Tasks for the first lesson after New Year’s holidays

Winter holidays have already gone, and it is high time to prepare for the first lesson with our students. Here we suggest several speaking activities for your ESL classroom that you can use with Pre-Intermediate learners to discuss winter holidays, how they spent them and what New Year’s resolutions they have made. The lesson is aimed at revising and not learning new words.

Task 1

Choose 5 cards and do the tasks.

Speaking activities
  1. Name three New Year’s traditions
  2. Sing a short New Year’s song.
  3. Name three things that Santa has.
  4. Name three things that you have never done on New Year’s Day.
  5. Name three Christmas movies.
  6. Name three winter activities.
  7. Name three adjectives describing New Year’s mood.
  8. Name three things you did on New Year’s day.
  9. Name three New Year’s traditions.
  10. Name three types of ornaments.

Task 2

Read the traditions from different countries and discuss the questions.

  1. An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. It usually has small “doors” for each of the days of the month before Christmas. People open one door a day and receive a little gift, such as candy or a piece of chocolate.
  2. People usually hang a Christmas stocking by the fireplace on Christmas Eve so that Santa Claus can fill it with small toys, candy, fruit, coins or other small gifts when he arrives. 
  3. The tradition of hanging mistletoe dates back to the ancient Druids who believed the plant brought good luck and helped protect against evil spirits. In Norse mythology, mistletoe symbolized love, which is where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe originates from.
  4. People usually go from house to house singing Christmas carols, serenading the people that live there.
  • Which of these traditions is the most interesting? Why?
  • Have you ever done any of these things? Which ones?
  • Which Christmas or New Year traditions do people follow where you live?
  • Did you follow any Christmas or New Year tradition while celebrating them? Why/why not?

Check this out as well:
First lesson after New Year: lesson ideas
Activities for “light” lessons at the beginning of January

Task 3

  1. What can you see in the picture? How is it connected with winter holidays? What does “New Year’s resolutions” mean?
Speaking activities

 2. Look at the list of New Year’s resolutions. Pick the ones that are suitable for you and explain your choice. 

3. Create your own New Year’s resolutions on Piktochart or Canva.

Task 4

Choose an appropriate topic to talk about. Ask your partner questions about it.

  1. I spent the winter holidays at a ski resort.
  2. Winter holidays never brought me fun.
  3. There should not be preparations for winter holidays.
  4. Holidays are about hanging out with friends and relatives.
  5. New Year’s Day is the most incredible winter holiday.

Task 5

  1. What film do you usually associate with winter holidays?
  2. Is there any special film that you watch every year on holidays? If yes, what film is it? What is special about that film? 
  3. What films did you watch on winter holidays? Tell us about them.
Speaking activities for the first lesson after New Year's holidays

Task 6

Watch the video. What winter activities are mentioned in it? Which of them do you like most? Did you do any of them on winter holidays?

Task 7

Watch the video again and discuss the questions.

  1. How do Norwegians spend their winter holidays?
  2. Why do they like skiing?
  3. What is toboggan run?
  4. Why is cabin life a sacred thing for many Norwegians?
  5. Which of the activities in the video are popular in your country?

+ Bonus

These 3 worksheets are also great to use for lesson after New Year’s holidays: Урок на Китайский Новый год: материалы и задания

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