I think Elf on the Shelf is a great way to bring some fun into the classroom. I blogged about the idea yesterday. I shared some cultural situations the elf could present my classroom with, as well as some basic examples that would allow me to get in more repetitions with basic holiday vocabulary. I must confess I was most excited about all of the cultural ideas I came up with, but I also know that students need to be able to discuss their own culture and celebrations before they can compare/contrast to a another.
Before beginning Elf on a Shelf, I decided that I would be the one to name him. I know that a big part of the experience is naming the elf with your family, but this is hard to do with three different classes. Sure, I could have created three different names, but honestly I know I wouldn’t have remembered them. I also wanted the name to be Spanish. I’ve stopped giving Spanish names to my students (it gets to be too hard and I hate the flack I get when I mess them up!), so naming the stuffed animals in my room is a great way to get more names in. I already have Alberto el cerdo and Juanito la salchicha.
I also decorated a little before beginning Elf on a Shelf. I have a little Christmas tree I put up with lights and bulbs. I found some green mache Christmas trees that I’ve taped up on the bottom of my whiteboard too. I wrote our vocabulary in green and red. I put up a Feliz Navidad banner on my door and a Feliz Navidad poster on my wall next to the tree. I had red lights around the room, too.
Here’s how Elf on a Shelf went on day 1:
- My Elf on a Shelf was riding the Reindeer next to the Christmas tree in the room. Some kids noticed and some didn’t. I didn’t point him out and played dumb to those that did.
- We learned holiday vocabulary using TPRS. I found that the vocabulary I had picked out to help go over the Elf on the Shelf book wasn’t quite good enough, and I found my students wanted to learn additional words. For example, I haven’t gotten to “eats”or “drinks” yet. So they don’t want to just make cookies, they want to say Santa eats them.
- I then did this powerpoint to introduce them to our elf. I made sure pictures I found and used were of elves that looked like the one I had bought. Honestly, I feel like my Powerpoint introduction is severely lacking, but it did the job!
- I then pointed out our own Elf on the Shelf in the back of the class on a shelf next to our Christmas tree. We talked about our elf, reviewing what we had just learned.
- Students were to tell me one thing about Eduardo, but we ran out of time.
It really is fun and I hope you try it out!
Reminder: Feel free to use my ideas and materials as they help you and/or others; however, do not sell or present it as your own.