Christmas

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”

Bob Hope (1903 - 2003), British-American comedian and actor
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LESSON OVERVIEW

This free ESL lesson plan on Christmas has been designed for adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

Christmas is one of the most magical times in the year. Kids and adults alike start to become extremely excited as the holiday season approaches. Christmas is a time to spend with the family and show love to one and all. In this ESL lesson plan on Christmas, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as Christmas traditions, the true meaning of Christmas and whether or not this meaning has been lost.

For more lesson plans on international days and important holidays, see the calendar of world days to plan your classes for these special occasions.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.

PRE-CLASS ACTIVITIES

Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

The Conversation | “How did we come to celebrate Christmas?”

The article talks about some of the origins of our modern Christmas traditions including the date of Christmas, the Christmas tree and Santa Claus. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. Did they already know any of this? Are they surprised by any of this? Do they agree with what was written?

Video activity
To save time in class for the conversation activities, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below and answer the listening questions in Section 3 of the lesson plan at home. There are intermediate listening questions and advanced listening questions so teachers can decide which would be more appropriate for their students. Check the answers in the class.

The video for this class is called “How To Have A British Christmas” by Anglophenia which discusses some of the differences in the Christmas traditions of the United Kingdom and United States.

IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES

The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including how Christmas is celebrated in their countries, what they associate with Christmas and whether or not Christmas is stressful.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with Christmas such as white Christmas, stocking filler and Christmas card. This vocabulary has been chosen to boost the students’ knowledge of less common vocabulary that could be useful for preparing for English exams like IELTS or TOEFL. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the listening questions. Before checking the answers, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about Christmas. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as how they feel different about Christmas as an adult compared to when they were a child, the religious significance of Christmas, and whether or not this significance has been lost.

HOMEWORK

After the class, students will write about their opinion of Christmas. This could be a short paragraph or a longer piece of writing depending on what level the student is at. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise and improve their grammar with the feedback from their teacher. For students who intend to take an international English exam such as IELTS or TOEFL, there is an alternative essay question to practise their essay-writing skills.

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