December holiday ideas for Infant, Primary and Secondary students

Happy Holidays to everyone from Pearson! Here’s a short blog post of December activities to do with your students of all ages to get you in the mood for festive season.


Clothes vocabulary

This activity is nice to review or teach clothes. As a whole class, sort your clothes flashcards into Winter or Summer categories.

Take the winter flashcards and keep them on the board in a grid. Review the vocabulary with your children, then ask them to close their eyes. Secretly remove one flashcard and ask students to open their eyes and to whisper to their partner which card they think is missing. Students raise their hands when they think they know and you choose a pair to tell you the answer.

From there, do a drawing dictation. Give each student a copy of a figure, for example a snowman (he’s easy to draw!) and dictate the clothes they need to draw on the snowman and the colour. For example, you say ‘Draw a red scarf’ and students complete the activity. Then you could say ‘draw a green hat’, and so on until the picture is complete.

What’s in my stocking?

This activity is nice to do at the beginning of class. Bring a Christmas stocking to class, and place an object inside it that your students could guess. It could be related to Christmas, or it might be vocabulary you are generally working on in class. For example, we could have a plastic animal in the stocking. Invite one student to come and feel the object and help the class to guess. Help students by asking:
Is it big or small?
Is it light or heavy?
Is it soft or hard?
Does it have a smell?
Does it make a noise?

Further give clues to students if they need it, for example you could say ‘it’s a type of animal’ ‘ it lives on a farm’ and so on. When the students have guessed, show them to object and teach the vocabulary word. This word is now the ‘word of the day’ and the password to leave your class at the end! They have to say the word and give you a high-five as they leave. Help your class to remember this throughout the lesson by pointing to the mascot and asking for the vocabulary word.

Toy Vocabulary

Review toy flashcards and put them up on the board. Choose two students to work together. Ask them to stand by the door of the classroom and close their eyes. You take a flashcard , for example ‘teddy bear’ and ‘hide’ it somewhere in the classroom. The two students must find the card, and the rest of the class will help them. If the students are very far away from the flashcard, the class will chant by only whispering ‘teddy bear’. As the pair get closer to the hiding place, the class will chant ‘teddy bear’ in a louder voice, and if they are very close, the class will chant ‘teddy bear’ in a very big voice until the pair finds it! Repeat until all students have taken turns.

Then, ask students to choose a toy to give to their partner as a Christmas toy swap. Give a worksheet like the picture below and ask students to draw a picture of the toy, colour it and then stick it to a class poster. Then students can then guess who drew the toy.

From Rise and Shine Level 1, Unit 1


Open the Pearson Advent Calendar

Clicking on this link will take you to the Pearson Advent Calendar, revealing an activity to do with your class every day in December. Bookmark the page so that you can return to it for next season.

Play ‘Teacher Says’

Place the winter clothes flashcards on the board and play ‘Teacher Says’ For example, you say ‘Teacher says put on / take off your scarf’ and children have to mime the action. If you do not say ‘Teacher says’ before a phrase then students should NOT do the action and freeze until the next ‘Teacher says’ instruction. You can also use other seasonal flashcards, such as ‘Teacher says eat Christmas pudding!

Petitions to Santa

Ask students to work in pairs and tell each other they would love to have for Christmas and why, plus a good thing they did recently. Explain to the class that they need to tell Santa about one thing their partner would like, why they like it, and what good things they did this year to deserve it. This can be done with traditional letter writing, or you can ask your students to be more creative by making a short video, song or routine. Either way, some writing processes needs to take place before the finished product.

Let’s imagine students want to write a letter. First of all they write down:
Dear Santa, my friend would like to have ………

Then they write the name of the item. Then ask them to give two adjectives to describe the item. The students should then have something like this:

Dear Santa, my friend would like to have a nice pink umbrella.

Then ask students to write why

Dear Santa, my friend would like to have a nice pink umbrella because she lost it on the bus.

Then ask students to tell Santa one good thing they did.

Dear Santa, my friend would like to have a nice pink umbrella because she lost it on the bus. My friend was good this year because he/she helped his/her family to clean the dishes.

Then end the letter:

Thank you Santa and Merry Christmas.

Students can then decorate the letter, or they can now start to turn it into a video or song.



Practise the language of agreeing, disagreeing and persuading by holding either whole class or mini group debates, but around the theme of Christmas. For example:

Is the holiday season too commercialised?
Should little children be tricked into believing in Santa or is it better to tell them the truth?
Is re-gifting an acceptable practise?

Remember to establish clear rules for turn-taking, respect and language use before the activity begins.

Planning a Christmas Party
In the area where I live, supermarkets prepare free brochures of Christmas food and offers that are posted through my letterbox. You can use these in class as inspiration for groups to plan a Christmas party. Before class, prepare some scenarios on card, e.g.

A party for 20 friends who prefer sweet items to savoury items. Budget: $100
An office party for 50 people. They want to sit down for dinner and then dance afterwards. $1000

Students then work together to design the venue, decoration and also the food and drink from the magazine that cannot go over their budget. Later they present their ideas to class. The class listens and guesses 1. Who is the party for? 2. How many people? 3. What was their budget?

Christmas quiz battleships

This is a fun activity to either recycle past grammar and vocabulary or to test students’ knowledge on holiday vocabulary and information.

Divide the class into small teams. Ask a question to one of the teams, but the other teams listen and try to work out the answer together in case they get a chance to ‘steal’ points.

An example question could be:

Name 5 items that feature in the 12 Days of Christmas song.

If the team gets it wrong, another team has a chance to steal if they can get the correct answer. If a team gets in correct, they uncover a square from a grid you have prepared on the board.

For example:

On a secret piece of paper, you have already prepared what is behind each box. For example, behind box A1 is 10 points, behind box B2 is 5 points, and so. However, behind a few boxes is the Christmas Grinch, and if students uncover this box, the team goes back to zero points.

This adds a sense of fun and jeopardy to the game, and it also means that not necessarily the team with the most knowledgeable student wins!

I hope you enjoy these activities with your students.

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