When Christmas time comes around, it's very likely that your students will take notice. However, for the ones in some parts of Asia, they might not really know what Christmas is all about.
In some countries, you'll see Father Christmases scattered around, hear Jingle Bells playing in shops, and see a lot of the other commercial side of the festive season; almost enough to make you think you're back home, but when the day itself comes around, Christmas can be very different in Asia, especially as some countries don't even have it as a national holiday and families don't do anything to celebrate.
Of course, Christianity's reach and the large number of expats around ensures that there will always be SOMEONE there to celebrate with, but the point of this article is to show you that there's a good opportunity to be had. Whether you're teaching kids or adults, some Christmas themed lessons and activities can add a nice element to the classroom, and maybe make you feel that much more festive too!
As well as giving you some specific ideas, we'll also talk about the kinds of things you can do in the classroom, so that you can go on to make your own ideas.
1.) Vocabulary Games And Projects
Just like at Halloween and other times of the year, there is plenty of Christmas and New Year vocabulary you can teach. This means worksheets, games, and all the other standard activities you do will work fine.
Additionally, you can make a collage or let students do something creative with all that they learn. Christmas makes a great topic for posters and other projects to be displayed around the school, and vocab is an easy place to start. If students are higher level, you can even get them to write letters to Father Christmas.
Make sure their parents see them too!
2.) Making Decorations
What better way to celebrate the festive season than to have students making decorations to put up around the school? If you have the ability to have a tree, even better! You can still make do with some green card cut out in a tree-shape and stuck up in a display area though.
There is so much that can be made too, such as paper chains, snowmen, masks, hats, Father Christmas beards, the list is almost endless. Don't forget that collage we mentioned in point 1 either.
3.) Themed Games
You don't have to make a huge project or grand effort to still have fun with festive activities. Sometimes a simple candy cane used as part of a game can be enough. Over at eslkidstuff.com, there is a large list of games that you can check out.
A personal favorite would be Pin The Nose On Rudolph.
4.) Christmas Songs
If you're teaching younger students and use songs as part of your lesson anyway, then this is perfect for you. Some Christmas songs are not particularly difficult to learn, but are fun to perform and excellent at putting people in the Christmas spirit.
Christmassy songs are also good for playing in the background while students' perform tasks like writing in their textbooks or copying from the board. After a few lessons you'll have them humming along, and some might even passively learn the words.
5.) Secret Santa
This one would need help from your school head in order to organize effectively, but if you needed to do it on a smaller scale, you could prepare some gifts yourself and make it more of a lucky dip/pass the parcel affair.
Christmas is all about those gift exchanges, so it's a great chance to give students an opportunity to experience it, where otherwise they might not ever get to.
6.) Christmas Stories
There are plenty of great Christmas stories to share with the students, especially the actual story of Christmas. Chances are, a lot of them won't know the real history behind Christmas, so this is a good chance to let them know it's more about Jesus than Father Christmas!
Use Your Imagination And Memories
These are obviously only ideas that scratch the surface, and you could easily think of some more yourself. On top of that, why not use your own memories from childhood and adapt them as necessary? Or even share some of your own stories, experiences, and photos; your students (and their parents) would probably be very interested to see how other countries celebrate, and learn more about you too.