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This is Halloween!——The October JESIE Open Day Report

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JESIE's Open Day at Yincheng Primary School featured our teachers John and Andre. John took a very fun, but practical approach to Halloween. He began by introducing the children to words such as happy, sad, scared and angry, moving on to play a fantastic game using his vocabulary. The students absolutely loved it! The atmosphere in John's classroom was very controlled, yet he maintained a fun and positive rapport with the class. 

Meanwhile in Andre's class, students were introduced to vampires, witches, ghosts and other kinds of Halloween characters. The enthralled students intently listen the song that Andre played to help them remember the characters. At the end of the class, the children were very happy and relaxed doing a colouring activity whilst listening to Andre's Halloween song. All in all, two fantastic lessons to introduce Grade 1 students to Halloween.

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Perhaps fittingly, on FRIDAY 13th October, JESIE gave a special Halloween Open Day at Zhonghua Middle School. Teachers Kathleen and Tim were supplying the learning fun and games on this occasion.Kathleen began by running a short quiz to find out what the students already knew about Halloween e.g. 'things we do on Halloween', 'things we eat on Halloween', 'Halloween monsters', 'Halloween adjectives'. This raised an interesting question as to whether the Monkey King is a monster or a hero? Meanwhile, Tim was playing a 'trick or treat' game with his class, where students earned some real goodies by performing simple language tasks, followed by a special Halloween quiz. Back in Kathleen's class, a game of Halloween jeopardy was underway, which decided the final scores – team Vampires won the day! 


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On the morning of 12 October, two classes at Xincheng Middle School eagerly awaited the arrival of Tom Butler and Steven Parry for their Open Day lessons. Class 1 and Class 6 both had a fantastic time as Tom and Steven introduced them to the exciting horrors of Halloween. Steven and Tom's lessons were filled with terrifying Halloween characters. Steven's students had the opportunity to create their own monster masks, which they got to present using sentence patterns taught. Tom's students had a super time depicting the noises and actions of Halloween characters after learning the appropriate verbs. This resulted in a hilarious exhibition that saw students rewarded with sweets. Between tense competitions and individual role play, a marvelously educational and fun time was had by all involved.

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Julie opened the day by flying around the class on a broom, cackling insanely. The students soon came to realize that the theme of the day was Halloween. Once the students had been properly frightened, Julie moved onto building their Halloween vocabulary. To make this more fun, she used "real" vampire ears, cyclops eyes and zombie brains. Students were then blindfolded and made to touch these objects. As you can imagine, gleefully petrified screams echoed the school. Davean was up next with a song explaining all the scary creatures you will encounter on Halloween. With the whole class marching and murmuring like zombies the vocabulary was taken in in a fun and educational way. The students loved acting out the monsters and to make it more fun they were able to dress up and be their favourite monster. All in all the day was a success and fun was had by all.  

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Students at Yangzi Middle School were treated to two dynamic lessons shining a light on the darkness of Halloween. Experienced teachers Tony and Matt each headed up a stunning lecture hall filled with 80 eager students. Tony began his lesson by showing a scary Halloween scene and eliciting from the students what they saw. Building upon their existing vocabulary, he armed them with a deeper breadth of Halloween words. Readied by this new inventory, he guided the students to use these words and create their own spooky stories. 

Matt took the students through a list of zombies, witches and other Hallow's Eve villains, and expanded their knowledge using sentences that explained their ghoulishness. This culminated in a fun game of monster hunting. Students shot different monster flashcards; a successful monster hunter would then produce a sentence what that monster could do -- but no longer can since being shot! ("A zombie eats brains, but it can't anymore!"). Students were actively involved and engaged throughout the lessons. They enjoyed it so much, we even overheard some students saying they didn't want to leave! Sorry, kids, but Halloween only comes once a year. But just wait until Christmas! 

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Teachers William Ikerd and Jocelyn Roeters-Robb gave a special Open Day class for Halloween at Youfuxijie Primary School on 20 October 2017. The main themes were introducing the students to the celebration of Halloween, and its associated themes, e.g. witches, werewolves, vampires, zombies, etc. All the kids had a lot of fun, and both classes were very entertaining. Both of our teachers got right into the spirit of things, Teacher Jocelyn wore a Halloween costume to set the scene, and Teacher Will fired up the class with songs and activities associated with the themes of Halloween. Both teachers introduced the concepts and vocabulary associated with Halloween, and ran a sequence of activities designed to familiarize and reinforce the specific language appropriate to the theme. Teacher Jocelyn engaged the students with an activity in which the students followed a video explaining how to make an origami bat. The students were very receptive to this idea, which effectively confirmed the context for the class. Meanwhile, Teacher Will had the class howling at the moon, and reinforced the concepts that underpin the celebration of Halloween.

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October's open day theme gave JESIE teachers creative freedom. Tim was up first to introduce Halloween to the 5th grade students of Houzhai Primary school in Wuxi. Tim took the class by surprise introducing spooky Halloween characters along with funny actions to go with them, which he then made into dance moves to a song about Halloween. He brought a long a few props so the students could dress up and had them use sentences to describe what they were. Next up was Sam, after introducing the new words to the students, she had them line up for a relay race to run and match the words with their pictures, it was timed and the fastest team earned points which had the students doing the best they could. Once she had taught them the sentence, they got each team to dress up one of their team members as a mummy. They mummified the chosen ones by wrapping them up in toilet paper from head to toe thereafter they had to race across the classroom which had the entire room in hysterics.

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The weather was beautiful and students at Nanjing No 5 Senior High School were already excited for their upcoming Sports Day. Senior 1 students were treated a prelude to sports fun and games with – Halloween fun and games from JESIE! Teachers Jaf and Kathleen smiled all the way through the open-courtyard school and made it to the second and third floors to deliver lessons on Halloween. Both lessons were engaging, and students enjoyed themselves and participated. There were vocabulary games, monster hunts, a spelling bee, and an activity where the teams built a story one sentence at a time, but without viewing what the previous team member had written. The results were a rollicking good time, with students staying past the bell to hear all of the hilarious stories.