Ho Ho Ho!! It’s Ms Jenny and It’s that time of the year again! Are you looking forward to the season of giving this year? Well, although it is the second year of spending Christmas in the shadow of the COVID-19 virus, it doesn’t have to be boring and could still be fun while abiding by the safety rules in public.
Have you thought about the different ways you can spend Christmas with your family this festive season? If you haven’t, let me share with you the two places you can visit. To make it more enriching for yourself, try exploring them with a more open mind and you will find yourself learning as you go along! For each place, I have suggested one or two English activities which you can try out.
Ms Jenny’s Recommended Place No. 1:
The S.E.A. Aquarium
The first place to visit is the S.E.A. Aquarium at our renowned Resorts World Sentosa! In this massive water wonderland, there are so many activities that you and your loved ones can choose from. Some activities include watching how Santa’s elves feed and pose with the fishy residents and joining the Scrooge’s recycling workshop where you can transform unwanted products into Christmas ornaments or personalised gifts for your family or friends.
What I like most about this place is that it’s a trip with an educational twist. Learn more about the wide array of fish like the Ornate Eagle Ray, Argentine Humphead, Mauritius Triggerfish, Honeycomb Cowfish and Bat Ray, which have been newly added to welcome you at Christmas!
English Activity Suggestion
One suggestion to make the experience more educationally enriching is to bring a tablet or a notebook along so that you can have a friendly competition with your siblings or parents.
First, get everyone to jot down as many names of these aquatic friends as possible. Then, decide on the one you have an affinity for and do a write-up on that particular creature on the spot! The write-up can include an interesting caption about the animal, a drawing of how it looks like and a short paragraph containing some facts related to it. The best report wins a prize! (an ice cream treat, an item from the gift shop, basically anything you and your family members agree upon as the prize)
A write-up on Manta Rays, for instance, can look something like this:
What do you learn from this activity? Besides broadening your knowledge on scientific aspects about the aquatic animals, you may learn new vocabulary like pectoral, water column, resemble, tropical, subtropical and temperate. Moreover, as you assemble the information and piece it together to form an information text, you may discover about what tense to use and how to link the information you have gathered for the short paragraph. Did you notice that the present tense is used – “is”, “have”, “resemble” and “live” and how the paragraphs starts with listing the manta rays’ physical features before mentioning where they can be found?
I hope you will try this activity and have fun at the S.E.A. Aquarium this Christmas! Oh, and for those of you who love drawing, feel free to do a sketch of your favourite aquatic creature too!
Ms Jenny’s Recommended Place No. 2:
Brickosaurs World at Singapore Zoo and River Wonders
Next, pay a visit to the Singapore Zoo and River Wonders, which are holding the event, Brickosaurs World. More than 60 life-sized dinosaurs will be featured, built from 1.5 million LEGO® bricks constructed over a period of 8,548 hours. The phenomenal brick displays range from a massive T-Rex to the mighty plesiosaurs to tiny raptors on interactive digital trails. Doesn’t this sound impressive already?
On these self-guided trails, explorers will discover animals on the brink of extinction, what can be done to save them and be aware of the importance of actions to conserve the wildlife and biodiversity that exist today. I am sure you will be amazed by these pre- historic terrestrial vertebrates! It will be a fruitful trip that will appeal to all ages and is a good way to bond family members in the quest to acquire more knowledge on the dinosaurs.
Apart from the trails, there are craft workshops where you will get to identify lost dino fossils together and make your very own dino masks and mini figurines using recycled materials and origami techniques.
English Activity Suggestions
How do you extend your learning after participating in such activities? Here are 2 suggestions!
One thing you can do during the trail is to choose a dinosaur and see who can gather 5 characteristics of the dinosaur in the shortest time! Afterwards, you can also have a short fun quiz where you challenge your sibling or even parent to answer simple questions. This can be done verbally and can include questions about the dinosaurs that all of you met on the trails, for instance, is it true that the other name for the T-Rex is the ‘Tyrant Lizard’? (Yes, it’s true!)
Another thing you can do is have a mini show-and-tell presentation for your family members on the mask or figurine you have created during the workshops. As you present your artwork, share with your audience about the dinosaur’s features which you have learnt during the trail. You can also include other facts, for instance, what type of dinosaur it is and its habits. Since you have used recycled materials to make your mask or figurine, describe what they are and why they have been chosen.
Here is an example of a show-and-tell presentation for a T-Rex:
Similarly, other than learning more scientific facts about dinosaurs, I hope that these suggested activities will help you learn new words, such as “adept”, “keen”, “snout” and “serrated” and more importantly, how to use them in sentences when you share the information with others through the mini show-and-tell.
I hope these 2 places pique your curiosity and tickle your inquisitive mind to venture into them before leaving those places with a chockful of knowledge to prepare you for the new year ahead! Happy holidays!