'Tis the season to be merry and celebrate the holidays.
You can encourage an atmosphere of celebration in your classroom when you include these Christmas themed games in your lesson plans.
Try These 6 Fun Christmas Games for English Practice
Christmas Tongue Twisters
Not only will tongue twisters give your students some pronunciation practice, they are sure to bring laughter to the class room. It’s easy to write your own tongue twisters – just compose a phrase whose words all begin with the same or similar letters. Writing your own will give you the chance to include your students’ names in the tricky tongue exercises. If you don’t feel like writing your own tongue twisters, try one of these: Perfect presents are perched in preparation for the party. Christmas candles cascade characters on the ceiling. Dave dives into delectable desserts.
Guess What I Am
In this game, your students will take turns describing different Christmas and holiday related items. Start by brainstorming a list of different holiday items. Your list might include the following: Christmas tree, holiday lights, presents, menorah, Santa Clause, etc. Then either assign one to a student or have her draw an item from a hat. She must then describe the object in the first person (as if she is that object) until someone guesses the object correctly. She starts by giving three clues. For example, she might say, “I grow in the forest. People bring me home and decorate me. They put presents under me.” Students then have a chance to guess what object she is. Whoever guesses correctly gets to be the next person to give a description. If no one can guess the item after three clues, she gives three more and students get another opportunity to guess.
Winter Wonderland Categories
This free game from TeachersPayTeachers will challenge your students’ knowledge of vocabulary and give them some pronunciation practice. Simply download Winter Wonderland Categories and print the cards and separate them. If you like, you can laminate them as well. Shuffle the cards and put them in a stack. Students take turns drawing one card at a time. On his turn, your student must decide which item listed does not fit into the category. If he gives the correct answer, he keeps the card. If he gives the incorrect answer, he must return the card to the bottom of the pile. Special cards give instructions, and the student who draws one of those should simply follow the directions. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
The Guilty Elf
In this game, your students will ask questions to try and determine which elf committed the Christmas crime. Students play in groups of around four. Each group should have pictures of five different elves (you can also use pictures of Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, etc.). Each group lays their pictures face up on a table where everyone playing can see them. The first player secretly chooses one of the elves as the guilty party and thinks of the Christmas crime he committed. It might be that he stole the presents, kidnapped Rudolph, drugged Santa Clause, etc. You might want to brainstorm with your class what Christmas crimes the elves could have committed. The rest of the players then get 20 questions to determine which elf is guilty and what crime he committed. The questions must be yes/no questions. If the group solves the mystery before their 20 questions are up, they win the round. If they are not able to solve the crime, the player who chose the elf wins. Play until each person has a chance to choose the guilty elf.
Christmas Story Recall
How well can your students listen to a story and remember the details they heard? You will know after this challenging Christmas story recall game. Start by telling your students the story of how you got your Christmas tree. Make up your own story or use the following.
- My whole family got into the car and drove to the Christmas tree farm.
- We picked out a tall, green tree.
- We brought the tree home and put it in our living room.
- We decorated the tree with lights, ornaments, and a star.
- We put presents under the tree.
- We heard squeaks coming from the top of the tree.
- We looked and found a chipmunk was living in our Christmas tree!
After you have told your students the story two times, challenge their listening comprehension and memories. Ask one detail question about each step of the story, and have students write down their answers. You might ask: Where did we get the Christmas tree? Where did we put the tree in our home? What noise did we hear coming from the tree? Put students in groups of three to check their answers and correct each other as necessary. Then, give each group a copy of the story cut into strips. Have students work together to sequence the events and check the answers to your questions.
Pin the Nose on the Reindeer
If you have a free bulletin board in your classroom, use it for this preposition practice game. For your blank board, cut out black paper for eyes and a mouth. Use sticks for antlers or cut them out of paper as well, and arrange them to look like a reindeer’s face on your bulletin board. Then, give each student a large red circle, which will be the reindeer’s nose. Have each student write their name on their nose. One at a time, blindfold your student, spin them around three times, and then have them place their nose where they think it belongs on your bulletin board reindeer. You can either put tape on the back to make it stick or have your student use a push pin. Remove the blindfold and let the student see where his nose ended up. After everyone in class has had a turn, have students return to their seats and get out a piece of paper. Students will write one sentence about each person’s reindeer nose that describes its position. Their sentence should use a preposition of place. You can put a list of prepositions of place on your board to help including above, below, next to, beside, under, and on top of. If necessary, review these prepositions with your students before they write their sentences. Once everyone has finished, collect the sentences and review different options for what they could have written for each student’s reindeer nose.
Do you have any favorite Christmas games for your ESL class?
Please join in on the fun and share them in the comments below.