Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Almost Christmas! – Five Fun Holiday Activities for ESL Students!

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Doesn’t that look cozy? The warm fireplace, decorated tree and living room, the colors and lights… just makes you want to curl up in that rocking chair with a good book and a glass of wine, while listening to Bing Crosby, right?

Christmas is just a couple of weeks away. That means planning for vacation trips, buying gifts, visiting relatives, and a little break from school (much-needed for both students and teachers). Christmas also is a great holiday in which you can teach about virtues of kindness and hope, Christmas music, winter sports and activities, and favorite toys and other things. You can also spend time making crafts and decorating your classroom!

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Five Fun ESL Activities for Christmas!

Christmas can be an exciting time for ESL students. If your class has a large number of diverse students, you can share different songs, foods, and cultural traditions with your students. Everybody has their own way of celebrating the holiday. You can also use the time to discuss other holidays such as Kwanza, or Hanukkah. There are plenty of ways to include both religious and non-religious activities and themes into your lessons.

  • An easy, fun, and simple activity/craft for ESL students is making a Christmas card for a family member. Just get some colored construction paper, glue, scissors, markers, crayons, and other items you’d like (glitter glue, glitter pens, sequins, etc.), and let the kids go crazy (under supervision, of course)!
  • Another fun activity is singing Christmas songs. Music is an excellent way to teach language, and a lot of fun, too! Most carols are fairly easy to learn, and students can learn to enunciate their speech better, build general fluency, and develop literacy skills!

  • Writing a letter to Santa is a creative way to help ESL students develop written expression. They can learn the proper format of a friendly letter, how to address it, and share what they want. After all the students finish

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  • Play Christmas Pictionary. It’s a great way to teach Christmas vocabulary. Split the class up into two teams, and one member from each team has to draw a Christmas-related item on the whiteboard. The first time to guess the most words wins!

 

  • This last activity is fun for all because you can eat it! Cooking is a delicious method to teach about food, ingredients, and sequential writing (recipes). Whether you can use an oven, microwave, or even just the refrigerator, there are plenty of snacks you can make in the classroom! Students love getting dirty and mixing things. You should scale the type of food to each age/class level appropriately. It’s also wise to choose foods that don’t require too many ingredients, and that’s not too costly. Also beware of any food allergies may have, and find suitable substitutes for them (if necessary).

 

For more activities go here.

I wish you all a save and happy holiday season!

Spend it with loved ones and appreciate what you have!

Eat, drink, and be merry! 

-Ketan

About Ketan Hein

I am an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience. I teach kindergarten and elementary students in South Korea. I have taught middle school and adult ELLs in the past, too. My goal as a teacher is to help my students develop and achieve fluency in English, but also in other areas of their lives. I try to educate the whole child.