Teachers: are you doing a lesson about New Year’s this week? Here’s a listening activity you can give to your students. Have them listen once without looking at any handouts, then try to fill in the blanks in the worksheet. Let them listen two or three times before you hand out the transcript and have them check their work—you’ll find that they’re much more interested in the content if you let them struggle with it for a few minutes first. If class time allows, have them listen again with the transcript in hand, marking stressed words (I recommend calling them ‘strong’ words unless your students are fairly advanced). Then have them practice reading aloud once or twice.
Fill in the blanks
Happy New Year! Or is it really? On my calendar, New Year’s Day is January first, but that’s not the only calendar. In _________ __________, we use a calendar called the Gregorian Calendar. Other cultures count time differently, so they ___________ on different days.
You probably already know about Chinese New Year, which happens sometime in January or February on the Gregorian Calendar. In English, we sometimes call it the “Lunar New Year”, because the Chinese calendar ___ _________ ___ the moon. Chinese families gather together for a big reunion dinner. They also clean their houses, so they “_______ ______” the old year and make room for the new one.
The Coptic Calendar is also different. Christians in Egypt use this calendar, and their New Year is on September 11th. This is the day that the star Sirius rises in the sky in Egypt. They have a _____________ called Nayrouz. They honor the martyrs, people who died for the church. In Ethiopia, children gather up and hand out bouquets of flowers as a _______ of spring.
Persian people have a New Year tradition called Nowruz. Like Chinese people, they have a _______ __________ and visit family. Some people also believe that what you do on New Year’s affects the rest of the year—hey, Japanese people think that, too! Nowruz is really interesting, because the date is calculated by the sun. It’s on the day when the sun ______ ___ _____ the equator, which we call the March Equinox. It usually occurs on March 20th.
I hope you have a happy New Year, and please remember to wish a happy New Year to all of our friends ____________ the world. Thanks for listening!