Christmas is in the air. It is about miracles, fantastic decorations, thrilling emotions, and joyous adventures. In this season we all are looking forward to something extraordinary, amazing and relaxing. Our classrooms are not exceptions. Both teachers and students want to come out of the routine and appear in a classroom with Santa Claus, Christmas tree and all magic the holiday brings. To spice up your classes with Christmas “air” here are some activities that may come in handy.
Christmas has its own words and expressions. You can play an interesting game called Pictionary using Christmas vocabulary. Divide your classroom into two teams. Put several cards with holiday words and phrases. One student from each team chooses a card and has only one minute to draw it on the board. Teams then do their best to guess what on the card is.
To make the game more challenging and captivating you can also use the names of Christmas songs and Christmas films. Instead of Christmas words, students draw some key pictures from the film or the song. You may download the list of Christmas songs and films here.
Below there is an example of the games that you may use in your classes as well.
What am I? (Christmas riddles)
This game can be played either in pairs or in groups. Prepare a list of holiday words and ask your students to choose one. They then have one minute to get ready with a kind of Christmas riddles and explain the word using the first person. For example:
— I come with many colours and make everything beautiful and bright. What am I? (Christmas lights)
— I am always green and people decorate me with colourful ornaments. What am I? (Christmas tree)
Another variant of this game is just by answering the riddles. If you work online and not with a group, you can choose the best riddles and ask your students. Here are some resources of Christmas riddles.
Taboo is the best and the most effective vocabulary game for my students. They never get bored. It can be played both in pairs and in groups. The player gets a card with the main word to describe and some taboo words that he/she can’t use while explaining the word. To make the game more challenging, set a time limit. You can download Christmas Taboo cards from here.
Christmas Tongue Twisters
A tongue twister is an excellent tool to improve students’ pronunciation and have lots of fun. Get your students to invent their own tongue twisters using Christmas words starting with the same letters. Some examples of Christmas tongue twisters can be found here.
The Guilty Elf
This is a group game and can be played in classrooms with more than 20 learners. Divide your students into 4 groups, give 5 cards with elves and 5 cards with different types of crime (e.g. to steal presents, to burn the Christmas tree, to kidnap Santa Claus, etc.) to each of them. Each group lays their pictures face up on the table. One of the students secretly selects one card with elf and one with a crime. The other students ask 10 YES/NO questions (e.g. Does he steal presents from Santa? Does he steal presents from kids? Does he burn the Christmas tree? Is he tall? Is he blonde? Does he have blue eyes?) to the player who has chosen the cards. If they are able to guess which elf is and what the crime is with the help of these 10 questions, they win.
Blind Christmas Tree Ripping
Here students get green sheets of paper, the teacher sets the time and the game begins. The players must hold the papers behind their backs and rip the paper into the shape of a tree. While they do it, they should also name as many Christmas words as possible. The one who has the best Christmas tree and the most Christmas words becomes the winner.
Paper Plate Christmas Scene
This game, like the previous one, is done without looking at it. Here students get paper plates, put them on their heads and draw a scene connected with Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner, presents, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, etc). Additionally, students present their pictures to the classmates and tell what it is about.
You can spice up all the games mentioned above with your own ideas. There are no strict rules. After all, it is Christmas!
Enjoy your holiday classes!