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I want to do a Christmas lesson with my high school students.

I think most of them see it as a secular holiday, so I'm not too worried about having something religious in the class or anything. I'll probably just give a brief mention of the origins of Christmas in a powerpoint at the beginning, and otherwise focus on Santa and trees and traditional cultural stuff, not Jesus and Christianity at all.


I want a fun activity to do with them, too. I was thinking about making Christmas/Holiday cards. I'll give them a piece of paper (probably A-4 size, but nice, thick paper), and they have to color/write a holiday greeting on the front, then write a message inside. But... I don't know. I could do a lesson on letter writing, where we talking about writing, "Dear...," and different greetings, etc., but I'm pretty sure that's not going to be very useful for 99.9% of them! They're pretty low level, and I doubt any of them are writing to an English speaker any time soon. They usually like creative projects, though, so I think making cards would be fairly successful.


Does anyone have any other ideas or plans? I thought of writing letters to Santa, but that's better for little kids, I think, and I'm not sure it's very educational anyhow! Again, maybe if I wanted to teach my students letter formats.


There's a Mr. Bean Christmas episode (split up into 4 parts) on youtube, which I might show after finals are over and I can't get the kids to do anything else!

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Megan,

Good thread - I'm sure there will be lots of cool ideas. Take a look in our Christmas folder. Lots of songs/carols and jeopardy + christmas vocab ppts / presentations. Pick and chose.

Here is what I use for making Christmas cards.

I also like doing a Christmas gift giving session. Bring in many pictures of items (I use the pictures from Hadfield's Communication Games ) and the students in groups or pairs decide which they will give to other members of the class. They write down the items names and a classmates name beside it. Then they walk around giving the gifts to each other saying Merry Christmas! Teach them some good phrases as you first model by giving selected students gifts. "I got you something for Christmas!" and "You shouldn't have!" "It's just what I wanted" "It's lovely". ........ Students love doing this "fake" gift giving and it really brings out the spirit of X-mas.

David
Attachments:
I'm a teacher trainee in Mallorca (Spain) I am working on a three-day lesson plan I just made a power point.
Some web sites are really good. For flashcards I've downloaded from www.mes-english.com and from http://www.english-4kids.com/festivals.html
I also downloaded a video from http://eflclassroom.ning.com/page/page/show?id=826870%3APage%3A14773 but
I tried to find a nice video for beginners and it's not easy. The only one I could find is the snowman from the British Council, it's O.K. but I wanted something funnier. Anyway as you probably see my English is not very good but my enthusiasm is great. I found in youtube the Christmas video from Charly but I just wanted to quit the sound and to add an appropriate story, but it was impossible for me. Anyway Happy Christmas!!!!
ISS,

Good luck with the lesson plan and course......I know it isn't easy to find "language" appropriate videos for youngsters but I'll post some links here shortly. Several nice, video stories i know of...

One Christmas thing I completely forgot was Snowflakes!!!!! I had hours of fun when I taught grade 4 doing this as part of my annual math unit. But great way to do "English" through instructions. Real task based! Many sites to teach you and your students but here is a good video on making a nice one.....easy to follow.

Or do it the Web 2.0 way - Check this out!

I had my middle school girls in South Korea make pinatas and wreaths while listnening to Christmas music. Then we had a party, and they got to watch a Christmas cartoon. The attachment for the Christmas cards is perfect to give them during the party. Thanks!
Yes, that's the best way to enjoy a Christmas lesson. Have the students doing things, making and learning "from the side". .....

Here is another Web 2.0 idea. Coloring a Christmas tree. Print out and they can colour while they watch the original How the Grinch stole Christmas.

I started teaching the Christmas lesson this morning. It's going pretty well- I started with a power point about Christmas traditions in the US- sending Christmas cards, hanging stockings, decorating the tree, hanging Christmas lights. I showed a little bit of a video from youtube where somebody's synced their Xmas lights to music. Then I showed Mr. Bean's Christmas part 3 from youtube, which shows him writing Xmas cards (to himself), hanging stockings, and carolers coming by. The kids liked it. Then they draw either Xmas or New Year's cards (I have one Jehovah's Witness that I know of who didn't want to draw a Xmas card, so I make it clear that they can have a New Year's card if they want! The student just wrote me a "Happy New Year" letter instead), which I'm hanging up around the classroom. I play holiday music while they draw. Which is pretty Christmas-centric, too, I know. I think there's only the one really religious boy in my school, and he wasn't offended, but it sucks to make people feel left out... but I think they know it's in the US, and it's just like when we drew pumpkins for Halloween, even though they don't celebrate that. I said that many people celebrate Christmas, even though they aren't Christians- it's just a time to be with your family, and get presents, of course! Haha!
I thought the idea about different Christmas traditions in different countries was great, too! I might do that next week for the classes I meet twice.
Sounds like a lot of wonderful X-mas lessons ahappening.... For sure, 2,000%, check this site out!It has everything and more about Christmas. I like the colouring stuff and further, the Christmas advent calendars. Lots more, including christmas quizzes and a call for other classrooms to write and tell the students at this school about Christmas around the world. Will anyone here, take up the call?

You can also send letters to

Mr. Claus
The North Pole
Canada
H0H 0H0

And you'll actually get a response. My former class of grade 4s love the letters they got.....

David
Just letting other teachers know that I spent a considerable amount of time editing and collecting and making some fine karaoke Christmas songs for our wimpey A/V player. You can also download anything on the wimpey by clicking the arrow on the right......Enjoy. I put an example in our video folder of "Do they know it's Christmas time? " -- a fav. of mine and I hope you like the text and it presents well. An example of using Movie maker to put subtitles onto video for language learning....

This is in addition to the Christmas ppts and stuff in our X-mas folder in Resources.

David
James,

Not a bad site for lyrics but I wish they had music! But we got lots or more than enough in the Christmas folder and the A/V player.

Here is a good site if you need some worksheets. Just mentioned it in the Canned Lesson activity for Mr. Bean.

http://www.english-4kids.com/festivals.html Much basic stuff there.

David
James,

That's a TOUGH quiz!

You should be able to upload here no problem, the .swf file of a Fling the teacher. If not, please send a long to me and I'll put them in our Fling the Teacher list on our Games page....I want to start collecting them and urge other teachers to use and/or make and then we can share in their use and have teaching options.....

David

Hi! I'm Anna from Greece. A nice lesson for advanced students would be a combination of poetry ( The chimney sweeper by Blake) and discussion on child labor in Victorian era. You may see my post with related videos, click here  Chestnut ESL. Hope I helped!

Interesting, thoughtful and intelligent blog, Anna! I hope everyone gets a chance to visit.

One thing I noticed about the structure of the site, with the drop down navigation menus... I can't see (or access) any drop down pages that would appear below the bottom  of my screen. What I mean is the drop downs don't scroll. For example, I can only see down to Friendship under Themes. I finagled my screen view to see if I could access a little more... I could get down to Halloween, no further. I'm tired right now, I hope my explanation is clear enough!

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