Lesson Plan Christmas Shelby

Christmas Lesson Plan for ESL/EFL Teachers

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Shelby Fox has kindly shared her lesson plan based on Christmas. Take it away, Shelby…

Talking about holidays and cultural practices can be quite interesting as holidays come up. It also gives both the teacher and student a chance to learn more about the other’s culture and learn about the person on a more personal level.

This lesson plan on Christmas traditions gives the student a chance to learn phrasal verbs, Christmas vocabulary, and a chance to practice holiday conversation.

I teach English one-to-one online. This lesson can be modified depending on teaching style or group size.

This lesson focuses mostly on speaking practice, so it gives plenty of time and questions to let your student practice.

Intro / Warm Up

  • What do you know about Christmas in the U.S.?
  • Which of these words about Christmas do you know? Are they part of celebrations in your country?
  • Christmas cards
  • Christmas tree
  • sleigh
  • elves
  • Stockings
  • Santa Claus
  • reindeer
  • nativity
  • Presents
  • mistletoe
  • bells
  • decorations/lights/wreaths
  • What other words do you think of when you think of Christmas?

Practice with Vocabulary

  • Use the vocabulary words to make sentences (just a few) about traditions you celebrate during Christmas.
  • Introduce phrasal verbs:
  • wrap up (presents)
  • put up (decorations)
  • look forward to (Christmas)
  • hang up (stockings)
  • Have students match phrasal verbs to vocabulary words (as seen above: there are other vocabulary words that might work too; these are just examples)

Introduce Video

This video is to get students thinking about the differences in Christmas traditions around the world. It should help them identify some of the vocabulary words they are learning as well as give them a chance to talk about traditions.

Follow up questions:

  • How many vocabulary words/phrases did you see in the video? (Play again if student didn’t see any)
  • What traditions do you have for Christmas?
  • What traditions do you like best? Why?
  • Are there any traditions that you wish you celebrated?
  • What is the strangest Christmas tradition you’ve heard of?

Comparing Christmas

  • Why is/isn’t Christmas important in your country?
  • When is Christmas celebrated in your country? Why (might it be) a different date?
  • Why do/don’t you like Christmas?

Further Practice / Homework

Students can listen to Christmas songs to reinforce listening skills and add vocabulary. Note: If you use these songs, there may be some extra vocabulary you would need to explain or let students find definitions.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Your learners can watch videos of what Christmas means to different people and then write what Christmas means to them.

About Shelby

Shelby FoxMy name is Shelby Fox and I teach Engish online at foxenglishonline.com. I’ve been teaching online now for over a year, but I just started my website in August. I teach English conversation to intermediate students mostly. I received my TEFL certification in Costa Rica where I taught for a month.


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Lesson Plan #2 – It’s Not About the Nail

This lesson uses a recent video called, “It’s Not About the Nail.”

Level: Intermediate + (can also be adapted for lower levels)
Language: Relaxed pronunciation, just, pressure, idiomatic vs literal meanings.
Type: Video and discussion.

1. Ask the following questions

– Are you a good listener? Is your (insert other person) a good listener?
– Are you under a lot of pressure at work?

Expand on their answers with more questions about listening and pressure.

2. Show the following video

This could be shown before the lesson or after asking the questions from part one.


Woman: It’s just, there’s all this pressure, you know, and sometimes it feels like it’s right up on me, and… I can just feel it, like, literally feel it, in my head, and it’s relentless, and… I don’t know if it’s gonna stop, and that’s the thing that scares me most; I don’t know if it’s ever gonna stop.

Man: Yeah… well… you do have a nail in your head.

Woman: It is not about the nail.

Man: Are you sure? Because, I bet that if we got that outta there.

Woman: Don’t try to fix it.

Man: No, I’m not trying to fix it. I’m just pointing out that maybe the nail was causing..

Woman: You always do this. You always try to fix things when all I need is for you to just listen.

Man: See, I don’t think that is what you need. I think what you need is to get the nail…

Woman: See, you’re not even listening now.

Man: Okay, fine, I will listen. Fine.

Woman: It’s just, sometimes, it’s like, there’s this achy, I don’t know what it is. And, I’m not sleeping very well at all, and all my sweaters are snagged. I mean, all of them.

Man: That sounds.. really hard.

Woman: It is. Thank you.., (they go to kiss) OW!

Man: Oh come on, if you would just…

Woman: Don’t!

3. After the video

Pronunciation:  Usually: pressure, literally (BrE vs AmE), relentless, achy, snagged.

Language:  Usually: right up on top of me, relentless, I bet, achy, snagged. Also, there are a few examples of relaxed pronunciation and different ways to use just and see. Go through the different examples from the text.

Discussion: Ask your students some questions about the video:

– What problems did the woman have?
– How did the man try to help?
– What did the woman want the man to do instead?

Then, move on to more general questions about the student related to the video.

Role Play: Do a role-play using the transcript above.


4. Homework and Expansion

Ask your students to write a summary of the video. Also, ask them to write example sentences using the language that they struggled with during the video.

To expand the lesson you could go into different stereotypes of men and women (good listeners, for example).

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