TEFL Quiz: How Much Do You Know About May 1?

Every year for the past several, I’ve had a day off that people at home haven’t: the first of May, for International Labour Day, or May Day. People at home are often surprised to hear that nearly every country in the world marks a holiday that the they (and, according to Wikipedia, Canadians) do not, and people I’ve met abroad are equally surprised at this. As I did my duty and avoided work yesterday, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to hold forth on some factoids about the May Day, phrased as a true/false quiz which you can give to your students…maybe next year?

See how much you know about this day:

1. May Day was originally the commemoration of the Haymarket protests in Chicago in 1886.
2. Labor Day in the US falls in September.
3. On this day, workers work extra hours to celebrate.
4. In the US, May 1 is a legal – though not federal – holiday called Loyalty Day.
5. Some people in the US traditionally celebrated May Day by giving baskets of flowers and candy to neighbors and friends.

All according to the all-powerful Wikipedia.
1. True.
2. True.
3. False. People on a salary generally get the day off; if you work in the service sector and get paid by the hour, don’t count on it.
4. True (!) Wikipedia says Loyalty Day is “a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.” Wowsers!
5. True. My mother participated in this as a child, but after moving to a new town and telling other kids about it, they called her a socialist. Hmm…maybe this is why I’ve spent so much time in Eastern Europe…subliminal influences growing up…

All kidding aside, while I might not give this particular quiz in class, if you’ve got ten or fifteen minutes to kill and access to either reference material or Internet, you might have your students work in pairs or small groups to generate a true/false or multiple choice quiz for the other groups. With a little more planning, you could gear it around practicing past simple, the passive, relative clauses or some other structure…but don’t give your students too much work on International Labour Day.