As the holiday season is just around the corner, we are all looking forward to a well-deserved break! Public schools are closing across the globe, and teacher hours will ease as everyone spends more time with family and friends, exchanging presents and creating laughter and memories.
With the last week of the school year approaching and online lessons still ongoing, we’d like to share with you some neat ideas and lesson plans you can bring to your classroom. We’ll show you a range of activities to suit all ages and class sizes. Remember, you can always alter them to suit your class – nobody will know your students’ interests like you!
Christmas Lesson Ideas for Young Learners, Teenagers and Adults
We have done five-lesson ideas for you, ranging from young learners to adults with online and in-classroom options! If it does suit your classroom, why not try implementing one of the other ideas and changing it up to suit your age group!
1. Christmas Lesson Ideas for Young Learners: Online Edition
When you are teaching young learners, there are many reasons that online classes are difficult! Firstly, you need engaging lesson plans to help with their attention span. You also need to consider that their parents are probably forcing them to learn, and they may not want to be there. This is even more so during the holiday season! Santa is just around the corner, and this is all they can think about! So, why not make your lessons fun and Christmas themed? This will for sure keep it entertaining and appealing.
A great lesson plan for this is writing a Santa’s letter in English. Depending on the level of English the student is at, you can either make a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet and screen share or challenge them by writing it from scratch!
You can ask students to incorporate new grammar into their list for extra points. This might be ‘I’d like’ for lower levels or ‘I’d rather’ or conditional sentences for higher levels. Then, incorporate some speaking by asking students what’s similar or different about their lists, what they would do with their gifts, or what they will give other people. You don’t need any resources for this, and it can make for a nice homework activity.
2. Christmas Lesson Ideas for Young Learners: Classroom Edition
Classroom activities can be a little easier to engage your students than online teaching. During Christmas time, the best thing about school for young learners is they know learning will be lighter than usual, and they are in for a fun week! Try not to go too hard on new vocabulary and concentrate more on the fun. You might be able to incorporate revision into this lesson plan as repetition, as we all know, is key when learning a new language.
Have you ever played the alphabet categories game? You choose a letter, give categories, and the student must then name an item beginning with the letter you choose. Get the whole class involved by making a circle and bringing in a ball. When you shout a category, throw the ball to a random student. When they catch it, they must say an item that comes to mind. This helps a lot with their receptive language and makes sure that the whole class is paying attention.
Need some category inspiration? Give a seasonal twist to the traditional game by including only Christmas-related categories. Try food, stocking stuffer gift, Christmas carol, item of winter clothing, name of Santa’s reindeer, winter activity, a toy, gift for Mum, gift for Dad, Christmas decoration, Christmas symbol… So many to choose from!
3. Christmas Lesson Ideas for Teenagers
Teenagers are at that tough age, and it can be quite hard to get them excited about a lesson. With a school break just around the corner and being hyper about hanging out with friends for their time off, learning can be the last thing on their minds.
Finding the right balance between young learners and adult learners methodologies are tricky, and it’s always good to personalise for your own classroom, depending on the general attitudes of your students. We need somewhere between fun and engaging while also treating them as young adults, trying not to be patronizing. This Christmas lesson plan can suit both online and in-classroom and is tailored to your students.
In this game, your students will ask questions to try and determine which elf committed the Christmas crime. Students play in groups of around four. Each group should have pictures of five different elves (you can also use pictures of Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, etc.). Each group lays their pictures face up on a table where everyone playing can see them. The first player secretly chooses one of the elves as the guilty party and thinks of the Christmas crime he committed. It might be that he stole the presents, kidnapped Rudolph, drugged Santa Clause, etc. You might want to brainstorm what Christmas crimes the elves could have committed with your class. The rest of the players then get 20 questions to determine which elf is guilty and what crime he committed. The questions must be yes/no questions. If the group solves the mystery before their 20 questions, they win the round. If they cannot solve the crime, the player who chose the elf wins. Play until each person has a chance to choose the guilty elf.
When playing this online, make use of breakout rooms, and we would also suggest having the options prepared beforehand as you’ll be doing less supervision with the breakout rooms.
4. Christmas Lesson Ideas for Adult Learners: Online Edition
Unlike teaching young learners, 99% of lessons for adult learners are private learning, they want to be there, and they want to learn. We will consider the student’s goals only being General Conversational English, not exam preparation or business English for this lesson plan. Don’t worry. We have an example further down for this! Christmas is family orientated, and you may think that Christmas themed lesson plans might come across as a little demeaning to adult English learners. But let’s face it! We all have our own inner child coming to life when Christmas comes around. Before we get into it, make sure you are sensitive to religious beliefs. If you need to skew the lesson plan to suit Hanukkah or others instead, definitely do! English learning is completely international with so many cultures, and your students will really appreciate you making an effort for them (and you’ll definitely see them again in the new year!).
You can screen share Christmas-themed images on the board while the student attempts to guess what they are. You can follow the standard PPP method for this one and concentrate on the words.
Start going slowly through the images on a PowerPoint that represents some Christmas vocabulary. They get progressively harder, so it would be a great way to check up on their level and see how much they’ve learned. When students guess correctly, invite them to spell it and add the spelling to the chat box in whichever video system you are using. Feel free to use our list below, where simple images are easy to find on the web for your lesson plan and even add some more to it. Even ask them to use it in a sentence or take them away for homework by writing a short story, using all the words:
Elf / Elves
5. Christmas Lesson Ideas for Adult Learners: Classroom Edition
First, students discuss a few questions about Christmas, their preparations and celebrations. Next, they move to another exercise and watch Christmas ads. Each of them watches one advert. While watching, they should take notes because they’ll summarize the ad to their partner and explain how the people shown were preparing for Christmas. After this exercise, students talk about other cool Christmas commercials they’ve seen, the Christmas spirit, and whether they write wishes or text messages during this time of the year. This question should serve as a lead-in to the remaining tasks.
The next task is a word-formation exercise. Students read some Christmas wishes and decide which part of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, etc.) is missing in each gap. Then, they complete them with the correct form of the words in brackets. To practise a bit of the expression and phrases, they get a Christmas card and need to find and fix four mistakes. Finally, in the production stage of this lesson plan, students have to write Christmas wishes to a friend, family member, or co-worker. They need to choose the appropriate beginning and closing from the list given. Remind them to come up with their own Christmas wishes and don’t copy the ones from the previous exercises word by word.
From everyone here at the TEFL Institute, we wish you happy holidays! Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. And a Happy New Year to all.