As Christmas approaches, it’s a great opportunity to introduce some great winter-themed activities into your English tutoring sessions! These are not only good fun, but also share exciting aspects of international culture while developing students’ creativity or broader skills. Let’s check out some recommended activities!
Advent calendars are a great opportunity to discuss numbers and dates with younger students! Get creative and make your own advent calendar with our simple template – watch the video here from Katie!
Designing Christmas Decorations
Make or design your own Christmas decorations (baubles, paper chains, Crackers, Christmas stockings, etc) – a creative and fun way to share a popular Christmas tradition! With younger students, you can use this to discuss simple colours, shapes and patterns, whereas intermediate students can describe how you can use these decorations to decorate your house, explaining how they contribute to the Christmas spirit. Check out this fun video from mentor Alexia teaching children how to make their own Christmas tree decorations!
Writing a letter to Santa
An excellent suggestion from Star Mentor Jack, who has encouraged his younger students to learn fun Christmas words and toy-related vocabulary by writing a letter to Santa explaining what presents they would like! For more advanced students, you could use this to introduce formal letter writing structures, ask them to explain why they deserve these presents, or use it to start discussions around what the true meaning of Christmas is.
Reading Christmas stories together
There are an almost infinite number of fun Christmas themed stories you could enjoy reading together – from The Grinch to the more traditional A Christmas Carol. You can check out some free online short stories at American Literature, Free Short Stories or StoryBerries! To help children develop their English skills, pick out some useful new vocabulary to teach at the start of the lesson, ask comprehension and discussion questions, or analyse the literary techniques used.
Writing a Christmas card
Looking to combine creativity with developing children’s writing skills? Drawing and writing a Christmas card is a great, fun activity which can be easily adapted for all ability levels. Complete beginners can simply write their name and “Merry Christmas”, whereas more advanced students can write about their memories of the year and hopes for the future. To make it more personal, encourage them to write the card to their parents or friends!
Enjoy your favourite Christmas songs together with a fun Christmas karaoke session, as recommended by Star Mentor Megan! You can find all your favourite festive children’s songs on Youtube, many with sing-along captions or fun animations. To add a more educational element, you could start by analysing the song lyrics and discussing the common poetic features used (e.g. rhyme and rhythm). More advanced students could even come up with their own Christmas songs!
Did you try out any of these fun activities, or would you like to share your own recommendations? Feel free to comment below with your top tips and photos!