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Christmas tree

3 ways to practise grammar at Christmas


Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean the grammar’s got to go…

In fact just after the end of term exams (now) is when I need to be going over content that students haven’t yet mastered.  Here are 3 ideas to spice up the grammar and give it a Christmas twist…



There are some great adverts around and the Christmas season sees a plethora of ads to convince you it’s their turkey and Christmas pud you want on the table.  Some of these ads we wait for with anticipation: Come November in the UK, small talk at the bus stop is no longer about the weather but what the new John Lewis Christmas ad will be like…


Lots of these ads tell a story and can be used to practise narrative tenses and scaffold more creative activities.  The lesson plan below focuses on the past simple, past continuous and past perfect tenses although it can be adapted depending on levels (present simple v present continuous, third conditional… What would have happened if Mog hadn’t accidentally switched on the oven…?)


Christmas ads Slides presentation

Christmas ads worksheet


One of the questions I’m most often asked in the classroom (apart from Profe, can I go to the toilet?) is Can we listen to a song?

Songs provide lots of opportunities for language practise and students seem happy to listen to any old song sometimes (especially when they’re feeling festive, post exams) so don’t be afraid to bring out Shaky… (Shaky aka Shakin’ Stevens, for those of you who are not familiar with his work, was a rock and roll singer who enjoyed great success in the 1980’s in the UK.  I don’t know if he was particularly cool but he was enormously popular!)  In the activity below, students practice the present continuous whilst “getting on down” to Shaky…

Shakin Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas Everyone Slides presentation

Merry Christmas Everyone vocabulary

Merry Christmas Everyone cut ups

Merry Christmas Everyone song and lyrics


You can’t beat a good quiz, especially at Christmas. However, instead of writing the questions for your students get them to write their own.  

Each team has a Christmas stocking/Santa hat and writes questions for the other teams which they put into their stocking/hat.  They can either:

  • write questions about Christmas using the grammar you want them to practise (e.g write 1 question in the past simple, 1 in the present simple,  1 with have got, 1 with there is/there are etc…)
  • or write grammar questions similar to test questions to revise content (e.g How do you say I have had my breakfast?, When do we use (the past perfect)?  What’s the missing word? I had (…..) seen that film etc…

The stockings/hats are then exchanged and teams must answer the other teams questions…  

Santa hat

Don’t forget to reward all participants with a mini chocolate santa or similar (it is Christmas after all!)

Christmas quiz: example questions

What are you waiting for? Get in the festive spirit and wrap up your grammar in a bit of tinsel…

A very Merry Christmas to one and all, may it be filled with love, lots of fun and a little bit of grammar 😉


Author: lisajwood

I am an English language coach and Neurolanguage Coach® I current teach adolescents and adults. My areas of interest include brain-friendly learning, flipped learning, student-centred learning and promoting lifelong learning skills. I am also a keen advocate of using new technologies to facilitate the learning process.

2 thoughts on “3 ways to practise grammar at Christmas


  2. Pingback: Christmas activities to keep students engaged and learning | ACEnglishteacher

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