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Top Tips for the CD-ROMs
Celebrating with
the CD-ROMs

Top Tips for the CD-ROMs
Celebrating with the CD-ROMs
by Mairi MacDonald

This month we look at how to use the CD-ROM to explore vocabulary related to celebrations. In addition to extending vocabulary the activities will also help with practising valuable dictionary skills.

1 Finding words relating to celebration

Using SmartSearch is the easiest way to find words relating to celebrating and celebrations in the dictionary. The following search will work on both MED and the Essential CD-ROMs, although the Essential will return fewer results.

Type in celebrat* into the SmartSearch box. Select More search options and tick Definitions.

This will look for definitions containing any word beginning with 'celebrat…' — celebration, celebrates, celebrated etc. In MED this gives you 122 results.

2 Activities

Activity 1 Celebrations

a Write the following list of words taken from the SmartSearch results onto the board:

Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes' Night
Burns Night
Flag Day
Independence Day
The Notting Hill Carnival
New Year's Eve

b Get students to discuss what they already know about these celebrations/festivals in small groups, for example what country they happen in, or if these celebrations exist in the students' own country.

c Then give students the following handout and get them to match celebrations with the appropriate definitions.

a Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes' Night
the evening of 31st December, when many people celebrate with their family or friends by staying awake until midnight
b Burns Night
in the US, the day of 14th June when people celebrate the day a flag was chosen for the country in 1777
c Flag Day
in Scotland, the evening of 31st December and the celebrations that happen at that time
d Hogmanay
in the US, the 4th of July, a national holiday to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776
e Independence Day
in the US, the fourth Thursday in November, and in Canada, the second Monday in October, when families have a special meal, traditionally to celebrate all the things that they are grateful for
f Thanksgiving
a celebration that takes place every August on the streets of Notting Hill, London
g The Notting Hill Carnival
the night of 5th November, when British people have bonfires and light fireworks to celebrate the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes was stopped before he was able to destroy the Houses of Parliament
h New Year's Eve
January 25, the birth date of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, that Scottish people celebrate by having parties where they eat traditional Scottish food, especially haggis


Activity 2 General vocabulary relating to celebrations

a Hand out the list of words below. Ask students to organise the words into the following groups:

Verbs relating to celebration
Items you might bring to a celebration
Events and types of celebration
hen night
ruby anniversary
silver wedding
stag night
wedding anniversary

b Students could complete their result in the form of a mind map. Encourage students to look up words they don't know in their dictionaries.


If your students have access to the CD-ROM, give them the activity on screen. Students can highlight a word to find the definition. Make sure the dictionary is in QuickSearch mode and Automatic lookup froxm screen is checked. This setting can be found by clicking on Options in the menu bar.


3 Follow up activity

Get students to select five or six words and base questions on them. Students can mingle and ask each other questions such as:

Have you ever been on a stag night?
When did you last drink champagne?
What was the occasion?