Number one for English language teachers

Father Christmas gets stuck

Type: Worksheet, General lesson plan, Teaching notes

Three activies using a simple story about Father Christmas.

Activity 1: Father Christmas gets stuck!

Aims:  To introduce Christmas vocabulary. To understand the present simple. To introduce actions: give, climb, stop, pack, fly, wave

Language: Down, present, twelve, Father Christmas/Santa Claus, 24th, baby, girl, boy, boots, door, chimney, give, climb, stop, pack, fly, wave, wake up, pull, open.  Colours. Colour the …

Time:  45 minutes

Group size:  Whole class/individual

Materials needed: Copy of attached worksheet per child. Pictures of the above vocabulary. Coloured pencils.

  • Show students a picture of Father Christmas. Explain that he can be called Father Christmas or Santa Claus.
  • Give each child a copy of the worksheet. Let them study the pictures and discuss the story.
  • Teach vocabulary that children can colour in, e.g. present, door, boots. Explain that you will tell them which picture to look at and what to colour in. Give some instructions, e.g., Colour the baby green.
  • When everyone has coloured the items, go around the class and check.
  • Teach the verbs pack, fly, stop, climb, wake up, pull, give, open and wave. Mime packing.Ask: What am I doing? Elicit response. Say: What am I doing? I’m packing. Get the children to repeat the -ing form of packing.
  • Next, give the children a word and an instruction which they can all mime, e.g. Giving: Giving a present. Mime the action yourself.
  • Tell the story to the class (suggested script in Activity 2 below, but this can be adapted). The children listen to the story and follow the pictures.
  • Discuss the story. Ask: What happened to Father Christmas? Read the story again.

Follow-up activity:  The children mime the story as they listen to it again.

Activity 2: Father Christmas story sort-out

Aims:  To introduce Christmas vocabulary. To introduce actions: give, climb, put, stop, find, eat, pack, put, fly, wave.  Present simple and continuous.

Language:  As Activity 1 (except for colours), plus: find, eat, put, happy, fat, big

Time:  45 minutes

Group size:  Whole class/individual

Materials neeed:  Copy of attached worksheet per child (first delete picture numbers) cut up and placed into an envelope. Glue, blank paper. Pictures of: Father Christmas, Christmas present, chimney. 

Story:  Can be adapted as necessary.

It is Christmas Eve. Father Christmas packs all his presents into his sack, ready to give to all the children for Christmas. He gets into his sleigh with his reindeer, Rudolph, and flies across the night sky.  He lands on the roof of a house. He gets out of his sleigh and climbs down the chimney. But he is too fat! Father Christmas is stuck and can’t move.

In the bedroom, two children wake up. They see Father Christmas’s feet in the fireplace. The children get out of bed and pull Father Christmas’s feet.  The pull and pull.

Bump! Father Christmas falls onto the floor. He is very dirty but pleased to be out of the chimney.

‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ He says. ’Thank you for helping me. Here is a present.’  He gives a present to the boy and a present to the baby, too.  They are very happy.

’Bye! Bye! Father Christmas!’

  • Stick a picture of Father christmas on the board.  Ask the children to think of as many words as possible to describe him, e.g. happy, fat, red, old, funny, heavy.
  • Mime:pack, fly, stop, wake up, pull, give, open and wave. Ask: What am I doing? I’m packing.Get the children to repeat the -ingform of packing.
  • Give the children a word and an instruction which can be mimed, e.g.Giving: Giving a present. Mime the action yourself.
  • Give out the envelopes. Explain that the story is about Father Christmas but is all jumbled up.
  • Read the story to the class. The children must listen carefully to the story and put the pictures in order. You will need to read the story more than once.
  • Check that the students have the pictures in the correct order, then give out the paper and glue so that the students can stick the pictures down.  If there is time, they can colour in the pictures too. 
  • Repeat the story again, pausing after each frame so the children can repeat the narrative.

Follow-up activity:  Play Simon says  to review the new action words, along with others the children already know.


Activity 3: Father Christmas got stuck!

Aims:  To introduce Christmas vocabulary. To understand the simple past. To sequence a story.

Language:  Actions: packed, went, flew, stopped, climbed, woke up, pulled, gave, opened, waved, laughed.  Other vocabulary: down, present, Father Christmas, boy, baby, boots, door, chimney, sky, old, happy, fat, red, funny, heavy, coat, boots, hat, buttons, What’s he wearing? Ready, steady, go! Was …

Time:  45 minutes

Group size: Whole class/pairs

Materials needed:  Copy of worksheet per child, scissors, glue, 1 piece of A4 paper per child, pictures of: Father Christmas, boots, present, door, sky, chimney.

  • Give each child a copy of the worksheet (attached below). Let them study the pictures and discuss the story.
  • Introduce items of new vocabulary using realia or visuals (boots, present, chimney, door, sky). Teach action vocabulary items through mime: pack presents, fly, stop, climb, wake up, pull, give, open and wave. Teach the simple past form of each verb.
  • Read the story (shown in Activity 2 above - put the verbs into the past tense). The children listen and follow the pictures.
  • The children cut up the pictures. Start to tell the story. As you read, the children should hold up the correct picture for each sentence.
  • Children tell the story in pairs, still using the past tense.
  • Each pair shuffles the pictures. You say: Ready, steady, go! The pairs have to race each other to see who can be the first to put the pictures in the correct order. Read the story again so they can check.
  • The children make zigzag books by folding their A4 piece of paper in half length ways. They then stick the pictures in the correct sequence. Write the captions on the board in the wrong order. The class then copies the sentences under the correct pictures.

Follow-up activity:  Make a Christmas display with Father Christmas stuck in the chimney. Use this to illustrate items of Christmas vocabulary.

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