Teaching resources for Scuola secondaria di secondo grado - February

Download materials and use them with your class

Teaching resources

Carnival Mask
Carnivals & Masks

February is the month of carnivals. Originally a Catholic tradition, Carnival also has European pagan roots. From Carnaval Brazil, to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA and the Carnevale di Venezia, people celebrate in different ways but masks are always a big part of carnivals. Why are they used and what do they represent?

  • Carnival Questionnaire
    Students answer questions about carnivals and compare their answers with a partner.
  • World carnivals Worksheet
    An age appropriate worksheet at B1 level, on the most famous carnivals around the world. Plus teaching notes.
  • Celebrations Speaking Activity
    An activity for students to talk about celebrations and compare how different people celebrate important events.
  • Penguin Readers Teacher's Guide to Using Bestsellers
    This guide offers teachers practical advice on how to get the most from the top 20 bestselling Penguin Readers both in the classroom and in the school library. It contains a variety of suggestions for activities and includes 12 photocopiable student’s worksheets.
  • Masks Worksheet
    An age appropriate worksheet at B1-level, on the Symbolism of Masks. Plus teaching notes.
Pancake Tuesday & Mardi Gras

The beginning of Lent is marked by celebrations in many countries.

  • Pancake Day Lesson
    An age-appropriate worksheet for SSSG students on the history and traditions of Pancake Tuesday/Mardi Gras, with a reading text and activities.Includes teaching notes | Biennio
  • Mardi Gras Wordsearch
    A wordsearch for the vocabulary of Mardi Gras and Pancake Tuesday with Answer Key | Starter/Beginner - Advanced
Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day is a lovers' holiday celebrated on February 14th in honour of St. Valentine, patron saint of all lovers.

Crime Scene

Crime. We know about it and hear about it all the time. It is a topic covered in newspapers, television and on the radio every day. It also makes a great topic for novels. Who doesn't like a little suspense and mystery in their lives?

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2. The most famous Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

George Washington's Birthday

George Washington was the first President and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. His birthday is celebrated in the USA on President's Day, the third Monday of February.

Academy Awards Ceremony
  • Academy Awards lesson
    An age-appropriate worksheet for SSSG students on film vocabulary and the Academy Awards. Includes teaching notes | Biennio

Author of the month

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish poet, travel writer and novelist. Though he started training as an engineer and then as a lawyer, he was always interested in writing and at the age of twenty-five, began to devote his life to literature. During his lifetime, he lived in France, the United States and in the South Seas, where he became known as ‘The Teller of Stories’.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Why is the frightening Mr Hyde a friend of the nice Dr Jekyll? Who is the evil little man? And why does he seem to have power over the doctor? After a terrible murder, everyone is looking for Mr Hyde. But he has disappeared. Or has he?

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is a British writer from Devon, England. Christie had a phenomenal literary career as a writer of crime stories. She published 66 novels, 154 short stories and 20 plays. She is best known for the her detective novels, most of which revolve around the investigative work of such characters as Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express: a train journey from Turkey to France is delayed by thick snow. So when a passenger on the train is found murdered in his bed, it is the perfect opportunity for Agatha Christie's famous detective, Hercule Poirot, to prove his ability and solve the crime.

Word of the month


Improve your students' vocabulary with a word for every month and activities to go with it! 


This definition was taken from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 6th Edition.

1. changing what you say according to who you are talking to, in a way that is insincere and unpleasant (used to show disapproval)
He’s a two-faced liar.
I've never met anyone so two-faced: she's sweet and charming to your face, and then goes and complains about you to the teacher!


This definition was taken from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 6th Edition.

1. [countable]: an object or piece of information that helps someone solve a crime or mystery. 
2. [uncountable]: information that helps you understand the reasons why something happens. 
3. [uncountable]: a piece of information that helps you solve a crossword puzzle, answer a question etc. 

Idiom of the month

Put on a Brave Face

Put on a Brave Face: to pretend that you are happy and that the problem doesn't bother you, when you are really very upset

For example: Greg was sad after his best friend moved away, but he put on a brave face for his classmates.

To get cold feet: to suddenly get too scared to do something that was planned.

For example: He cancelled the wedding because he got cold feet.

City of the month


Boston is at the same time one of the oldest - and youngest - cities of the United States. It is home to historical bildings and modern skyscrapers, a charming Little Italy neighborhood, the world-famous marathon and the first university of the USA. Watch this video to find out more and understand why people call Boston The City of Champions.

Los Angeles

In which American city do detective stories come to life on the big screen? Watch this video to find out what else L.A., the "City of Angels", is famous for.

Did you know?

February 2017 - Did You Know
Carnivals and Masks

In Chinese opera, the colour of every mask has a meaning. It describes the character's role, fate, emotional state and personality. In this way the public can better understand the character and his/her part in the story.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is so popular that her book sales are only surpassed by those of the Bible and the works of Shakespeare!

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