#121 Birthday Card Activities

Published on September 19, 2007

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Birthday Card Activity

Below, you can see the familiar format of the birthday card: a partial sentence on the outside of the card, followed by an ellipses (that’s three dots, like this …). Then the birthday boy/girl opens the card to reveal the (often surprising) finish of the sentence.

Outside of card                                 Inside
To the nicest person I know…             … Happy birthday!
I was going to buy you a present …     … but I’m cheap. Happy Birthday!
You don’t look one day over…             … the hill. Happy Birthday!

idiom: over the hill = past the peak of your health and vigor.

Below you’ll find some activities for Birthday Cards. Do them in the following order to make a full lesson, or choose those that’ll will work with your class or level.

Activity #1: Matching

Here are five of the many birthday cards that I actuallywrote and tried to sell to a greeting card company. Alas, no one bought them. These birthday cards are intended to help us laugh at our worries about aging. So they are probably not useful to young learners.

Match the first half (the outside of the card) with the inside (the punchline or funny part).
Birthday Card Outside 1. A birthday without a funny card…
2. You don’t look your age…
3. You’re not as old as …
4. Another birthday….
5. Never throw this birthday card away…

A. … you don’t even act it.
B. … because it’s from me, stupid!
C. … Deal with it!
D. … is better than a birthday without presents.
E. … you will be tomorrow

Activity 2: Unfinished Birthday Cards

Now you’ll get the first halves (the outside) of five birthday cards. The students’ job is to finish them, to write the inside of the card. Work in pairs. Students may be polite or funny. Creativity should be rewarded. (Afterwards compare students answers with the originals below.

Birthday Card Inside 1. You’re at the age where…
2. No way I’d forget your birthday…
3. The best gift ever…
4. Trying to hide your birthday again…?
5. I baked you your favorite cake…

Activity 3: Write Your OWN

Write and design your own birthday cards. Fold a paper in half. On the outside draw a picture and make some words. Design your own birthday card. This activity works great for any level: young learners will write basic wishes. Advanced learners can use wit, wisdom, rhymes, or puns.

Further Greeting Card Activities

There are lots of other types of cards, generically called “greeting cards.” There are cards for religious holidays, weddings, condolences, births, anniversaries, graduation, job promotions, celebrating friendship, Valentine’s Day, Get-Well-Soon cards for sick people, and more.

Have students write some of these.

And let’s say the class comes up with some great ideas for cards. Why not submit them online to a greeting card company to see if they will buy some? Who knows?

For more information, check out this article…http://www.writing-world.com/poetry/arrieta.shtml

Activity 1
1. A birthday without a funny card… is better than a birthday without presents
2. You don’t look your age… … You don’t even act it.
3. You’re not as old as… you will be tomorrow.
4. Another birthday… … Deal with it!
5. Never throw this birthday card away… … because it’s from me, stupid.

Activity 2
1. You’re at the age where… your inner child has reached adolescence.
2. No way I’d forget your birthday… Not now that you’re this old.
3. The best gift ever… … could have been yours if the ATM machine [bankomat] was working
4. Trying to hide your birthday again…? … Nice try.
5. I baked your favorite cake… … Man, was it good.

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