15 Christmas-Themed Tasks for Online ESL Learners
Christmas cannot be postponed! Even though it’s certain to be unlike any other year, we still need to make sure that our ESL students enjoy themselves and feel festive. However, doing so online is particularly challenging because so many of the customary Christmas games and activities simply don’t work there. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of some of the top online exercises and games you can play with your ESL students.
1. Begin by Learning the Vocabulary
This is a wonderful place to start before you do anything else, you’ll want to be sure that your students have the vocabulary they need to complete their Christmas activities. Drilling the words in ridiculous voices (try robot, opera, whispering, and like a very old person with no teeth—but probably not all at once) will help kids memorize the pronunciation.
2. Share A Storybook
The Christmas Present is a short Christmas novella that’s best suited for A1 or A2 level students. The story begins with terminology to help readers follow along, and it ends with a question to encourage speaking. After then, test the students’ memory of the tale or have them come up with a new one.
There are even more story alternatives for higher levels, along with reading comprehension exercises to go with them, that you can read aloud in class. This one, in my opinion, is extremely beautiful because it focuses on what happens when neighbors gather to exchange food at Christmas. It’s a terrific approach to starting a discussion about Christmas meals around the world because it highlights many types of families and various Christmas traditions from other nations.
3. Create A Santa Wish List
This doesn’t require any resources at all, and it also works well as a homework assignment. You can give kids bonus points if they add new grammar to their list. For lesser levels, “I’d like” may be used; for higher levels, “I’d prefer,” or conditional phrases, may be used. Asking kids what is similar or different about their lists, what they would do with their gifts, or what they are planning to offer other people, will then introduce some speaking.
4. Participatory ESL Games
Make an elf’s Christmas preparations easier! This interactive game will aid kids in identifying letter pairs in uppercase and lowercase. The elf is moved by the students to place the right letter in the sack.
5. TPR Christmas Cards
With the help of our TPR (Total Physical Response) cards, get your young kids moving. Your pupils will get some new vocabulary skills from this activity, but it also provides them with a vacation from being responsible and sitting down, which they need! Students can be encouraged to come up with their moves and deliver the instructions to their peers in this game, which can be done online or in a socially remote classroom. As soon as they are familiar with the vocabulary, including “Simon Says…”
6. Interactive Christmas Word Search
A word search is a quick and easy way to practice spelling new words and a good way to fill five minutes at the end of class. Additionally, it is helpful if one student (there is usually one) finishes their assignment ahead of the rest. Use the planner tool to share these with students, just like you would with any of our interactive activities.
7. Launch an Online Holiday Store
A shopping role-play is excellent for speaking and functional language practice. Additionally, depending on how you prepare your kids for the exercise, you can smuggle in all kinds of new vocabulary (like adjectives or clothing vocabulary) and grammar. However, pupils rarely have the opportunity to practice role-playing activities related to internet shopping, which will undoubtedly affect their lives in the future if it hasn’t already. Students can write descriptions and set prices while creating their drawings at home. They can create lists of things to buy for Christmas. They can then practice making phone or internet purchases and sales. Please give me the tinsel socks.
8. Holiday Charades
These will have your pupils moving and laughing, just like the TPR cards did. Ask your other pupils to turn around as you reveal the card to the student who will be miming the action if you are instructing online. The other pupils can then observe the action and make educated guesses about what it is.
9. Discover Father Christmas Drawing Techniques So Says the Man Himself!
Why not take a painting lesson from Father Christmas if you’re searching for a project to do with online ESL students? You might even use this as a listening exercise for pupils whose English proficiency is at least B1. Test their ability to follow the directions without viewing the video, then have them draw what they understand. then view the video and listen one more time to make sure. Then, students can use their improved sketching abilities to embellish their ESL assignments or create holiday cards.
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10. What's in Father Christmas' Sack?
A pillowcase is all that is required for this game. See whether the children can identify an item by placing it inside. If you’re sporting a Father’s Christmas hat, you get bonus points (give me a reason, and I’ll put one on!). Students can play along at home with whatever they have available by grabbing a pillowcase. Include modal verbs of conjecture like “may” or “must be” if your students are more sophisticated.
11. Holiday Bingo
Bingo is typically played in physical classes, but with a little modification, it may also be enjoyed online. Present all the possibilities to the children and ask if they can create their bingo cards at home. You can specify whether you want the words to be written or drawings to be drawn.
12. Review Articles About Christmas Worldwide
We enjoy honoring various languages and cultures, and we offer a wealth of materials to support you in honoring diversity with your children. You can further this by looking at various foods around the world if you’re reading the article (A Festive Feast) at the top of this site.
13. From The Silhouette, Identify The Holiday Object
It works well as a “test” in a class that follows the test-teach-test methodology or as a controlled practise exercise after learning new Christmas vocabulary. Students must very simply infer the word from the silhouette. If you’re using actual flashcards, test your pupils’ ability to identify the object from only one corner of the picture. In the material I’ve provided below, you can click on the blocks to progressively disclose the object behind them.
14. Christmas Song Activities
Christmas songs are plenty! We create a “fill in the blank” Christmas carols worksheet so that your kids may interact with and enjoy Christmas songs more. Ask students to hazard a guess as to which terms are missing before checking their answers while you listen. By the way, this site not only offers options for various carols, but it also offers options that are separated by level, allowing you to select the option that is best for your students.
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15. Mind Map of Their Knowledge
Ask students to mind map what they currently know on a vocabulary organizer before introducing new Christmas vocabulary. Older students might choose to make a more complicated mind map with separate parts for nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Younger children might write and draw on a poster. You can use this word bank for all of your themes throughout the entire year.