New Year – no prep activities!

It’s almost the end of our Christmas holidays which means it’s the perfect time to start thinking of New Year activities to try with our classes. Although a quick search over the net will yield hundreds of ideas you can use with your kids, I was thinking of activities you can use immediately in class without having to prepare at all !

  • 2016 I spy : Divide your class in teams and ask your students to look around the class/school in order to find objects corresponding to the numbers 2-0-1-6 (e.g. 2 whiteboards, 0 beds, 1 laptop, 6 chairs etc.) If you have time, you can use a virtual dice (the one I use is this ) or a class spinner which you can edit (here is a great class spinner) and add questions that you would like your students to answer upon finding the objects (e.g. What do we use whiteboards for? etc.)
  • Palm reading – Looking into the future: Split your class in fortune tellers and clients. The fortune tellers will have to make predictions about the clients’ future by looking at their palm. The number/topic of predictions depends on your classes’ level or needs, but you could a) ask them to make 6 predictions in total, 2 on 3 topics (career, health and personal life) or b) if you want their imagination to run wild, ask them to make predictions including the number 2016! (e.g. I’m sure you will eat 2016 ice-creams.)
  • New Year’s Resolutions debate: As simple as it sounds! Split your class in 2 groups – half of them believe making resolutions or setting goals is good practice while the others think resolutions are overrated.
  • Good moments jar: This is an activity that I’ve been working on with one of my classes since September. You simply need a plastic container. At the end of each lesson, ask your students to write down one thing they loved about the lesson that day.
  • Monthly expectations board: On a piece of A2 paper write down the different months of the year. Ask your class to think of and write down what they look forward to learning every month of the year as well as what they hope to have accomplished by the end of each month.
  • Life after Christmas -Writing / Speaking: Bring in class a picture of Santa. Ask your students to imagine what Santa does now that Christmas is over. How does he spend his days? How does he prepare for next year? There are many ways you can extend the discussion, but here are a few suggestions: a) for elementary -intermediate classes: you can ask them to write a short paragraph about Santa’s post -holiday routine. They could also write a letter of advice to Santa with suggestions on what new hobbies/activities he can take up now that Christmas is over, so that he doesn’t feel bored               b) for upper intermediate – advanced classes: You could discuss possible jobs Santa can do now that the holiday season is over (e.g. shop assistant in a toy shop, truck/taxi driver etc). Then, they could imagine they’re Santa and write a letter of application to an imaginary future employer.
  • Christmas leftover recipes: Brainstorm foods we normally cook during the holidays. Ask your students to imagine you have leftovers from all the foods they have mentioned. In groups, they should discuss how they can use the leftovers and come up with their own recipes for new dishes.

For more ideas, you can click here and check out this older post! Happy new year, everyone! 🙂


  • colorful happy new year greeting

Comments (4)

  1. Hi Maria

    Happy New Year to you – and thank you for the bunch of nice activities/reminders/ideas! My favorite is ‘life after Xmas’ (wondering if adult students would also have a lot to say about this one!)

    Cheers from Ukraine (have just checked when you celebrate Xmas in Greece – seems to be 25 Dec, not Jan 6, like us?)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Zhenya and happy New Year to you, too! I’m sure our adult students would be even more imaginative about Santa’s post- Christmas life!:) And how nice it’s Christmas today in Ukraine -Merry Christmas then to you as well! 🙂

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