50 Holiday Related Activities For The ELT Classroom

Since I’m busy making Christmas lists, thought I’d make a nice one to share with fellow teachers and inspire with a few things in my brain for teaching lessons related to Christmas.

So here is my brain purge. Share and enjoy. My gift to all hardworking teachers. Some real Christmas pudding gems in this list!

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50  Holiday Activities for

The English Language Classroom

  1. Make snowflakes and angels.  Print out step by step instructions in English and model for the students. Then let them make their own, Display around the class.  Details here. Do it online here.

  1. 101 Questions about Christmas.  Try this BreakingNewsEnglish lesson classic and the ideas for using the questions. Details here.

  1. Decorate the classroom.  Bring in lots of arts and crafts materials and give each group a section of the class to decorate or the class tree.  Put on some Christmas music too!

  1. Write Christmas cards to a classmate. Hand out a piece of paper and envelope Assign each student someone in the class to write a card to.  Monitor and correct. Act as the postman and deliver the cards the next day. Details here.

  1. Write a letter to Santa Claus. Tell him what you want for Christmas.  Make this real and post the letters! Details here.  Inspiration here.  Do it online here.  Generate one.

  1. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  Show students this famous letter and reply offered over a hundred years ago. Discuss with students – do they believe? View here.

  1. Play Christmas carol “Pass The Paper”.  Students pass around a ball of paper while music plays. When it stops, student must sing the line or continue the song. Details here.

  1. Sing some Christmas carols.  Do this together in class or students can go to this voicethread, listen to other classes and then sing a few too. Details here.

  1. Simon Says.   One person is Santa and the other students can tell him what to do! Try the online version.


  1. Watch the incredible short film: The Snowman.  Then get students to design their own snowman with paper or online. View here.

  1. Go Christmas Shopping!  Give students cut out pictures of gifts from a flyer or a catolog (or just give a whole catalog to a group). Students list all the students in the class and beside each, choose the perfect Xmas gift for them. After, students go around the class wishing each other a Merry Christmas and giving the gifts they choose (handing the photo to them!).  Details here.   Play this song about what students want for Xmas.

  1. Learn Christmas Vocabulary.  Print out the Christmas flashcards and students can mix and match or play 5 card fish (matching and asking, “Do you have a ….?”).  Students can study and play the vocabulary games online. Beginning.  Advanced.

  1. Listen and Write.   Listen to how these people celebrate Christmas and what they do on Christmas Day. Make a time line . On one side write what they do, on the other what you do that day.  Listen here.

  1. Sing the 12 days of Christmas.   Assign groups of students for each day.  Give them a card for their part with the words. Play the song and they stand up and sing when it is their turn.  Follow along here.

  1. Speak with Santa online.  Students type in their questions to Santa who will answer them in real time. Go here.

  1. Play Fling The Teacher.   Students answer all these Christmas related questions. If they get them all correct, they’ll “fling the teacher”. After, students can make their own Fling the teacher games.   Game here.

  1. Relax and enjoy the holidays and a day off together.  Watch a Christmas related short film.  The GrinchCharlie Brown’s Christmas, The Great Toy Robbery are a few ….

  1. Count down Christmas with an advent calendar.  Make one and students each day can countdown the days until Christmas. Print it or Do it online.

  1. Play Christmas Jeopardy.  It’s easy. Use a premade game or have the student in groups make the 5 questions and then ask other teams.  Online games here.

  1. Do some Christmas Reading. Extensive reading is great for students and they can read the Tarheel Reader book or even download for offline reading in powerpoint. Read here.

  1. Do a quiz on Christmas around the world.  How much do your students know and how good are their listening skills.  Listen and play here.

  1. Watch Mr. Bean’s Christmas.  In groups, one student has their back turned to the episode. The other students must describe the action to him/her. Pause when needed or write hint words on the board to help them describe. Pause and change the student not watching. Watch here

  1. Play Top 5 Christmas Edition.  Much like Family Feud, students guess the top 5 in a Christmas category. Then reveal the answers and they get points for correct answers.  Keep playing as many rounds as you want.  Game herePoint sheet here..

  1. Play Lastonestanding with any Christmas song.  Fun vocabulary game where students listen for their word and sit and stand when it is sung. Lastonestanding wins. Details here. Joy To The World version here.


  1. Share together the story Gift Of The Magi.  Play and listen. Pause near the end and ask students how they think it will end. Then play the ending. Listen to the Special VOA Learner version.

  1. Tell or Write about Christmas past.  Students write or tell about a Christmas they liked in the past. First get them to write the important words/vocab. for their story. Then share with others. Put on a nice warm fire when doing this.

  1. Elf Yourself.  Students upload photos of friends and make an ELF greeting card to share with the class. Go here.

  1. Guess the Christmas Carol.  Students play the What The Wordle Christmas version and try to guess what Christmas carol is mentioned. Game here. (click slideshow and pause between questions).

  1. BAAM is the ultimate game.  Rules here.  Get the Xmas version here for EFL 2.0 supporters.

  1. Raise money for charity.  Think up a way to do this (in English) as a class.  Sing carols in English. Have a study English marathon. Read x number of English books / donation. Millions of creative ways to help the poor.  Get inspired with Band-Aid.

  1. Do a skype interview with a person from another country. Make the interview questions beforehand – questions you’d like to ask about Christmas in their country.  Example here.

  1. Study on EnglishCentral.  Show a Christmas video from EnglishCentral and then students can speak it and study the vocabulary on their own for homework.  Start here.Even study Christmas vocabulary.

  1. Give real gifts.  Ask students to bring in one small thing from home that they don’t need.  Put all student names in a bag and each student pulls out one. They must give their present to that person and wish them a Merry Christmas. Bring a few extra gifts for students who forget.

  1. Make A Christmas Doodle Video.  They are easy to make and so much fun. A perfect thing to do when holding a Christmas class party. Example and instructions here.

  1. Watch Love Actually.  Bring lots of tissue paper. This classic Christmas scene is sure to even get your students crying. View here.

  1. Debate Christmas.   Divide the class into 2 teams. One team brainstorms all the good things about Christmas. The other all the negative things. Share and have a mini debate. Things I hate about Christmas.   Things I love about Christmas.

  1. Color and design a Christmas tree.  Discuss the English vocabulary for decorating.  Print the tree / decorationsDo It Online here.   Get the folded version.

  1. Take A Holiday Quiz.  Test students knowledge about Christmas.  Get it here.

  1. Origami.  This works so great. Print for class or show in class on a screen. Explain in English and then students can do their own and explain in English to classmates. Details here.

  1. Play The Price Is Right Christmas game.  Collect items to show students with their real local value (from an online catalog or store catalog). Students in groups guess and closest gets the points. Details here. Real PPT games here.

  1. Do a lyric rewrite and perform.  Students watch the famous Coke Christmas commercial – “I’d like to teach the world to sing” . After watching, they rewrite the chorus with their own words and sing for the class. View here.

  1. Christmas Conversation.  In groups of 3, give students questions to ask about Christmas – Past / Present / Future.  Students take turns asking and answering.3 parts  here.  Full list.

  1. Use the interactive Christmas book!  Really cool. Students can study the book and work through the lessons at their own pace. Open the book here.

  1. Naughty or Nice?   Ask students (and get them to ask their own), “Have you ….” Questions to see if they have been naughty or nice this year.  Have you eaten all your vegetables? Have you made your bed?  Have you helped in the classroom?  Etc….   See their score and if they will get presents or a lump of coal!  Do It Online.

  1. Make A Counting book.   Use this helpful template to make a counting book to practice Christmas words and numbers. Get it here.

  1. Wordsearch.  Try a simple wordsearch while you play some Christmas carols and drink egg nog. Makes for the perfect Xmas party.  Here’s one.

  1. Put On A Christmas Play.  Choose a play with a Christmas theme and get the students to practice and perform.  Here’s one possible play.

  1. Write a Christmas Poem.  Students can be so creative with this one.  Students make a poem using nouns and verbs in the shape of a Christmas tree.  Printout here.  Do one online with e.e. Cummings

  1. Play A Board Game.  Students can play a board game and practice Christmas vocabulary. Get it here.  No dice – no problem.


  1. Have A Snowball Fight.  Yes, I’m serious.  Students write in large letters 3 things they want for Christmas (no name on the paper!). They crumple it up and have a class snowball fight. When the teacher says stop, they pick up a piece of paper and go around the class asking questions to find the person who wants those things. Share and discuss what everyone wants.


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