they know and what they like about it.

Main Activity (30 minutes)

1. Group Discussion and Research (15 minutes):
- Divide the students into groups of 5.
- Assign each group a specific New Zealand holiday (e.g., Waitangi Day, ANZAC Day, Matariki).
- Provide resource links/handouts about these holidays for quick research.
- Ask them to discuss within their group what the holiday celebrates, how it is celebrated, and any unique traditions or food associated with it.

2. Writing/Oral Presentation Exercise (15 minutes):
- Each group creates a short presentation or written summary describing their assigned holiday.
- Focus on using descriptive language and covering the key aspects discovered during their research.

Conclusion and Reflection (10 minutes)

1. Group Presentations:
- Allow each group to present their findings to the class either through a short speech or a written display.
- Encourage students to ask questions to their peers about the holidays discussed.

2. Reflection:
- Discuss as a class: How do these holidays contribute to the culture and identity of New Zealand?
- Ask students to write down or verbally share which holiday they found most interesting and why.


- Evaluate the group presentations or written summaries focusing on accuracy, use of descriptive language, and overall understanding of the holiday's significance.
- Observe student participation during discussions and their engagement with the research and presentation tasks.

Extension Activities

- Students can create an informational brochure or a digital presentation about their favourite New Zealand holiday to share with the school community or on the school's website.

Notes for Future Improvement

- Collect feedback from students about what worked well and what could be improved in the lesson.
- Consider integrating multimedia resources like videos or virtual tours in future sessions for more interactive learning.

Teacher Resources:
- TKI - Holiday Education Resources
- NZ History - Public Holidays for additional background information.

This lesson plan aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum and aims to engage Year 5 students in a comprehensive exploration of the cultural significance of national holidays through group work and expressive language tasks.
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