I know it’s a little late to be putting up a Christmas lesson plan, but I always prefer to post only lesson plans that I have used myself in class and I wouldn’t really try a Christmas lesson before the last week of term!
In recent years there has been a spate of almost cinema-quality Christmas adverts from many of the major retailers, and this year has been no exception. However, while these are brilliant for use in class, I’ve decided to take a slightly different tack for my Christmas ESL lesson plan.
Staying Safe At Christmas
Inspired by a rather dry unit on “health and safety” in the course book, I thought about basing my lesson on the potential dangers of Christmas time. I’ve done two versions of this, one tongue-in-cheek and another more serious, using video clips to introduce the task of creating a Christmas public safety advert.
Begin by asking students to brainstorm the things that could go wrong at Christmas time. This could be from the very serious (drink driving, burglary, house fires) right down to the playful (turkey undercooked/overcooked, not enough chairs, not enough wrapping paper, etc).
Introduce the video clip(s). Depending on how you want to go with this, you could use one of the anti-drink driving commmercials that air on British TV around this time of year, or perhaps this one produced by the Fire Brigade:
Ask students to think about what message the advert is trying to convey and how it manages to get this across. Ask students how they feel after watching the video.
If you want to be a little lighter, try this 2015 Christmas advert from Sainsbury’s (only play until the fire brigade arrive and put out the fire):
For this clip, ask students to make notes of the sequence of events that the video shows, and get students to reconstruct the story together after they have watched.
Next, return to the ideas from the brainstorm earlier. In groups, get students to come up with some advice for protecting themselves against the problems they discussed. They will use this as the basis for the task that is to follow.
Tell the class that they are going to produce a Christmas safety information advert. Ask groups to choose a problem from the original list they brainstormed, and ask them to plan and produce a script for a short (30 second) advertisement warning of the dangers and giving some advice.
If you have access to the technology, you could get students to go away and film their script (could even be on a smartphone camera), and you can then show each group’s commercial in class. Alternatively, students could act out their script in the classroom.
As students watch, ask them to comment on how effective the advert is at giving safety information.
So there you have it – a Christmas ESL lesson plan about being safe this Christmas time!
Let me know if you use this and whether it goes well in your class. I used this in a B2 class, but I think it’s suitable potentially for A2+.