Friday, December 18, 2009

Last Day Holiday Party

Lesson of the Day: Cross-cultural traditions, winter holiday party.

Intro: I put on pop-y Christmas music and asked my kids to tell me what they know about American Christmas traditions. I was a little weirded out when the first class shouted "SOCKS!" until I figured out they were talking about Christmas stockings (why DO we call them stockings? They really are more sock-like). They know interesting things...for example, in one class, 5 kids said that Santa Claus resides in Finland, while one vehemently argued that he lives in the South Pole and depends on penguin labor.

Group Work: I split them into 5 groups of 4, and assigned each a sub-topic of Korean holiday culture.
A)How adults/parents in Korea celebrate Christmas
B) How children celebrate Christmas
C) What special music Koreans listen to around the holidays
D) What do non-Christians in Korea (read: Buddhists) do around Christmas
E) What special foods do Koreans prepare for Christmas.

I gave them 10 minutes to brainstorm a 1-2 minute presentation on their topic, in which everyone was required to speak.

That left us with about 15 minutes; 5 minutes for my mini-presentation on Hanukkah, complete with a little history and ple-e-enty of food porn, and 10 minutes for a joyful, sugar-crazed game of dreidel. I tweaked the rules to make sure that everyone got at least a couple pieces of candy, but no one took home a big bag full. It was a very successful lesson, but then again, I totally cheated. Fortunately, I have no compunctions about buying my students' attention -- and affection -- with candy. Those kids have a prescribed life diet of studying, studying, quick break for rice, and more studying, and anything I can do to add a little color to their day is probably for the best.

In other news, I finally caught up on the Bubs on "The Sing Off." Penn singing Sweet Caroline is too cute for words. In both this sense and this sense. I'd been sort of prepared for that by gchatting with some of the Brattleboro crew as it was airing live, but I was NOT prepared to be blown away by their medley, too, which (presumably unintentionally) had a whole Spring Awakening thing that extended beyond Matt's resemblance to Jonathan Groff (skip ahead to about 2 minutes in for the boys part, or enjoy Glee's Lea Michelle being the young Idina Menzel-y phenom that she is. And check homeboy Skylar at around 2:22. Those glasses. That hair! A far cry from the Stagedoor Manor costume department ;) Nothing like a cardigan to bring out the non-threateningly badass schoolboy thing to its full potential.

So. Only one more day of classes to go, and on Monday I only have my mini-class of 6 second graders. And we're watching "Jingle All the Way" while I ply them with candy leftover from the holiday party, so I don't see it challenging my abilities too much. Not sure yet what I'm doing this weekend, since HSF told me during our morning drive that we are not in fact taking a family ski trip. Mostly, my plans involve extensive napping, plus probably a fair amount of baking with homestay brother, and possibly going to Insadong tomorrow to do some Christmas shopping. In any event, it's the last weekend before everyone scatters to the four winds for the next couple of months, AND the last weekend I have to do Christmas shopping. And I pretty much have no gifts, for anyone...

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