The essence of Christmas: an online Xmas lesson

It’s that time of year again, and after 2020 I decided my learners need to finish this year on a high so I decided to put together an online Christmas lesson (which can also be easily adapted for face to face learners) to celebrate the much loved Christmas tradition of….. advertising.

December for me included an introduction to ELT Lesson Jams, a lovely way to connect with other teachers, collaborate and get feedback by pitching our lesson ideas to the members of our ‘band’. I rocked out with this one and so I’m sharing it with you all now.

Lesson Overview

This is a lesson plan for Advanced learners, though it would work with anyone who is B2 and above really. The idea is to encourage students to create a storyboard for a Christmas advert using images and, for my learners, present tenses to tell stories. It showcases some popular Christmas adverts, gives lots of opportunities for students to talk about what Christmas means to them and helps them to develop presentation skills as well as constructing mini-narratives.

The lesson begins with a quick word association game where students write down in the chat the first words that come to mind when they see each image – this provides an introduction to the topic and gives me a chance to deal with emergent language. Ss then discuss together in breakout rooms what they think is the essence of Christmas and suggest which other images they feel should be included in the set.

Students then develop the skill of transforming words in the way they are required to in Part 3 of the Cambridge Reading and Use of English exam, before discussing the questions together in breakout rooms which are designed to introduce the topic and get students thinking about the purpose of advertising.

Having discussed Christmas adverts, they then watch three short adverts and answer questions on the ideas behind the adverts. I then will demonstrate a model of a script using a jamboard and together we will look at the language used, the present simple and continuous.

Students will then be divided into groups and given time to devise their own mini storyboards before finally presenting them to the class and voting on the advert they thought was most original.

Here is the Google Slides presentation which includes all the necessary links, and you can find the accompanying lesson plan below if you would like to download it.

For a Google Doc version of the lesson plan click here

If you fancy giving this a whirl please do let me know how it goes and how you adapt it.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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