Resources for Christmas!

Santa Claus is coming to town

(Photo credit: pablofalv)

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat … and we teachers have to pull one more festive activity out of our hat! So here are a few resources which might help make these last few days of term easier.

Christmas webquests

My first offering is a webquest from Macmillan English, designed to explore Christmas traditions around the world. Students are given a worksheet and directed to the website, where they can find the answers to the questions.

Christmas in the post-War United States

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another webquest, from Luke Vyner on, delves into the origins of Santa Claus and early Christmas traditions. Students work in pairs to complete the worksheets, answering questions about Pre-Christian mid-winter festivals, the Roman festival of Saturnalia, the outlawing of Christmas under Cromwell and the Puritans, and the story of St. Nicholas. They then work on Christmas around the world. You can find the lesson plan and download the worksheets here.

Christmas Crafts

Here is a simple paper craft for Primary students, which gives them a spelling game to play in class. Students are challenged to spell items of Christmas vocabulary and awarded points.

And here is a lesson plan from the British Council’s Teaching English website, for 7 to 8 year olds, which includes a craft activity as well as a Christmas song and story. You will need to register on the page to download the material, but registration is free.

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t make a Christmas card, so here’s another lesson plan from Teaching English for 3 to 6 year olds which has flashcards for learning Christmas vocabulary and includes making a Christmas card. Again, you need to be registered to access the flashcards, but it is well worth registering for this site.

I hope you find these activities useful. I will be trying out the webquests next week in Secondary. Merry Christmas!

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For an amazing selection of Christmas resources, try this page:

CAE Formal Letter of Complaint

It’s always great to find material out there for CAE, and even more so if it’s material for writing.

Tim's Free English Lesson Plans

complaint box

Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. We have released 5 episodes so far and you can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

This is a lesson plan designed to prepare students to tackle formal letter of complaint tasks that can come up in both parts of the CAE writing paper.

Here is the link to the first handout which contains an example of a formal letter of complaint on page 2. Page 3 has the task the students will complete, which is referred to in the prezi.

Here is the link to the prezi, and here is the handout that…

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I’ve just got back from Rome where I attended the 38th National TESOL Italy Conference. This was my first time in this conference, and I am very grateful to the organisers for allowing me to take part.

I’ll write in more detail about my impressions on the talks I attended later, but I wanted to get a link to my presentation here as soon as possible. You can access the powerpoint here, and I hope that the video clips work within the powerpoint in this version. If they don’t, a copy of each clip can be found in the accompanying folder. For written descriptions of the activities, you can visit my post ‘How to … exploit video in class‘, ‘Armstrong and Miller – RAF Pilots‘, ‘Video Listening Comprehension‘ or ‘Real Beauty‘.

I didn’t mention this in the presentation, but with younger students I use ‘The Curse of the Were-rabbit’ rather than the clip we saw from ‘Love Actually’. Students are asked to identify references to rabbits or to vegetables.

A big thank you to everyone who attended this talk (including to my youngest ever participant – thanks for your impeccable behaviour!). I hope you found the ideas useful.