Activities to start off the New Year!

I have always loved reading my prediction for the upcoming year- as do my students! I have been making these horoscopes and predictions for many years, and my students would leave them on their desk. More students came in and read them! It was pretty much a dream come true! I am continuing with the tradition of rewriting them in comprehensible Spanish for levels 2 and up. I want to start with sharing their predictions from last year. On a piece of paper, they can write what was true and what was false from 2019. Then, I will share the current predictions in the PDF below and students will read their prediction for 2020:

(FYI: If you have downloaded the original article, this is the edited copy! Thanks to Diego Ojeda!) I also plan on having them complete an interpersonal speaking task like I did last year. I like for them to reflect on what is important to them in a prediction. To extend the activity, you can discuss the tradition of the 12 grapes. I showed a few videos including this one and we practiced the tradition with Goldfish instead of grapes! (I didn’t want any choking! Last year, Kristel suggested using mini marshmallows!) If you want more of the tradition, I suggest this EdPuzzle that is extremely comprehensible.

Some of my other favorite ideas include:

  • Checking out this list of the 10 best movies of 2019. Turn this into an interpersonal activity by asking your students how many people watched it and if they liked it or not. I suggest to do this with older students as some of these movies are rated R.
  • I always like to play this game for weekend chat to start off the New Year as well. I stay away from where people went and discuss how long people slept, what they loved to eat, who they talked to etc and have their peers guess what they will say.
  • I have been reading a lot of research around retrieval practice and brain dumps. Brain dumps can be low-key ways to remember what students were discussing before break. I like to have students recall key words and phrases from the first half of the year. Then, students could write a creative story using a variety of the words that they recalled. If I am in between a novel, I have had students brain dump events on sticky notes then put them in order once they are done. I have also displayed just the picture from each chapter and have students write down as much as they can about that chapter or picture.
  • Both students and teachers need a way to ease into the New Year and remembering routines. I wrote a post about low key activities to do. For the New Year, I would suggest drawing activities or play-doh. You could have students create a play-doh sculpture to represent what they hope for in 2020.
  • Finally, if you want to reinforce some vocabulary, PearDeck Vocabulary is always super fun and engaging for all students.

I would love to hear how you plan on starting 2020 in your classroom!

ps: Check out my new home page! I decided to redesign it. My hope is that it makes older posts easier to find. I would love feedback on it!


8 thoughts on “Activities to start off the New Year!

  1. Thanks for all of your great resources, Maris! I’ve always done horoscopes in level 3 for future tense, but ya know what? I get new kids on Monday and I’m going to use this in 2, 3 and 4 on day 1!

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