The Origin Of Christmas

Share this with your friends

After a short holiday break, let’s look at this Christmas lesson I’ve had with my teens. 🙂

1) Start your lesson by asking them how they celebrated New Year and Christmas. Ask each student to share a fact about Christmas with the class.

2) Tell your students to take out their phones and download an app called Kahoot! In this app, students need to input a PIN code that the teacher will provide them with and will have to answer a series of questions about Christmas. The first one to answer each question correctly will get more points. You can use the quiz I’ve created or make your own one with the facts you consider interesting for your students. Once your students have answered all the questions, ask them which facts were surprising to them.

3) Tell your students that they’re going to watch a video about the origin of Christmas. Ask them to answer one question: was Christmas always a traditional holiday in the USA?

4) After getting feedback from your class, tell them that they’re going to watch the video once more and they’ll need to find the answer to the following questions in pairs

  1. What kind of activities did the Romans do on their holiday?
  2. What were Norse people celebrating?
  3. What did the families burn in this holiday?
  4. When was Jesus born?
  5. Why did Christians transform pagan holidays into Christmas?
  6. Which traditions did British people have for Christmas?
  7. Which holiday has a similar tradition of going to other people’s houses? Do you think it’s only a coincidence?
  8. What made Christmas popular again in the USA?

5) After getting feedback from your students, have them match the words from the video with their meanings. Elicit examples when you can (e.g. which pagan gods did people believe in before Christianity? Have you ever given money to a beggar? Could you part with your phone for a week? What if you were paid for that?)
You can have your students make up questions using the words in small groups and ask the other groups these questions. Then, you just have to ask your class which answers were the funniest ones they’ve heard.

HarvestWhat people collect from the fields in Autumn.
To ward offTry to keep someone or something away from you.
Mardi GrasThe last day of a Christian carnival when you can eat and drink anything.
BeggarA person who asks people for money.
To part withTo give up or let go of something.
PaganPeople who believe in gods other than the ones we believe in.
OriginThe beginning of something.
Civil compromiseMaking an agreement between people.

6. When they’re done, give them 6 questions to discuss in pairs. Ask them what they have in common with their partners and make notes of any errors if you’d like to do an error correction at the end of the lesson.

  1. Do you agree that people should celebrate Christmas the way they want to? Why?
  2. Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you have any special traditions that you follow?
  3. What do you think is the best thing about Christmas?
  4. Are there any Christmas traditions that are specific to Ukrainians?
  5. Do you get any presents at Christmas? What was the best present you’ve ever received in this holiday?
  6. Do you like Christmas songs? Which Christmas song do you find the most annoying?

7. As a final activity, I’ve held a debate. I wrote Christmas is too commercial on the board and asked the students to work in 2 teams: for and against this statement. You can give your students 5 minutes to brainstorm their arguments, give their opinion what the real value of Christmas is and ask the fast finishers to think of what the other team might say and what their counter-arguments could be.

It’s very important for a debate to be organized so when both teams are ready, tell them that they will have 3 minutes to present their arguments and the other team must not interrupt their speech. Instead, they should make notes about the arguments given and think of how they would counter them.

The next thing they should do is have an open debate where each team goes through the arguments given by the other teams while the other team defends their ideas.

Finally, ask each team to give a closing statement where they should note which arguments from the other team they agree with and if they changed their minds about Christmas.

8. As homework, ask your students to find 1 fact about how people celebrate Christmas in their country and prepare a short written report about it for the next lesson. You can then compile all the reports given, correct the students’ errors and print a newspaper with all their articles as a gift for them.

And there you have it! A fun way to find out more about the holiday and get your students talking.

On a side note, which Christmas tradition do you stick to with your family?

Let us know in the comments section and see you next week! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *