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Italian Holiday Festival

at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Saturday, December 13th from 11:30AM to 4PM         

EXPLORE: Verb Tenses
ENRICH: Expressive Grammar

ENGAGE: Using verbs in the future tense to make predictions



  • As you explore the festival, ask your child questions that prompt him/her to make guesses about what will happen. For example, "What kind of crafts do you think there are to make?" or "What kinds of performances do you think we will see?"

  • Give your child the sentence starter "I think we will _____" and have him/her answer the predictive questions in complete sentences.

Celebrate the holidays and create festive crafts at an event presented in conjuction with the Italian Embassy and Italian Cultural Institute. Musicians and costumed performers will set the scene for an Italian speech-language adventure!


h Sounds

EXPLORE: Oral Understanding
ENRICH: Comprehension of Questions

ENGAGE: Answer questions about orally-presented information



  • BEFORE YOU GO TO THE FESTIVAL - Watch this video of an Italian girl talking about about the winter celebration of La Befana. If your child is too young to read the subtitles, read them out loud to him/her.

  • After watching the video, ask your child the following questions:

    • WHO is La Befana? [a holiday witch]

    • WHEN do some Italian children celebrate La Befana? [January 6th]

    • WHAT does La Befana bring children if they are good? [candy] WHAT does la Befana bring children if they are bad? [lumps of coal]

    • HOW does La Befana travel around? [on a broomstick]

  • AT THE FESTIVAL - See if you can learn more information about the La Befana and other Italian traditions by speaking to the organizers and performers at the event. Have your child answer more comprehension questions, such as "WHAT holidays do many people celebrate in Italy?" and "WHERE do people go to celebrate these holidays?"




EXPLORE: Rhyming Words
ENRICH: Phonemic Awareness

ENGAGE: Practice rhyming words



  • Create a mosaic holiday card at the crafts station, then help your child create a rhyming holiday message for the card:

    • First, create a list of words related to the holidays or winter. Explain to your child that words that rhyme sound the same at the end and ask him/her to come up with words that rhyme with the words on the holiday word list. For example, tree-me, snow-go, gift-lift

    • Turn the rhyming pairs into poems about the winter season that you can write on your mosaic cards.


EXPLORE: Compliments
ENRICH: Polite Social Interactions

ENGAGE: Practice giving performers compliments on their performances



  • Review with your child that a compliment is a way to praise or congratulate someone that makes that person feel good about what they've done.

  • Have your child think of three different compliments they can give to a performer, such as "That sounded/looked great!" "I liked when you _____," or "My favorite part was when _____."

  • After watching a performance, see if you can speak with the performers afterwards and have your child compliment them.

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