Cambridge English Christmas Activities for Teachers
Send Santa an email - B1
This year Santa Claus has become very modern and is using email!
Your task is to write him an email. In your email, you should:
• Tell Santa how well you have behaved this year
• Tell him what present you would like for Christmas and why.
• Ask him what he would like you to leave him and Rudolph on Christmas Eve.
Lower levels can still create their own letter to Santa. Give the students a guide to writing their letter. A good example can be found at:
What does Christmas mean to you B2C1
John Lewis is a department store in the UK with lots of stores all over the country. Each year they produce an advert for Christmas which has become very popular and people in the UK talk about the message it portrays. This year the advert is a good starting point for discussion and practice for speaking in pairs or in groups.
See the advert at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860
In pairs or groups the students can discuss the following:
• Did you like the video? If you like it, why? If not, why not?
• What do you think the meaning behind the video is?
• What does Christmas mean to you? How do you celebrate Christmas?
• What is important to you at Christmas time? Why is this important to you?
• What was important to the little boy in the video? What do you think the penguin represents?
Make a snowman Young learners A1
This is a really fun game that involves drawing snowmen! Students can play in pairs or in groups. All you need is a dice, A4 paper split into 6 and some pencils.
Explain to the students that the objective of the game is to draw 6 snowmen. Explain to them what each number on the dice refers to on the drawing e.g. If you roll number:
1 = you can draw the body (one big circle)
2 = you can draw the head (one small circle)
3 = you can draw a scarf
4 = you can draw eyes, mouth and a carrot nose
5 = you can draw a hat
6 = you can draw two sticks for arm
The first player rolls the dice, counts the number and, if they are able to do so, draws the body part or accessory that matches the number on the rules sheet. If you roll a 5 you cannot draw the hat until you your snowman has a body and a head (i.e. you have rolled a 1 then a 2) etc. If you roll another 1 before completing your previous snowmen then you can start drawing another snowman and adding the body parts and accessories in order as you roll them. You can, therefore, have several snowmen at different stages of completion.
Set a time limit for the game. Once finished, ask the students to describe their snowmen i.e. My snowman has got ……. My snowman hasn’t got …….. My snowman is wearing……. Etc.
They could make funny sentences about their snowmen i.e. I have 3 snowmen but only one has a head!, My snowman doesn’t have a nose! Etc.
Challenge your students to design the same game but use another Christmas object e.g. they could try and draw a Christmas tree – the different parts could be the trunk, the tree, the lights, the tinsel, the baubles and the star on the top. Could they design one for Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer?
If you want an art activity to create moving snowmen see the following link:
The following link is a great online activity for making an interactive snowman (from traditional to very modern and funky!). It also includes some easy reading comprehension and a song. http://www.starfall.com/n/holiday/snowman/play.html
O Christmas tree – A2
Ask the students to fill in the gaps from the word bank.
What clues from the text can they use?
Ask them to check their answers with other students.
Does everyone have the same answer?
To finish sing the song!
O Christmas tree
O Christmas ,
O Christmas ,
How lovely are your ,
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your ,
In or ,
A coat of you always show.
O Christmas , O Christmas ,
How lovely are your !
O Christmas tree Shape Poem B1B2
Use the Christmas tree outline without the words in which the students can prepare a Christmas tree shape poem. Their Poem can start with O Christmas tree.
Brainstorm in groups words that could describe a Christmas tree. Tell the students to think about the shape, colour and adjectives to describe these words.
Ask questions like: What do you out on a Christmas tree? How do you decorate it? What do you put on top of the tree? What are the branches like?
The poem doesn’t have to rhyme but does have to fit into the shape of the Christmas tree. Once they have their list of words and adjectives they can start to try and create sentences which fit the shape. Examples could be: your bright baubles bounce and twirl on your branches, the sparkling tinsel cuddles you and keeps you warm, your bright star lightens up the room etc.
The students complete their poem with their sentences. Different colours can be used when writing to give the effect that the tree has been decorated.
The best Christmas...EVER! - B2
Play your students the following song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1- sXrdQtog
Have a group discussion on what they thought about the video clip? (they may complain that the video clip is old!)
Ask the students to think about the following questions:
What do they think the meaning of the song is? How were the people in the video clip? Were they happy? Were they having a good time? Why were they having a good time? Did they pick up the main chorus of the song? What was it? Talk about the times of the year when you have a good time – does any student mention Christmas?
The students’ task is to write about their most wonderful Christmas. They have to think of a Christmas that inspired them, entertained them, amused them and one that they will never forget. They might choose to write about the year they received a fantastic present or when all their family came together to celebrate. It could be a tale of families round the Christmas tree, opening their presents to celebrate the season or seeing a younger brother or sister open their presents for the first time. The title of their story can be the same as the title of the song: Simply having a Wonderful Christmas Time
Just the job for Santa A2 B1
This idea comes from the book Just the Job for Santa by Kate Lee.
In the book Santa is tired of being Santa and wants a new job.
In groups the students think about other jobs that Santa could do. They choose one and write a sentence i.e. Santa is/becomes a footballer because it´s his favourite sport. For B1 students each student has to give an opinion on the other students ideas i.e. if they agree or disagree e.g. I don’t agree that Santa becomes a footballer because he is not fit enough to complete a full football match! Etc.
The students can create a class book of alternative jobs for Santa which can be used as an art activity. Instead of the students drawing Santa in his new role they have to use different scraps of paper to create him. Using different coloured card as the book gives a great effect.
This could be adapted to new jobs for the three Kings.
What could they do?
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs Young learners, A1A2
Show the children the following clip but stop it at 16.08 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCEvL_hdN2A
Discuss with the class what has happened. Collate the ideas from the students and write them up on the board i.e. the boy makes a snowman, the snowman is alive, the snowman plays with the boy etc.
Using a layout of a comic strip divided into 6 ask the students to draw the first 3 parts of the comic using the ideas collated from the class.
Ask some students to explain which parts of the film they have drawn and why. The A2 students can draw the pictures and write a sentence explaining what is happening in each picture.
Ask students what was happening when you stopped the video. Tell them that the snowman takes the boy away flying on a magical adventure!
The student’s task is to complete their comic strip with what they think will happen. Where do they think they will go? What do they do there? What will they see? Who will they visit? Give the students some clues but not too many as the idea is that they use their imagination to create their own version of the film. Again the A2 students can write sentences describing what is happening in each of their pictures. When they have finished put the students into groups. The students in each group have to retell their story to the rest of their group.
To finish the class, show the rest of the film. The students can check to see if their creation matches that to the film. As a whole class you can discuss the journey of the boy and the snowman.
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