TeachersFirst's New Year's Resources

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The New Year is a wonderful time for setting goals, reflecting, looking ahead, and making some resolutions! This collection of reviewed resources offers ideas to incorporate New Year's activities in the regular curriculum. Whether you focus on a specific activity or simply share these for enrichment outside of class, your students will find some refreshing new ideas.

 

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101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class - Joyce Povlacs Lunde

Grades
K to 12
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time ...more
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time to change the mood of your classroom! This list provides many suggestions for getting off to a great start. Although created for college teachers, most content is appropriate for all grade levels. Scroll through each section to find ideas for transitioning to a new grade level, keeping students' attention, providing support, building community, and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla" it is packed full of wonderful "sprinkles" to start your year off great!

tag(s): back to school (36), newbies (18), professional development (68)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site during back to school staff meetings to motivate teachers as they begin a new year. Share it with your student teacher before he.she gets started. Challenge yourself and other department members to check off as many items on the list as you can. Keep this list up on your computer as a reminder through the day. Revisit this site each year as a reminder of starting each school year on the right foot! Why not bookmark this site (or save in your favorites), so it is easy to find each year.

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The China Game - Asia Society

Grades
1 to 8
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Follow the dragon to each city on the map while learning about China and its culture. At each city, stop to answer a multiple choice question about Chinese rulers, cities, ...more
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Follow the dragon to each city on the map while learning about China and its culture. At each city, stop to answer a multiple choice question about Chinese rulers, cities, or culture. View the city locations on the map as well as the location of the dragon and the number of remaining stops. This activity does require reading; however it could be used in lower grades as a whole-class activity.

tag(s): china (57)

In the Classroom

The China Game would make a great addition to classroom centers as part of your Chinese New Year celebration or study of countries and cultures. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have pairs of students explore on their own. Have students create an annotated image of China including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CalorieKing - CalorieKing Wellness Solutions, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this tool to find the calories and nutrient content in a large variety of foods. Search among popular brands or chains or search from categories of foods. This site ...more
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Use this tool to find the calories and nutrient content in a large variety of foods. Search among popular brands or chains or search from categories of foods. This site features a search bar for easily finding the nutrient information. Nutrition facts include carbohydrates including fiber, fats (saturated and trans,) and proteins. Choose to compare foods to find the differences in nutrients. Beside the nutrient information, learn how many minutes of various exercises are needed to burn off those calories. Use the box on the site to determine the calorie requirements for your height, weight, and age.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calories (9), nutrition (136)

In the Classroom

Use this site in any health, nutrition, Family and Consumer Science, or biology class when discussing biomolecules and needed nutrients. Place this link on your site or bookmark on a class computer for easy reference. When discussing the food pyramid, or nutrients needed by the body, have students keep a 3 day food diary to compare with the food pyramid. This is also a great site to share as students make New Year's resolutions about eating healthy!

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Make and Do Games - Kent County Council

Grades
K to 3
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Explore this eclectic mix of activities, most available online. All are designed to work on an interactive whiteboard. Some of the topics include Me Maker, Skeletons and Life Cycles,...more
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Explore this eclectic mix of activities, most available online. All are designed to work on an interactive whiteboard. Some of the topics include Me Maker, Skeletons and Life Cycles, Advent Calendar, Chinese New Year Red Pocket, Shadow Simulator, Cobweb Creator, Help Me ID, Singing Science (there are a few of these), and much more! Choose the icon to the left of each description to load the activity, or use the download button to download as a zip file for use. This site was created in the United Kingdom. American English speakers may notice some slight differences in spelling.

tag(s): africa (178), animals (218), back to school (36), christmas (61), colors (70), communities (23), dinosaurs (45), easter (20), halloween (39), insects (58), matter (46), nursery rhymes (19), oceans (124), plants (113), ponds (6), preK (226)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use activities on your interactive whiteboard for time fillers, story starters, and center time. Use the "Me Maker" for students to introduce themselves at the beginning of the school year or for use with your Student of the Week. Several activities include printables to print and use for centers and homework. Use the "Help Me ID Cards" as an excellent resource for your community helpers unit. Be sure to check out the many seasonal activities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Yong's China Quest - Lotherton Hall, Leeds Museums and Galleries

Grades
K to 7
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Yong's China Quest is an excellent learning game set in China. Learn about the country while solving puzzles in three different levels. Explore Beijing Olympic mascots, ivory figurines,...more
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Yong's China Quest is an excellent learning game set in China. Learn about the country while solving puzzles in three different levels. Explore Beijing Olympic mascots, ivory figurines, dragon robes, and the use of authentic swords while gaining wisdom to help solve puzzles. Playing is simple. Point and click to learn about China and its traditions. This link will lead you to the main page. From here, you can click Start Interactive to begin at level 1. At the bottom of the screen there are links to go to level 2 or level 3.

tag(s): china (57), cross cultural understanding (85), cultures (85)

In the Classroom

Use the activity in a center as part of your Chinese New Year lesson activities. Allow students to try the quest on your interactive whiteboard as a center activity. Keep a list of items found while solving puzzles, and have students research more information on them.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MailFreezr - Duncan McLaud

Grades
K to 12
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Use this memorable service to store your emails waiting to be sent. This site will deliver your emails after a given number of years. Emails can be sent to any ...more
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Use this memorable service to store your emails waiting to be sent. This site will deliver your emails after a given number of years. Emails can be sent to any address and can be sent in 1 year increments from 1-100 years! Just type in your name, email, the recipient's email, and your message. Choose how many years to freeze the email and you are done. Of course, there are many limitations: will these email addresses be available 100 years from now? What happens if you change your mind? Although the site would be much more useful if the dates could be personalized more to specific dates or months, it might be worth using for simple items.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11), organizational skills (91), writing prompts (81)

In the Classroom

A good use for this would be for emails to yourself with reminders for annual events, not for personal use. Send an email to yourself at the end of a unit with information on resources that worked, classroom tips, where to find additional information, etc. Set up emails when you receive your annual schedule with reminders before each event. Use this tool as a writing prompt. Ask students to write an email to themselves as a high school senior or even to themselves at the end of the next year to see if they have met personal goals such as New Years resolutions. Have your entire "graduating" elementary class write a class time capsule about what was important to them in the year 20XX and "send" it to themselves, set to deliver at the end of middle or high school.

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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Five Sentences - Five Sentences

Grades
K to 12
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Use this exceedingly simple idea to manage your time handling email or to generate writing prompts that are meaningful in today's world. The site itself simply explains the rationale...more
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Use this exceedingly simple idea to manage your time handling email or to generate writing prompts that are meaningful in today's world. The site itself simply explains the rationale for limiting all email responses to five sentences, saving you time digging through the mailbox and increasing the likelihood that others will actually read your response.

tag(s): writing (311)

In the Classroom

Adopt this idea in your professional life as you correspond with parents (or suggest it to your administrator). Try adopting Five Sentences as your New Year's resolution. Though students today rarely USE email, share emails with them -- and the Five Sentences limit -- as writing prompts for a five sentence response to teach concise, purposeful writing and 'netiquette. (Note that this review, not including this aside, is 5 sentences!)

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DLTK's Custom Chore Chart - DLTK

Grades
K to 6
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DLTK's Custom Chore Chart provides an easy, quick way to create any type of chart. Charts can be created for chores, homework, behavior, reading, math facts, and any other type ...more
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DLTK's Custom Chore Chart provides an easy, quick way to create any type of chart. Charts can be created for chores, homework, behavior, reading, math facts, and any other type of information that can be monitored and displayed as a chart. Creating a chart is so simple that students can create their own and choose a theme that interests them. The site allows you to choose the theme (or create your own), the text color, text size, font, color or black and white for printing, what specifically goes into the columns and rows, and more. Since the themes are more juvenile, you may want to suggest the "create your own" option with older students. This site does not require any registration. Be aware there are minor pop-up ads which are rather annoying, but worth it for this free tool.

tag(s): behavior (39), charts and graphs (184), preK (226)

In the Classroom

Create charts for a variety of needs. Charts always come in handy for students who struggle to stay on task or to complete assignments. Charts are a fun and tactile way for students to monitor their success and stay on target with responsibilities. Use a chart system to teach organization and self monitoring for things such as homework, chores or daily jobs, morning or end of day tasks and behavior, backpack organization, reading books, math skills, and whatever else you or your students can "chart." Use this tool in the beginning of a new school year to help with expectations or recording. Special ed and gifted teachers will want to have students create their own charts to take ownership for individual goals. This is also a great tool for students to use to record their success for specific New Year's resolutions. This is definitely a link you want to list on your class website for parents to use at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Decade That Was - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for a great New Year class activity? This is the site for you! This 50 question, fill in the blank activity is ideal for reviewing past events of the ...more
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Looking for a great New Year class activity? This is the site for you! This 50 question, fill in the blank activity is ideal for reviewing past events of the decade. Answers can all be found by clicking on the blanks and reading through the linked news story. If you scroll to the bottom a word bank is also available, as is a link to the answers. This site is great for history or current event classes!

tag(s): news (168)

In the Classroom

Use this website as an activity for small groups of students working on laptops, or use the interactive whiteboard or projector to complete parts in large group instruction. Complete in the style of a Know/Want to Learn/Learned activity. As a class, have students fill in the blanks that they already know. Divide up the remaining questions between pairs of students. Have students click through the links to find the answers. Then, to conclude have the student pairs share their answers with their classmates. Since the questions are numbered, it would be simple to divide up the questions. Observe students carefully and advise them NOT to click on the answer link! Assign students a partner (or let them choose) and have the groups do further investigation about the specific question or questions they were assigned. Challenge the groups to create news reports about the events and share them using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. Consider creating a similar 50 image review of your school year's curriculum using images taken throughout the year (or found on copyright-safe web sources), having student groups select the images from your collection and write the accompanying questions. A wiki would be a terrific place to create such a "Year in Review."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Year's Resolutions - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for New Years. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Ancient Egypt vocabulary...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for New Years. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Ancient Egypt vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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nrgBalance - Penn State Hershey

Grades
K to 12
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This informative website offers teachers, students, and parents ideas about how to get fit and be healthy. The focus of the site is 1-2-3-4-5: 1 hour of physical activity, 2 ...more
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This informative website offers teachers, students, and parents ideas about how to get fit and be healthy. The focus of the site is 1-2-3-4-5: 1 hour of physical activity, 2 hours (or less) of screen time (TV or computer), 3 meals a day, 4 or more glasses of water daily, and 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day. There are also links to help you stay healthy during the holidays, contests, the Learning Center with several webcasts (with full screen options), and more! This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): obesity (19)

In the Classroom

Share the webcasts in your health and physical education classes using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Try some of the contests as a class. Challenge students to make one of the five suggested changes in the 1-2-3-4-5 project. Why not try one of the changes each month from January through May? Have students create a class wiki to keep track of their successes (and failures) during the challenge. At New Year's, this is a great site to share for resolutions!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Holidays - Manatee School District

Grades
1 to 3
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Need some information or class ideas about Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Yom Kipper, or New Years? Check out this interactive, easy to follow website. Each holiday has an individual...more
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Need some information or class ideas about Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Yom Kipper, or New Years? Check out this interactive, easy to follow website. Each holiday has an individual page with several links to photos, historical information, vocabulary definitions, reference information, and more. There is also a Read feature available with each paragraph. This allows students to hear the paragraph read aloud (a great feature for non-readers and ESL or ELL students). Most holidays also include an online quiz.

At the time of the review, the link on the Yom Kipper page to Hear the Sound of a Shofar was being updated. All of the other many links and information worked perfectly. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): christmas (61), kwanzaa (10), new years (11), ramadan (8)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites to share during the holiday seasons. Assign research groups to investigate the holidays listed at this site. Have students report their findings to the class. Create a class wiki for students to share holidays they celebrate and holiday traditions that they follow.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Six Calendars of Special Days and Festivals - Woodlands Junior School( Project Britain)

Grades
K to 8
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This informative and resourceful website provides information about numerous holidays collected into six different calendar pages. The pages are created by Woodlands Junior School,...more
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This informative and resourceful website provides information about numerous holidays collected into six different calendar pages. The pages are created by Woodlands Junior School, a British school well known for their online interactive activities, many created by students and teachers together! Although this website was created for use in the United Kingdom, it provides a great deal of knowledge about holidays celebrated in many countries throughout the world. Be aware that there are some links within these pages that do not seem to work, but most do. The content seems to be updated in time for new calendar years, at least on some of the calendars. Some of the specific topics include New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Christmas, and other holidays. Use this website to help your students gain a better understanding of numerous holidays in other cultures. This website provides information about the history of holidays, how the holidays are celebrated and much more.

tag(s): calendars (39), christmas (61), easter (20), holidays (129), st patricks day (12), valentines day (11)

In the Classroom

As you study other cultures, be sure to include this resource for students to research the celebrations there. Or include the link on your teacher web page with the title "Every Day is a Holiday?" asking students to use the holiday calendar to become more be aware of different cultures. Instead of reporting on a current event from the newspaper, give them the option of reporting on a holiday that occurred this week in another part of the world.

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New Years Resolutions - developingteachers.com

Grades
3 to 8
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This detailed lesson plans gives high beginning and intermediate ESL students or general social studies classes opportunities to learn about American New Year's customs, share experiences...more
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This detailed lesson plans gives high beginning and intermediate ESL students or general social studies classes opportunities to learn about American New Year's customs, share experiences about their cultures' New Year's practices, practice skimming for answers, practice asking questions and responding to other students' oral descriptions. Although the plan can be easily adapted for students just beginning to learn about English and American culture, plenty of vocabulary and listening practice about a topic that's interesting to every culture ensures everyone will learn something!

tag(s): holidays (129), listening (79), new years (11), vocabulary (304)

In the Classroom

Students can improve listening skills while learning about American holiday customs. Use this lesson as an opportunity for the class to find out about New Year customs in other cultures.

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Chinese New Year

Grades
5 to 8
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Gear up for the Year of the ox with this informational site about the Chinese New Year. Learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the significance of dragons in ...more
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Gear up for the Year of the ox with this informational site about the Chinese New Year. Learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the significance of dragons in Chinese mythology, several "special" facts about various years, and how the date of the New Year is determined. Get some great ideas from this site for activities in your classroom.

tag(s): china (57), chinese (46), chinese new year (2)

In the Classroom

Share the "what's special about..." section with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students judge which year was the most special and write journal entries or blogs about WHY.

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New Year's Resolutions - Goalsguy Learning Systems, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
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Celebrate New Year's Resolution Week in your classroom with this site that offers a brief history of New Year's observances, good luck traditions practiced around the world, a list...more
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Celebrate New Year's Resolution Week in your classroom with this site that offers a brief history of New Year's observances, good luck traditions practiced around the world, a list of common resolutions, and a resolution contract, which can be easily adapted to grade level. A list of famous people born on New Years Day and New Years songs round out this mix.

Be aware: there are some minor advertisements at this site. There is also a short interactive countdown activity that requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Have students use this site as a starting point in creating their own New Year's Resolutions. Have cooperative learning groups research the various holidays in December and January. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation (video, PowerPoint, or blog) to share their findings about the holiday. Have a "World Celebrations" day and have students share information about the holiday (such as customs, food, significance, and any other pertinent information).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Year's in America - Jerilyn Watson

Grades
3 to 6
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This online quiz focuses on New Year's traditions in America, but tests knowledge of grammar and word choice. The quiz has about forty questions (all related to New Year's and ...more
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This online quiz focuses on New Year's traditions in America, but tests knowledge of grammar and word choice. The quiz has about forty questions (all related to New Year's and grammar). This is a great activity for ESL and ELL students or elementary students practicing grammar skills. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11), states (156)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and take this quiz together. Or use this website as a learning station during your Language Arts or Social Studies class. In younger classes (or beginning ESL or ELL) allow students to work with a partner. Challenge students to create their own quiz on New Years (or another holiday) that incorporates grammar practice.
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New Year Traditions - Australian Media Pty. Ltd.

Grades
4 to 6
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Learn about New Year's celebrations around the world. Click on the name of a country to read a brief synopsis of its customs and traditions. Includes links to New Year's-inspired ...more
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Learn about New Year's celebrations around the world. Click on the name of a country to read a brief synopsis of its customs and traditions. Includes links to New Year's-inspired recipes, poetry, and songs. Some of the songs provide lyrics only, while others have sound. A few of the links require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11), poetry (209), songs (47)

In the Classroom

Play one of the New Year's songs in the background while your students use this site for research about specific countries.
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New Year's Customs Worldwide - TOPICS Online Magazine

Grades
4 to 8
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Happy New Year! Come to this site to learn more about New Year's celebrations from around the world. One country believes that if you sleep on New Year's Eve - ...more
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Happy New Year! Come to this site to learn more about New Year's celebrations from around the world. One country believes that if you sleep on New Year's Eve - your eyebrows will turn white! Can you figure out which one? Come to this site to explore many traditions, read personal stories (written by students), view video clips of New Year's celebrations, take an online quiz, and more. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Around the New Years holiday, share this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students read through the various country celebrations and choose their favorite and least favorite customs. Have students write a short story or blog entry describing why they made the choices that they did. Have cooperative learning groups explore this site together and take the online quiz.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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