There are many different topics for student to write about. You can use the calendar as inspiration, student interests or tie it to the topics you are teaching in their lessons. Beginners might write only in English as a cultural component. Then, move into simple assignments in simple Italian as their Italian grows with more vocabulary and grammar. Advanced students can extend their writing in Italian with more detail and a wider vocabulary.
1. Writing in future tense on New Year’s Resolutions. I will write in my journal, learn to cook, walk the dog. Timely phrases: every day, all day, every week, every month, sometimes, always, every Tuesday etc.
2. Descriptive writing about Carnevale, This is usually in April and is a grand parade of colorful costumes, masks and celebration. Ask students to describe the clothes, colours and foods of the festival. Is there music playing live? Is the setting in Venice or another Italian city? Are there gondolas?
3. Describe an Italian summer. Include weather, setting, summer holidays away from home at the sea or mountains, foods including gelato. What is their favourite flavor?
4. Describe an Italian autumn as the warm summer turns to reds and oranges of autumn before wintry white. What activities are popular in autumn? Are people playing soccer? Playing in a pile of autumn leaves?
5. Describe an Italian winter. The climate, the food, the setting and the activities. Touch of the role of winter in an Italian Christmas. Is there a snowplough to help people have streets clear of snow. Have people salted their driveway to make it less slippery?
6. Describe an Italian spring as nature wales from winter. What plants are in bloom>? Which colours are starting to appear? Can you hear young birds or see butterflies perhaps? Is there a river starting to flow after being frozen over winter?
7. June 2nd is the national day of Italy. What festivities are planned in terms of food, music and costumes? Is there a parade? What does the three colour flag of Italian represent? How was Italy before this important date in history? What had changed?
8. Christmas in Italy is different for Australians, particularly because it is a European winter holiday. There are no barbeques and sun and sand. There is sometimes snow, and warm chestnuts and panettone to celebrate. Many meet up with extended family of the aunts, uncles and cousins to catch up on family news. Often the housewife makes a meal for all which may be homemade pasta and or seafood dishes. Many Italians are Catholic and attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Day.
9. Easter is also a religious holiday. Many Italians are Catholics and attend Church over Easter of Pasqua to recognise the resurrection of Christ. Young people often spend Christmas with family and Easter with their friends. They may travel for the long weekend to the seas or mountains. Chocolate is a part of Easter in Italy, but the focus is on the symbol of the egg. The Easter bunny does not feature in the Italian Easter.
10. When is your birthday? What day of the week were your born? What is your star sign? Does your family have special traditions on birthdays? What do you like to do to celebrate? Maybe you have a party or a sleepover? Some families like to wrap presents in strange shapes to disguise the present. Then, the game is to guess the present before you open it.
11. What is your school like? How is it different from a typical Italian school? Which type of high school would you choose? Maybe science, classic or a trade school. What subjects do you like? What subjects are you good at?
12. Who is in your family? Do you have a sister or a brother? Are you the youngest or the oldest? Do you live in a house or an apartment? Many Italians live in apartments close to town. Australians are luckier to have room for a backyard to play soccer or have a dog.
13. Do you have a pet? What would your dream pet be? Many Italians cannot have pets in their apartment. Describe what it is like to live in an apartment with an elevator and no yard.
14. Do you play sport? Many Australians like football or cricket. Many Italians like soccer. How often do you play sport? Do you play with friends or in a team? What are your team colours?
15. When you finish school, what would you like to be? Describe a few jobs and what would be great about working in that job.
Research based topics:
16. Introduce an Italian person. Write a profile or an interview about that person. Include name, date or birth, job, where they lived and any interesting facts you learn about them.
17. Introduce an Italian place. Write a profile or a poster about that place. Include name, region of Italy, date founded if known and any interesting facts you learn about them. Perhaps some famous people lived there, or it was the place of an important event in history.
18. Introduce an Italian event in history. Write a profile or a poster about that event. Include place and region of Italy, date or dates of the event, who was involved, and any interesting facts you learn about them. Perhaps a famous person was there at the same time.
19. Introduce an Italian food. Write a recipe or make a poster about that food. Include name, where in Italy is from and any interesting facts you learn about them. Perhaps you can make it to share with your friends and family. You might choose a pizza, pasta or gelato recipe.
20. Introduce an Italian musician. Write a profile or an interview about that musician. Include name, date or birth, job, where they lived and any interesting facts you learn about them. You might choose an opera singer, an orchestral musician or a pop singer you history or modern day.
21. Introduce a famous Italian building. Write a profile or make a poster about that building. Include its name in Italian and English, date built (if known), who designed &/or built it, which Italian region it is in, is it still standing today and any interesting facts you learn about it.
Please comment to share any topic ideas you have tried with your class :-)