6 no-prep activities for your Christmas lessons

Christmas is just around the corner and we’re all busy trying festive activities with our learners. There is such a wealth of resources and amazing materials on the topic of Christmas and New Year’s that there is definitely something for every skill and level. What I’d like to suggest today are 6 minimal-prep activities that I have tried over the years and which my learners love too! Hope you find them useful – Merry Christmas everyone, have an amazing time with your loved ones!

  1. Christmas Past – Present – Future: Inspired by the three spirits of the Christmas Carol, this is an activity that can be adapted and used for many different Christmas-related topics, customs or festive activities. In its simpler form, learners can share a favourite or least favourite Past Christmas memory, talk about how they would like to celebrate Christmas this year as well as how they would like to celebrate Christmas next year or further ahead in the future.
  2. Christmas in a character’s shoes: Ask learners to imagine how different characters found in literature, films or even other holidays celebrate Christmas (e.g. how might Easter Bunny or Batman be celebrating Christmas?). In doing so, invite your learners to consider what they already know about their chosen character and their life and share their thoughts on their holiday activities. This is an excellent way for learners to practise perspective taking as they explore different personalities and viewpoints.
  3. Here are a few of my favourite Christmas things: This is another activity that can be used in various ways and on different areas of language (e.g. Here are a few of my favourite Christmas words/ wishes/ activities etc.). Learners create their lists with the number of items you have decided on and then compare and contrast their lists with those of their classmates and share similarities and differences.
  4. Almost the same Christmas songs: Most modern and traditional Christmas songs and carols have been covered by so many different artists and are available in various versions. Ask your learners to find a cover or different version of a Christmas song they love and share how they feel about the version they chose and why they feel so (Do they like it more / less? What about the song’s meaning and atmosphere? etc.).
  5. My favourite Christmas recipe with a twist: If your learners love cooking and Christmas food, you can ask them to cook their favourite Christmas recipe, but add or remove an ingredient of their choice and then present to the rest of the class their impressions of their cooking experiment. Alternatively, you can ask learners to bring a copy of their favourite Christmas recipes, exchange them, try each other’s favourite Christmas dishes and share what they liked most and least about their peers’ choices.
  6. This or That Christmas edition: Similar to the well-known templates used for social media, this would be a great alternative to “Find someone who…” or Christmas-related quizzes by asking learners to create their own This or That questionnaires and interview their partners. Another way to use this is by suggesting learners create a This or That Christmas homework list and based on their most chosen options design their own Christmas homework calendar.

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