Learn to talk about winter holidays

Unit 5 Holiday

5.4 Learn to talk about winter holidays

Word Box

Phrase Box







– to obey parents and teachers

– a whipping rod

– to predict the weather

– to congratulate somebody on something

You don’t say so!

Now you’ve mentioned it.

The tradition goes.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

St Nicholas’s Day Groundhog Day

Learn to talk about winter holidays

Ukrainian Army Day Hanukkah

(Festival of Lights)

E x a m p l e: St Nicholas’s Day is popular in Ukraine.

2. Listen and repeat. Say why children like winter.

– Winter is a wonderful season, isn’t it?

– Sure.

Though the weather isn’t warm in winter, we have much fun on winter holidays: skiing, skating, throwing snowballs and what not.

/w/ winter, wonderful, warm

/ð/ though, the, with, weather

3. Look, match and say on what winter holiday we may see them.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

A Menorah;

Learn to talk about winter holidays

A whipping rod;

Learn to talk about winter holidays

St Nicholas;

Learn to talk about winter holidays

A groundhog.

E x a m p l e: As far as I know, naughty children may get a whipping rod on St Nicholas’s day.

4. Think and say:

– what other holidays we celebrate in winter;

– what these holidays symbolize;

– what children like to do on this/that holiday.

E x a m p l e: We celebrate Ukrainian Army Day in winter on the 6 th of December. Traditionally, we congratulate our dads, brothers and classmates. Big concerts and a lot of presents symbolize this holiday.

5. Listen and role-play.



Oksana: I say, Taras, do you like winter?

Taras: Not very much. It is cold, windy and frosty.

Oksana: But it also may be sunny and snowy, especially at the end of winter. By the way, do you know that a groundhog can predict the weather?

Taras: Now you’ve mentioned it, I remember that I’ve seen a TV programme about the groundhog Tishka. It lives near Kharkiv.

Oksana: That’s right! My elder brother told me about an interesting American holiday Groundhog Day. They celebrate it in winter, on February, 2, to be exact. It is a big ceremony and a great public event!

Taras: You don’t say so! Do they also have a groundhog who predicts the weather?

Oksana: They do. My brother says that it is a popular holiday and many people come to the place where Phil, the groundhog, lives on this day. They want to see how the groundhog does it.

Taras: Did your brother tell you how? I am eager to know it.

Oksana: The tradition goes that the groundhog comes out of his house and looks for his shadow. If he sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, it means spring is just around the corner. Americans say that Phil has never been wrong.

Taras: Fantastic! I’ve never heard about such a holiday.

Oksana: Do you know what? Let’s go to the library and find more information about it.

Taras: Let’s go. I think our classmates will also be sur prised to learn about this holiday.


A) – It’s cold, windy and frosty.

– But it also may be Sunny and snowy, especially at the end of winter.

B) I am eager to know about this holiday.

6. Let’s play a grammar tennis game. Use the words from the box.

E x a m p l e: Wind → windy

7. Make up six sentences on the table.

Sun; frost;

Snow; mud;

Rain; cloud.


To know more about winter holidays.


To see a groundhog.



To celebrate this holiday.



To talk with my friends.



To listen to your brother’s/sister’s





To read a book about St Nicholas’s Day.

E x a m p l e: I am eager to know more about winter holidays.

8. Talk with your friends about Groundhog Day.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

Learn to talk about winter holidays

On your Own. Describe Groundhog Day in America. Say if we have the same holiday in Ukraine.

E x a m p l e: It was interesting for me to find out that Americans have such a holiday. They celebrate it on February, 2. It is very popular in America and a lot of people want to see it…

9. Read the letters from Mira and Eric to Ukrainian children about their favourite winter holidays and say why they like them so much.

Part I

Hi, everybody!

My name is Eric and I live in Belgium. Winter is the season I like best because there are so many exciting holidays in winter. But St Nicholas’s Day is my favourite.

On December, 4, Saint Nicholas comes to my town to talk to children about their behaviour. Have they been good? Have they obeyed their parents and teachers? Are they doing their best at school? Saint Nicholas has some serious questions to ask – and he wants answers!

On the night of December, 5 we prepare for a nighttime visit from Saint Nicholas. Before going to bed, we usually put Christmas sweets for St Nicholas, some vegetables for his horse into wooden shoes and set them in front of the window. Like Santa Claus, St Nicholas travels from rooftop to rooftop and leaves gifts for children as he goes. I know that St Nicholas travels on a white horse or even on a donkey.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

In the morning we see that St Nicholas has taken everything from the shoes. A good child will find an orange, some sweets, nuts and presents in his shoes. There will also be a chocolate with the first letter of your name. A child, who has been bad, finds a whipping rod or an onion or even a piece of coal in his/her shoes.

There is a tradition on this day. Seeing the presents we quickly run to the chimney and shout up “Big thanks!” It’s fun, isn’t it?

Do you have this holiday in Ukraine? If so, when do you celebrate it? Are there any interesting traditions on this day? I’ll be glad to know about it.

Yours, Eric.

Part II

My name is Mira. I adore all winter holidays, but Hanuk – kah is my favourite. Another name for Hanukkah is “The Festival of Lights”. We celebrate it before Christmas. It lasts for eight days and all Jewish children have much fun!

In my photo you can see a ‘menorah’. It is a special candle stick holder which has seven candles. On the first night of the holiday, the family lights one candle. On the second night we light two candles, on the third night – three and so on for eight days. It is so exciting to see all the lights on. On Hanukkah, Jewish families enjoy a big dinner and sing many songs. Traditionally, parents give money and gifts to their children for this holiday. Children spend much time outdoors playing different games.

Is there “The Festival of Lights” in Ukraine? If so, are there any traditions on this holiday? It’ll be interesting for me to hear from you.

Yours, Mira.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

10. Look at the pictures and choose those you’ve read about in children’s letters.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

11. Act as Eric or Mira and describe your favourite holiday. Use:

Learn to talk about winter holidays

To adore winter holidays;

To last for eight days;

To light a candle;

To be exciting.

Learn to talk about winter holidays

To be popular;

To obey parents and teachers;

A night-time visit;

Wooden shoes;

To leave gifts for children.

12. Talk with your friends about your favourite winter holiday. Use the plan:

1. When do you celebrate it?

2. What do you know about this holiday?

3. What traditions are on this day?

13. Write a letter to Eric or Mira and answer their questions.

Do it Yourself! Draw a picture of your favourite winter holiday.

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