If you’re looking for the best New Year games and activities for students, including some New Year’s resolution ideas, then you’re in the right place. Keep on reading our best ideas.
ESL New Year Activities and Games
Let’s get into the top New Year ESL activities for adults, teens, and children.
#1: Just a Minute New Year’s Resolution Activity
Try out this fun warmer activity for your New Year’s lesson plans. Put students into small groups of 3-4 and the first student has to talk about their resolutions for the upcoming year for an entire minute without stopping.
The other students have to listen carefully and then ask a follow-up question or two after. Repeat the process with the other students. It’s simple but fun! Try it out today:
#2: Task-Based New Year Activity
I love to include some task-based activities in most of my classes. One that works particularly well for this topic is to put students into small groups. Then, they can each choose a country around the world and do some research about how they celebrate the new year.
After that, they can make a poster or PowerPoint slide and do a short presentation to the class. Find out more options here:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 111 Pages - 03/22/2021 (Publication Date)
#3: Group Discussion about New Year’s Resolutions
I love to talk about New Year’s resolutions with my students, both past and future. They are something that almost everyone has experience with and also some strong opinions about.
However, maybe you’ve had a similar experience? If I tell my students to talk about their New Year’s resolutions for a certain amount of time, I’m often met with some nervous talking and silence. I find that more structure works a whole lot better. Here are some of my tips for New Year’s Resolution activities:
#4: Word Association
It’s often the case that students know a good bit of vocabulary related to New Year’s before you explicitly teach them. That’s why I like to use an activity like this one to help them activate their prior knowledge before adding new words into the mix. Find out all the details here:
#5: New Year’s Resolution Dictogloss Activity
Try out this challenging listening activity with your higher-level students. It works well with any topic, including something like New Year’s or Memorial Day.
Find, or write your own passage of something talk about their resolutions for the upcoming year. Put students into pairs, read it out at a faster than normal pace and have students take notes about what they hear.
Then, students can compare what they have with a partner to try to recreate what they just heard. Read it out again and students do the same. Finally, they can compare what they have with the original version you read. Learn more about it:
#6: ESL Surveys for the New Year
I like to do surveys in my holiday lessons because everyone has such different experiences about how they celebrate them. Plus, they’re student-centred and a nice way to get students out of their seats and moving around the class. Learn more about how to make your own here for a nice New Year’s Resolution activity:
#7: Chain Spelling Game
If you’re teaching new vocabulary related to New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, then consider playing this quick game that reviews spelling.
Students have to stand up and then the teacher says a word. Students take turns spelling it out, by saying one letter. If someone misses, they sit down and are out of that round. This is a much better activity for smaller classes than big ones. Find out more:
#8: Dialogue Substitution
A common way to introduce new grammar or vocabulary in a TEFL lesson is with a dialogue. However, it’s often too easy! That’s why I like to pump up the difficulty like this:
#9: Making Predictions for the New Year
New Year’s lessons often use a lot of language related to predicting the future. If you teach students for a few months or a year, it can be quite a fun exercise to get them to make some simple predictions about what will happen. Then, at a certain point in the future (6 months or a year), you can check and see if what they said has come true.
Here are some of the best activities related to predictions:
#10: Speaking Fluency Activity
Try out this speaking activity with higher-level students. Put students into pairs and they have to talk for an entire 2 minutes about their plans for the upcoming year.
Then, they switch partners and have to include all the same information from the first round but in 90 seconds. This means that they have to speak more quickly. For the last round, students do the same thing in 60 seconds. It’s also possible to reduce the time to something like 90-70-50. Find out more:
#11: New Year ESL Conversation Starters
If you tell students to talk about New Years, without any structure, it can often fall pretty flat. This is especially true for beginners.
However, conversation starters can make this activity go much better! I find that students like having something they can hold on to, or some questions they can ask a partner if they run into a dead-end. Try it out for yourself and see how it goes:
#12: Vocabulary Auction
If you want to review words like resolution, firecracker, party, January, first, etc., then consider playing the vocabulary auction game. It does certainly require some prep time so I’ll generally only do it if I can recycle this activity over a few classes.
Make some sentences using lots of the target vocabulary. Then, cut out each individual word and laminate them first if you plan on using it multiple times.
Then, put students into groups and hold an auction for the various words. After that, students can trade with other teams for a certain period of time. The goal is to make as many grammatically correct sentences as possible. Check it out:
#13: New Year ESL Listening Lesson
It’s certainly possible to plan an entire listening lesson based on a passage of someone talking about their experience with New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. I like to include some listening lessons in my classes because they’re a nice change of pace from the usual communicative activities in ESL textbooks.
If you want to learn the steps to follow to do this, have a look at this article:
#14: ESL New Year Reading Lesson
It’s also certainly possible to plan a reading lesson centred around New Years’. Find, or write your own passage about someone talking about their experience. Or, a conversation between two people.
Then, there are a number of reading-focused activities you can do, and of course, don’t forget to do some post-reading activities as well. Here are some of the top picks:
#15: Running Dictation
This is a nice 4-skills ESL activity that lends itself well to just about any topic, including holidays. Find, or write a conversation between two people talking about their resolutions or plans for the new year. Then, cut it out and post it at various points around the classroom on the wall.
Students have to work together to dictate the conversation and then put it in the correct order. It’s a nice way to get students out of their seats and moving around. Find out the details here:
#16: I’m an Alien
This is a fun activity that I like to do with kids. I pretend that I’m an alien and have no knowledge about New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve. I sometimes pretend that I’m not even familiar with a calendar and time.
Then, I get students to explain it all to me. It’s fun and a nice way to elicit a ton of information from students and to find out what they already know about a topic. Find out more:
#17: Picture Prompt
A nice warmer activity to find out what vocabulary students already know is to find a picture related to people celebrating the new year. Then, elicit information from students about what’s happening in the picture. Check it out, including the various options for different levels of students:
New Year’s Resolution Lesson Plans
If you’re looking for some New Year’s lessons, here are some of the top options to consider.
ESL New Year Worksheets
If you’re a teacher, then you’re going to know how much time it can save to use what other teachers have created. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Here are some of the best New Year’s Worksheets, including resolutions:
New Year’s Vocabulary for ESL
Here are some of the most popular words to consider teaching your students:
- Auld Lyne Sang
Did you like these New Year Activities for Students?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
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Have your say about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Games and Activities
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Last update on 2022-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API