Buy an ESL Christmas Lesson Plan

Girl opening front door on Christmas eve

Christmas teaching kit for ages 3 to 7

Hello and welcome,

This page describes an ESL Christmas lesson plan that is available with a Christmas story.

Teach your pupils about Christmas in our culture. It’s fun and interesting to learn about other cultures and the special days they celebrate.

This story is set in a typical home in England. You can see the Christmas decorations in the home and what happens on Christmas day. There’s fantasy in the story too, it’s not all fact, because I don’t think that Santa does really come with presents, at least I haven’t seen him yet!

This ESL Christmas lesson plan represents a complete unit to teach children Christmas vocabulary and traditions using a story, an ESL Christmas lesson plan, flashcards, bingo, Christmas crafts, games and activities.

Vocabulary and Grammar

Present Tense, Present Continuous, Christmas vocabulary

This is a fictitious tale invented purely for fun, to learn about Christmas customs typical in the English-speaking world and to practise the present tense.

Christmas vocabulary flashcards Included for the ESL lesson:

Christmas tree                 Reindeer                 Christmas lights           

Christmas day                  Presents                 Christmas eve

Carol singers                    Sleigh                     Christmas stockings

Father Christmas              Turkey (meat)         Christmas pudding

Plus optional flashcards for this extra vocabulary, visible in story illustrations but not in the text: Holly, Mistletoe, Christmas decorations, Christmas Crackers

The Christmas ESL lesson plan gives you games and crafts to teach the above Christmas vocabulary successfully and in a fun way children will remember.

father christmas and reindeer flying over rooftops

Extract from the ESL Christmas Lesson Plan

Here is an extract from the ESL lesson plan to teach Christmas Tree and Decorations

Introduce the words Christmas treeChristmas decoration and Christmas present through simple games like Jump the Line or Run and Touch. (Preschool/Primary games books)

Drawing activity

As a continuation draw several trees on the board, more if you have a big group.  Children come up, two kids per tree, and each draw a Christmas decoration on the tree. These can be different colours or revise objects by making them draw objects such as like balls, angels, or lights. Repeat with children adding a present under the tree.  Presents may be different colours and they may be different shapes, as well big and small.

Listening activity

Use the above idea as a listening activity where you tell the children what to draw, for example “draw a blue Christmas decoration”, or “draw a green present”. 

Speaking activity

As a speaking activity for more advanced pupils let the children draw whatever they like and tell the class what they drew, or a pupil in the class names the item drawn and in return comes up to the board and draw something.

Guessing game

Use the presents under the tree as a guessing game.  Four children draw a present (four at once to have more pupils actively involved and less sitting passively).  The children whisper to you what is inside the present.  Children from the class call out different items until someone guesses what is in the present.  To make this game easier display a selection of presents on the desk, preferably as real objects, but otherwise display a selection of flashcards on a wall of the class, or down the side of the board.  Children will call out those words repeatedly and hence learn and remember them well.

Younger children will adore being given the present that they guessed, especially if it is a real object, such as a toy car, doll and so on.  And you won’t just use those toys for this ESL Christmas lesson plan since toys are excellent since a huge amount of common vocabulary may be acquired through toys: farm animals, clothing for dolls, all forms of transportation under the sun, household objects and furniture, and so on.  So have fun and get down to your local car boot sale (uk), garage sale (US), charity shop or second hand store and build up your collection of toy models.  Using toy models is more real than flashcards.  Remember of course if you have very young children to use big toys they cannot swallow!

Stories and Songs for Special Days including Christmas

Christmas story

This story comes with beautiful pictures, and two versions of text for different levels of English.


The basic version is told in the present tense using simple short sentences.  Much of the vocabulary has been covered in the early story sets.  Here are the first few texts for the basic version:

Picture 1

It’s Christmas Eve. See the Christmas tree and the presents.

Picture 2

Oh listen! (singing) I hear music. Hetty opens the door and sees her friends. They are singing Christmas carols.

Picture 3

Hetty gives her pony water to drink. She gives him an apple to eat.  Mmm, he loves apples. And she says good night.

Picture 4

Hetty is in bed.  It’s time to sleep but she wants to stay awake. She wants to stay awake for Father Christmas.

She waits, and waits…..and then she falls asleep!

Story text for high beginner, lower intermediate

This is written as a rhyme and here are the first few verses:

It is Christmas Eve.

See the Christmas tree,

Pretty lights, shining bright

And presents under the tree.

Picture 2

Tra la la la (sung on any notes, for example, fa mi re do)

It’s the carol singers,

Singing at the door,

Singing to celebrate Christmas

And raise money for the poor.

Picture 3

Hetty goes out to her pony.

He’s a dapple grey.

Pretty pony have an apple

Some water and some hay.

Picture 4

Hetty goes to bed

To wait for Father Christmas.

She really wants to see him,

But she falls asleep instead.

Christmas Songs

On the album Teaching English Songs 3, two Christmas songs reinforce language learned in the story. Also in the present tense and using much of the same vocabulary as the story texts. The words are simple and repeated to help easy learning.

Song extract for It’s Christmas Day

Presents under the tree

Presents for you and for me

Presents under the treeAnd look!

There is one for me.

Song extract for It’s Christmas Eve

Stories and Songs for Special Days including Christmas

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