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With the holiday season in full swing, why not take some time out to share the beloved The Night Before Christmas poem with your students? We developed these 5 fun TEFL lessons using this lighthearted Christmas classic just for you!
English learners want to communicate in English. An important part of communication is understanding where the other person is coming from. To do that, you have to understand their culture. The Night Before Christmas explains a secular Christmas Eve tradition, especially popular in the USA- the delivering of toys by Santa and his flying reindeer. Students can learn about your culture while having fun practicing their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills at the same time.
Get a copy of The Night Before Christmas Poem, written by Clement Clarke Moore, a New Yorker, for his children, almost 200 years ago.
Find the audio selection of the poem. This version, on youtube, read by Charlie Rose, is great because the illustrations aid in students’ understanding. If you prefer, there’s an audio selection without images.
Pull up some photo images from the Internet: Santa, St. Nicholas, reindeer, sleigh, stockings, chimney, beard, lawn, fur, kerchief
~Consider Creating Resources~
If you want, you can create True/False and gap fill (fill-in-the blank) worksheets, or, you can simply write statements on the board or online.
Since Christmas is such a well-known holiday around the world, start out by asking students what they already know about it. Maybe some of them even celebrate it in some fashion or another.
Share items such as a stocking or toys and photos of Santa, a sleigh, reindeer, and a chimney. Point out some fun facts. For example, in the USA folks say, “Have a Merry Christmas!” while it’s popular to say “Have a Happy Christmas!” in the UK. Also, sometimes we write Christmas like X-mas.
Clear up any confusion by pointing out that the names St. Nicholas and Santa Claus are often used interchangeably. Also, the night before Christmas is known as Christmas Eve.
Finally, share that even though many Western countries celebrate this Christian holiday, it is celebrated a little differently in each country.
Note: This is a poem. Poems are notoriously difficult for English learners to understand. Don’t worry if students struggle with phrases like “visions of sugar plums danced in their heads”. The key is for them to understand that on the night before Christmas, Santa comes to children’s homes in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to deliver the gifts.
Now let’s jump into these 5 fun TEFL lessons based on this holiday classic!
whistled, shouted, called, *knew, *flung, *heard, laughed, *saw, gave, had, *flew
Pre-select vocabulary words from the poem: stockings, sleigh, chimney, creature, nestled, clatter, sprang, appear, reindeer, beard, lawn, driver, porch, fur, bundle, cheeks, elf
We hope these 5 fun TEFL lessons add a little holiday cheer to your classroom!
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