Fun Easy English Classroom April 1


Learn about
April Fools Day
April Fools Day

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you are going to learn about April Fools Day.
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April Fools DayHoliday: April Fool's Day

In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April first. It was celebrated in much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night. Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January first. There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools." They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true. In France today, April first is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)

Today Americans play small tricks on friends and strangers alike on the first of April. One common trick on April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, is pointing down to a friend's shoe and saying, "Your shoelace is untied." Teachers in the nineteenth century used to say to pupils, "Look! A flock of geese!" and point up. School children might tell a classmate that school has been canceled. Whatever the trick, if the innocent victim falls for the joke the prankster yells, "April Fool! "

The "fools' errands" we play on people are practical jokes. Putting salt in the sugar bowl for the next person is not a nice trick to play on a stranger. College students set their clocks an hour behind, so their roommates show up to the wrong class - or not at all. Some practical jokes are kept up the whole day before the victim realizes what day it is. Most April Fool jokes are in good fun and not meant to harm anyone. The most clever April Fool's joke is the one where everyone laughs, especially the person upon whom the joke is played.

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. "
- American humorist Mark Twain
From YOUR Teacher: April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day was always a favorite holiday for me and my friends when we were kids. Playing jokes on each other was really fun.
Test: Reading Comprehension April Fool's Day

Read the information above. In the test questions below choose which is the best answer for each question. There are 5 questions. Good luck.
1.  In sixteenth-century France, the New Year was observed on which date?

a.  January 1
b.  March 1
c.  April 1
d.  August 1
2.  Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar in what year?

a.  1552
b.  1562
c.  1572
d.  1582
3.  What does "Poisson d'Avril" mean?

a.  position in April
b.  pushing in April
c.  April fish
d.  April pastries
4.  Based on the reading, what is a common trick on April Fool's Day?

a.  saying a friend's shoelace is untied
b.  eating someone's cake at night
c.  hiding the calendar for a month
d.  changing your socks to different colors
5.  Based on the reading, what is the most clever April Fool's joke?

a.  where everyone eats
b.  hiding school papers
c.  throwing out garbage
d.  where everyone laughs
More Tests
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional conversation, listening, and reading practice.
  • Conversation Lesson - Beginner Level. Dialogs for everyday use. Short situational dialogs for students of English as a Foreign (EFL) or Second (ESL) Language with a written conversation and a conversation notes section.
Conversation Lesson 9 - Birthdays
(Beginner - Conversation, Reading)

Dialogs for everyday use. Short situational dialogs for students of English as a Foreign (EFL) or Second (ESL) Language.

Patty: How old are you?

Susan: Nine... but I’ll be ten on May sixteenth.

Patty: I’m older than you! I’ll be ten on May fourteenth.

Susan: Are you going to have a birthday party?

Patty: Maybe. I’ll have to ask my mother.
Conversation Notes
  • Nine...
  • A short form equivalent to I’m nine years old.
  • sixteenth
  • Notice that the strongest stress in this word is on the second syllable. (The stress pattern, as well as the final /n/, differentiates sixTEEN from SIXty.) Some speakers insert the between the month and the numeral: May the sixteenth, May the fourteenth.
  • I’ll be ten on May fourteenth
  • The contrastive stress on the first syllable of FOURteenth. Normally, the stronger stress falls on the second syllable of this word: fourTEENTH (like sixTEENTH in the line above). However, to bring out the contrast, the speaker emphasizes the contrasting element, four­.
  • going to
  • The rhythm pattern of English requires that this weak stressed, potentially three­syllable, element be reduced in length. In the process of reduction some of the consonants are lost or modified and the vowels changed to more centralized, lax forms.
  • birthday party
  • Notice that the normal stress for a compound noun falls on the first element of the compound.
  • Maybe
  • Notice that the intonation falls only slightly—indicating doubt, indecision, or lack of completion. Have to. See Lesson 7.
Source: U.S. State Department
Additional Conversation

This is a collection of 36 situational conversations which focus on spoken American English in a relatively natural way....these lessons are for intermediate students.

This is a collection of 30 situational conversations. Each conversation is accompanied by language notes....these lessons are for advanced students.

English conversation lessons. 52 lessons covering pronunciation, speaking, writing, and grammar topics....these lessons are for beginning students.

English conversation lessons. 30 lessons focusing mostly on communication and grammar topics....these lessons are for intermediate students.
Additional Information
Study Tips
(Beginner - Listening)

Avoid Ineffective Study Methods. An audio lesson to help you study English more effectively. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great English study tips.
Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.