Last week, I shared four Christmas themed activities to use with your class, either as separate activities, or as a single lesson.  This week, I’m doing that again!  Here’s five activities for you to use with your classes.  As with last week, I haven’t tagged them with age or ability, so use your own judgement as to which you think most appropriate for your groups.

Also as with last week, these activities can be used consecutively to make a complete lesson, though I think there is probably one activity too many for a 60 minute lesson, so do think about timings before you take them into the classroom!


Activity #01:  Vocab Input:  Round the room crossword.

  • Download the pdf teflgeek Round the room crossword
  • Chop up and then display the images in Handout #01 around the room.
  • Give copies of Handout #02 to the students.  Students move around the room and use the images and peer teaching to complete the crossword.
  • Variation:  Put the students into teams and the first team to finish wins.
  • Partial feedback:  write the target items on the board.

Activity #02:  Vocab consolidation:

  • Two teams play charades with the target vocabulary from stage 1.

Activity #03:  MadLibs Listening & Writing

(Acknowledgement – I first came across this activity at IH Katowice, but I’m not sure who showed it to me or where it came from.)

Ask SS to write the numbers 1 – 12 down the side of a page.

Next to each number ask them to write the following next to each number:

  1. the name of a famous man
  2. the name of a famous woman
  3. a noun (an object)
  4. an adjective
  5. an emotion (different to 4)
  6. an animal
  7. a vegetable or fruit
  8. a noun (an object different to 3)
  9. a verb in the infinitive (with “to”)
  10. a preposition
  11. a location / place
  12. the name of the person sitting two spaces to their left

Then tell the SS they’re going to do a dictation.  But when you say a number, they substitute the word(s) they wrote in their list.

Dictate the following:

Dear Uncle (1) and Aunty (2),
Thank you very much for the (3), it was really (4) and I was very (5) you gave it to me.
This year, instead of turkey for Christmas lunch, Mum cooked (6) and (7), which was nice.
I hope you liked the (8) we gave you, it was really difficult (9).
Well, that’s all from me.  I look forward to seeing you (10) (11).
Lots of love,

SS then find the person two spaces to their left and read them the letter.

Monitor and choose some choice examples to be read out to the class!


Activity #04:  Christmas Poems

This activity is possibly a bit more suitable for intermediate and above level groups?

Write the letters from the word CHRISTMAS in a column down the left side of the board.  Work with the students to elicit an acrostic poem (of sorts) to the board.

Then put students in pairs to work on their own effort.  If possible, display these in the classroom – younger learners may also enjoy illustrating these.

This is an example from two Advanced students:

  • Christmas time has arrived
  • Ho ho ho! It’s time to
  • Rhyme and sing happy songs
  • It will be the perfect night
  • Sitting by the candle light
  • Telling stories to the young
  • Mixing presents left to right
  • Always with a smile across the face
  • Stars shining in the night


Activity #05:  Christmas Present Swap

This is my favourite Christmas activity and I have actually blogged about it before, almost seven years ago, and I pretty much use it with every group I teach, every Christmas.  It’s great!  You can find the instructions via the link, but I will also repeat them here:

(Before the class, you’ll need to chop up some scrap paper, so that each learner in the class will have SIX bits of paper each.)

(1)  Ask the learners what they want / are hoping to get for Christmas – in terms of presents from other people, though if anyone comes up with “world peace” you could extend the discussion to see how likely they think that is…  This could be in pairs, or open class.

(2)  Ask the learners if that always get what they want.  If not, what do they get instead?  Socks?  Soap?  Have they ever had a present they were truly horrified to receive?  This could be broadened out into a discussion on what constitutes a good present or a bad present.

(3)  Give the learners the slips of paper, so that each learner has six slips.  Tell the learners they’ll write one thing on each bit of paper, so on one bit of paper they’ll write ” Justin Bieber CD” and on another they’ll write “a yellow woollen scarf” and so on.  Three of the bits of paper should be things they would like to get this Christmas.  The other three things should be things they don’t want, necessarily, but which they think they might get.

(4)  When they’re done, the learners scrunch up all the bits of paper into little balls and give them to the teacher, who puts them in a container of some kind (a Santa hat if you have one handy!).

(5)  The teacher then elicits / inputs the negotiation language for the swapping activity – examples might include:

  • Would you like a __________?
  • Do you want to swap a __________ for a _______?
  • If you give me _________ I’ll give you ___________.

Ask the learners for other ideas….

(6)  The teacher then throws all the balls of paper up in the air, so that they are scattered across the classroom.   If you can cope with the potential chaos, an alternative is to do this as a snowball fight, with learners throwing the paper balls at each other for two or three minutes.  At the end, a brief mad undignified scramble then ensues as the learners grab as many items as they can – make sure they know they should only take six.  If someone has more, select one from them at random and redistribute it to whoever’s missing an item.

(7)  The learners then “unwrap” their gifts and see what they have got!  They can then decide what they want to keep and what they want to swap.

(8)  The learners then mingle and swap their gifts until such time as they’re happy with everything they have in their hands.

(9)  Content feedback:  Who got what?  Who’s happy and who’s unhappy?  Language feedback – reformulation and extension of learner utterances during the mingle task

The End!


Image Credits:

Photo by Tyler Delgado on Unsplash

Clipart by Theresa Knott on Wikimedia Commons