Christmas Countdown Activities

Hi everyone,

For the 3rd year, I have prepared a day-to-day activity calendar/ countdown up to the Christmas break. There are loads of shorter and longer tasks you can try with your learners. If you do not like all the tasks, I have added some extras at the end of this post. I hope you like my suggestions!!


Possible preparation before the tasks start:

Depending on your budget, you may need to ask students to contribute.

  • You may need to order blank Christmas stockings. You can find a 6 pack on Amazon here.
  • Ask your students to bring in small stocking fillers/ pressies, so you can use them in the pass the parcel game. You can set a price limit.
  • Buy chocolates for various activities (if you have the budget)

Thursday 1

Decorate the classroom part 1


Decorate the Christmas tree.

Print Holiday Season colouring pages and hang on the wall

Friday 2

Decorate the classroom part 2

Gingerbread Streamers

Christmas gingerbread men streamers. Get a string of paper and get each student to draw a gingerbread man. Then cut out the men and make a hole on the top of the paper and hang it in the class.


Picture from Found here

Educational twist: teach your students the parts of the body while making the streamers.

Monday 5

Set up the secret Santa game/ activity.Explain what secret Santa is. Put all your students’ names in a bag and then each student pulls a name. Make sure there is a money limit or that everyone is making a gift instead of buying something (that’s up to you to decide).Also specify that the presents need to be gender neutral!  Tell them they must bring in their presents on X of December (give yourself time to make or purchase something if a student has forgotten to bring a purchase).

Tuesday 6

Christmas/holidays around the world project: Get your students to find information about how Christmas is celebrated around the world. It may be a good idea to do some research on how people in Australia celebrate cause it is summer over there :). Give your students about ten days to finish their projects. Inform them that they will be presenting to the rest of the class. Depending on class size, you can do this as individual/pair or group work. You can also send your learners to this website and ask them to find information. Presentation date: Friday the 16th

Wednesday 7

Holiday ABCs

Make teams and give students pieces of paper with different letters of the ABC. Each team must come up with words that have to do with the holiday season and that of curse start with the letter they have on their card.

Thursday 8

Time for some Christmas songs/ carols. Find a Christmas song you like, search for the lyrics and start singing with your students. My suggestion: Santa Claus is coming to town

                           You better watch out

                                  You better not cry

                                          Better not pout

                                                   I’m telling you why

                                                        Santa Claus is coming to town

Yu could also do a Christmas karaoke. This video has 15 songs without words just the lyrics and the music.

Friday 9

Online Christmas trivia: Get your learners to answer questions about the holidays.This can be done online in pairs or groups. You can find the quiz here.

Monday 12

Describe the object/picture:Depending on the class size make groups of 3 or more.. Give one student a Holiday related picture. The other group members cannot see the picture. The student with the picture describes the object and the other group members draw what the student is describing. Once the description is finished the students see how close to the drawing they are. This can also be done with a Holiday ornament where the student describes the ornament and the other learners draw it.

Tuesday 13

Time to watch some movies.

Christmas movies for kids

The Polar Express

Home Alone

Frosty the Snowman

Miracle on 34th Street

The Muppet Christmas Carol

It is a wonderful life

For teenagers/ adult learners that like romance ❤ ❤

You can watch Hallmark Christmas movies. A lot are available online. Just press Hallmark Christmas movies on YouTube and you will find lots of full movies online.

If you do not want to watch something for a full lesson, you can watch the Charlie Brown clip below (7 minutes long)

Educational twist: Get your students to write a film review or summarise the main points of the story.

Wednesday 14

Make a Christmas Stocking. Ask your students to bring in a  blank Christmas stocking. Use different materials to cut out ornaments/ designs that they will stick on their stockings

Thursday 15

Pass the parcel Holiday edition. You wrap chocolates or little gifts in lots of layers of paper. You make a few ‘parcels’.You give the parcel to the learners who are sitting in a circle. While the music is playing they need to be handing each other the parcel’. You, the teacher, stop  the music suddenly and the student who is holding the parcel needs to take off the wrap.

Educational twist:

When the music stops in order for the student to unwrap the parcel, you can ask a grammar/ vocabulary question. If they get it right, the take the wrap off, if they get it wrong, they don’t take it off..

Friday 16

Present the ‘Holidays around the world’ project set on the 6th of December.

Monday 19

Sock Snowman: Get your students to make a snowman out of a sock. You can watch the video with your learners and make a sock.

Educational twist: Get them to write down the instructions on how to make this. Half the class watches the video and then they have to tell their classmates (the other half) what to do. If you are interested in grammar, get them to practice countable and uncountable nouns.

Tuesday 20

Stocking filler exercise. I have written a blog post about this task. You can find it here.

Wednesday 21

Pin Rudolph’s red nose. How do you play? Find a picture of Rudolph online, blindfold your students, turn them round in circles for a bit, and then ask them to pin Rudolph’s nose. This activity is loads of fun and young learners really like it. 


Thursday 22

Christmas Scavengers Hunt/ Treasure hunt.

Place clues around the class/ school that will lead to a ‘treasure’ (maybe a chocolate/ cake, so that it can be shared). Depending on your class size you can organise more than one treasure hunts.

Friday 23

Party time/ Secret Santa.

Need more ideas? Try these extras.

  • Go to and use the free trial option to listen to Charles Dickens audiobook (it is 2hrs 54 mins long). This is appropriate for higher-level learners.
  • More Christmas DIY ideas video (it’s got some Itlian words, but you get the idea from watching the video 🙂 )

  • Play Christmas word snake. How is this played? Each student takes turns to write a word connected to holiday season on the board. The final letter of student A’s word is the first letter of student B’s word.





  • Time to make a card for the Holidays! You can find templates here or improvise!!
  • Play Holiday season Bingo (make word or picture Bingo cards). You can find templates here.

Picture from DLTK website (linked above)

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to follow my blog and other social media.

Thanks for stopping by.



Drawings in the EAP classroom (my Iatefl presentation)

Hi everyone,

Today’s post is a video. It is my Iatefl (Birmingham) presentation.Un fortunately, I was unable to go to Iatefl, so I thought I’d make a voiceover video.  My talk is about using drawings when teaching academic writing.

Before watching please keep in mind:

  • My presentaion was part of the forum on academic writing and it needed to be 15 mnutes long.
  • My abstract stated that I was going to also talk a bit about presentations and how to use drawings there, but I decided to only briefly touch upon that as this forum was about academic writing.
  • Even if you do not teach academic writing, you can still use some of these drawings in your classroom.
  • I was nervous!

So, I hope enjoy the video and feel free to leave a question, comment in the comments section below.

Thanks for watching.



Hi guys,

I am back with another monthly favourites. I am sharing with you websites, videos, articles and loads of random stuff you can use in your classroom. I am kinda happy with this one cause there are lots of interesting things here today.

 Shout Out to Bloggers

I discovered a new blog that I like (technically she discovered me), so you may want to check her posts out. It’s called the ELT Think Tank. The post I am sharing with you today is How to get most out of Socrative in the Classroom.

Tekhnologic and I worked on a colour blind friendly post. The focus was on colourblind friendly graphs. You can find it here.

Online material for the classroom

Ideas for an article+ lesson plan (video based session): Guy Goma, the IT Job Applicant Who Was Mistakenly Interviewed on Live TV. This has been turned into a lesson plan (thanks Sue for telling me) and you can get it at Lesson stream

Websites to check out for extra grammar/vocabulary etc practice:

I was looking for a reading text that focused on conditionals and discovered this website. You may wanna have a look. Press here.

Articles I read and loved (I used with my learners)

8 benefits of being a cat owner

This is an incredibly cruel way to model plus-sized shorts: This article caused a lot of discussion!


The New York Times

The NY Times website has loads of videos you can watch and create lessons. I created a lesson based on the McDonald’s coffee case (you can find it here) but there are loads of other websites you can check out here.

Harvard Business Review

There are loads of short videos to watch with your learners. I have used this one:

How to get the feedback you need to grow

Random but relevant


You know I like my DIY and well, I watched this video and loved the idea. You can make (scrunched up/crumpled) paper flowers. Press here to watch the tutorial.


Free calligraphy fonts which you can use for your blogging, lesson material or to practice calligraphy with your students (just an idea). Tip: you download the font and then you open the file you have downloaded. You press True Type Font File and then install. It gets added to your Word.


Looking for a summer job (EAP and others)? These are my favourite websites for job hunting:

I had a great moment this month as I got two of my blog posts published in the Huffington Post. You can check them out here and here.

Finally, this is not a favourite for March, but I am really looking forward to this. I am going to be presenting at the Iatefl Birmingham conference. I will be part of the forum on academic writing and will be talking about drawing in EAP. If you are there, do come and say ‘Hello’. My talk is on Thursday the 14th at 10:25.

So, that’s all for now. Don’t forget to follow my blog if you are not already and give my Facebook page a thumbs up so that you do not miss notifications! You can follow me on Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram. If you want to read my beauty/TV and random favourites, check out blog number 2.

ELT fav

Thanks for stopping by. If you have a favourite you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. Sharing is caring.

Thanks for stopping by.



Fun activities for the 2nd conditional

Let me begin this blog post by saying that conditionals are not the easiest phenomenon to teach, especially since there are lots of combinations which are used in natural speech, but are not really covered in text books. After having shared with you my fun activities for the first conditional, I thought it was about time to move on to what is traditionally known as the 2nd conditional and suggest a few fun activities which practice the 2nd conditional. First, let’s have a look at the form (keep in mind that there are many other forms not mentioned here). 


If + simple past , would + base verb

E.g. If we went by train, we would get there earlier.

(Also possible:  would+ base verb +if+ simple past)


Something reasonably possible but ‘ more tentative’. Past tense does not refer to past. Here, it is likely that the train would take you to your destination faster. 

                                                      Alexander, G. L. (1998, p.208-9)


Stranded in a cave
Tell your students that they are stuck in a cave. Put them in groups of four. Give them different pictures or word cards with random items on them e.g. a chocolate bar, a chewing gum, a rope, a dog, a magazine, a plastic bag and so on. Each student has their own set of cards and each member of the group has different cards. Ask them to tell you how they would use these items in the cave. Would they also use them to get out of the cave? How? Each group should decide on the two or three most necessary items. They should use the 2nd conditional when saying how they will use this.
For example,
Item on picture card:
Chewing gum
Student response:
If I had a chewing gum, I would chew it in order to feel less stressed.daisy

2nd conditional songs + Karaoke
You can do listening activities with the following two songs and then do Karaoke with your students!
If you could see me now  The Script (official video)
If you had my love Jennifer Lopez (official video)
Karaoke version
Also, why not get your students to change the lyrics and sing their own versions?
Conditionals noughts and crosses
We have all played noughts and crosses, so why not put words that are used in the 2nd conditional in the box? In order for you students to get an X or O in the table, they need to make a sentence using the word in the box and of course this sentence needs to be in the 2nd conditional.Scan0081
Consequence chain story
A consequence chain is like writing a chain story but the learners must use the 2nd conditional and write about consequences (for more about this go here). How do you set this up? Well, get your students to sit in rows. One student from each end of the room must write a sentence in the second conditional. Then, hand it to the student next to him/her. That student uses the previous student’s main clause to form an if clause, and then adds his/her own main clause and so on.

 Student A: If you arrived here early, you would meet Peter. Next student: If you met Peter, you would probably end up going on a date.

My students’ consequence chain (level: A1)


Finish my sentence-Ball game
If you have learners who like moving around, you should play this game. One student stands in the front of the class and says half a conditional. The learner then throws the ball to a student and that student needs to finish off the sentence. You can even turn this into a team game where each student’s correct answer adds points to the team. This is great for the summer, you can play outside!

Let’s do some math
Give your students math tasks and ask them to write down what they see.

For example,
If I had 3 cows and they produced 5 kilos of milk every day, how much milk would each cow produce?

If scenarios

Get your learners to talk or write about what they would do in each of these scenarios. You can jazz things up by getting them to draw pictures while doing so, like a little picture composition.
If I won 1 million euros, I would……..

If I had one day left to live, I would……

If I could fly anywhere in the world, I would…..

If I could choose any famous person to date, I would…….

Dating game

You choose three students and give them three I.D cards ( you can make these cards up or you can use information about famous people). You also choose a bachelor or bachelorette. The bachelorette/bachelor cannot see the three candidates. He/she asks questions like, ” What would you do if you were on a deserted island?” and the candidates need to answer using the 2nd conditional as well(if you press the title of this idea you can watch another teacher describing this game in more detail). 43105-valentine

Card game
You need an hour glass or some sort of timer and some cards with either an if clause or a main clause. Once you hand your students their cards, they need to write the rest of the conditional clause on a sheet of paper. When the timer goes off, the student that has the most correct sentences is the winner.

Where I looked for some ideas

Alexander, L.G. (1998). Longman English Grammar Practice for Intermediate Students. New York.: Longman.
Hope you liked this post.
Till next time…..