Christmas journey to Lapland: lesson ideas
Celebrating Christmas is an art form. Countries that have this holiday on their calendar have their own traditions which make the holiday even more special. But one thing is common everywhere — Christmas brings magic. It becomes stunning when you find out that the Big Guy in a red costume with a long white beard is somewhere nearby.
We have prepared lesson ideas about Christmas in Lapland which by the way is considered to be the home of Santa Claus.
So, welcome to Lapland. Have a great journey with your students and discover lots of Christmassy things along the way.
Task 1. Warm-up
Prepare a map where the names of countries are seen clearly.
Discuss the questions:
- Where do you live? Find your city on the map.
- Do you know where Lapland is? (in the North of Finland) Help the students to find it on the map!
- Is it far from you? How can you get there?
- Do you think it is cold there? (Yes, it is situated right on the Arctic Circle. The winter approximately lasts 6-7 months, in summer the average temperature is over 10°C)
Task 2. Lead-in
Look at the picture. What holiday can you see? (Christmas) Where is it? (Lapland, Finland)
You can ask some additional questions to check the student’s knowledge about the holiday and the place:
- What do we know about Christmas? When is it celebrated in your country?
- Have you been to Lapland?
- Who and what lives in Lapland? (reindeer, Santa Claus, elves)
Probably the students will say that Santa lives at the North Pole. Tell them that the North Pole is in the middle of an ocean and Santa can’t live on the ocean unless he is a polar bear. 🙂
Add funny elements to the questions. For example:
- Who who who is Santa Claus?
Say it in Santa’s voice. It sounds like ho-ho-ho and makes children laugh.
Task 3. Getting ready for the journey
Tell the students that you are going to travel to Santa Claus Village in Lapland. To start their journey, they need to be prepared. As it is cold there they must put on warm clothes. Ask them to match the pictures with the appropriate words.
Task 4. Entering Rovaniemi
The students are ready to see Santa in his village but to enter the village they need to solve the Christmas riddle. Choose one of them and ask to guess. If it is too difficult for them, help by using gestures.
Instead of riddles, you can use Christmas jokes. Show one of them to the students and ask them to think up a funny response to it.
Task 5. Adventures in Santa Claus Village
There are 7 stops. Each of them comprises a thematic activity that the students must pass to finish their journey.
Stop 1. Central Park: Now when the students are in Rovaniemi, show them its map.
Let them look at it and tell that now you are going to Central Square. Open the live video of Santa Claus Village. According to what’s on the screen, make questions, for example: Is it light or dark there now? What are people doing? Would you like to be there at this moment?
Stop 2. Post Office: Once they are done, go to Santa’s main post office. Here they can see how and where their letters go. If the students haven’t written a letter to Santa yet, they can do it in this step.
Stop 3. Reindeer Stables: Ask the students what means of transport Santa prefers (flying). Show them a picture of Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, and ask what it is (reindeer).
Play the video from 0:40 seconds where the students can see how Santa and his helpers play with the reindeer. Discuss the question: “Do you need a driving license to ride reindeer? Why?” (You can get one during the visit to Santa Claus village).
Stop 4. Seeing the Northern Lights: Show the students a picture of the Northern Lights and ask if they know what lights they are. Accept any answer. If the students have questions, here is a guide to help you.
Play the video The Northern Lights in Lapland. You can ask the students to turn off the lights in their rooms in order to create a Polar Night effect.
Stop 5. Mrs. Claus Christmas Cottage: Send this puzzle game to your students. Before playing ask them who they think it is. Ask the following questions:
- Who is Mrs. Claus?
- What Does Mrs. Claus look like?
- What is Mrs. Claus Job?
- Mrs. Claus is the wife of Santa Claus.
- A kind woman with short white hair, rosy cheeks, and glasses.
- She makes different cookies.
Check the video about Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Cottage in Lapland.
Stop 6. Joulukka: Next stop is Santa Claus secret forest, Joulukka. Here they will find not only magical pine trees but also Santa’s toy factory. Ask who Santa’s helpers are and what they wear. Play the video about them, ask the students what they have seen. To go to the next step, they must do some activities like creating their own tiny gingerbread house, decorating the Christmas tree, or making Christmas crafts.
Stop 7. Visiting Santa Claus: Santa’s village is situated 8 km to the north of the city Rovaniemi. When the students see him, they may ask some questions which are difficult to answer. Use this FAQ to help you.
Play the video from 4:30 minutes so the students can see Santa.
Every year on the 23rd of December Santa Claus leaves the village and starts his annual trip to deliver presents to all the children of the world. You can watch the event live here. There are also two amazing sites Norad Santa and Google Santa Tracker where the students can not only find different activities but also track Santa’s flight on the 23rd of December.