Number one for English language teachers

We Wish you a merry Christmas!

Level: Elementary Type: General lesson plan, Teaching notes, Worksheet

Three activities to go with the traditional Christmas song, We wish you a merry Christmas.

Activity 1: We wish you a merry Christmas! (chant/song)

Aims: To practise greetings.

Language: We wish you …, happy/merry/new, Christmas/New Year

Time: 20 minutes

Group size: Whole class

Materials needed: Photocopy of song words for students or words on the board.  We wish you a merry Christmas  audio or video.

We wish you a merry Christmas! Song lyrics

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!


Good tidings we bring

To you and your kin

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!


Oh, bring us some figgy pudding

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding

And bring it right here!


We won’t go until we get some

We won’t go until we get some

We won’t go until we get some

So bring it right here!


We all like our figgy pudding

We all like our figgy pudding

We all like our figgy pudding

With all its good cheer


We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!

Activity stages

  • Give out/show the song words to the students and play the song to familiarize them.
  • Clap the rhythm of the first line of the song, encouraging the students to clap with you.
  • Practise the phrase We wish you a merry Christmas and then chant the whole phrase together.
  • Play the song again, encouraging the students to join in. Let different groups of children accompany the song.
  • Repeat, varying the groups (e.g., table 1/group A/boys/girls) and volume (e.g. whisper, shout, louder, softer) to give variety.
  • Repeat the song again, as a class.

Follow-up activity:  Each child makes one large letter on a rectangle of paper or card. Together the letters should spell A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  (=31 letters). As the children chant, they hold up their letters and spell the greeting. This could be performed at an English concert for other clases.

Activity 2: A yummy Christmas (chant)

Aims:  To practise grretings and to practise adjectives happy, funny, sunny, super, yummy, sleepy

Language: happy, funny, super, sunny, yummy, sleepy. We wish you … Christmas, New Year

Time:  40 minutes

Group size:  Whole class

Materials needed: Photocopy of lyrics to We wish you a Merry Christmas  or words on the board. Song audio or video. Pictures of faces to show happy, sad, funny, sleepy, fat, thin.

  • See the first four steps for Activity 1.
  • Discuss with the class the meanings of happyandmerry. Discuss what kind of word they are (adjectives). See if the children know any other words which describe, e.g. sad, gloomy/serious(the opposities) funny, etc. Use the visuals of faces or mime to make meaning clearer.
  • Play an adjective/noun match game where you say a noun, e.g. carand the class have to give you a word which could describe it, e.g. fast/new/old. Other examples could be:

Joke - silly/funny/boring

people - beautiful/ugly/hairy/fat/thin/tall/short

biscuit - sweet/delicious/yummy/hard/soft


  • Play the song again. The children can then make up and sing their own verses as a class, e.g. We wish you a fantastic/peaceful/lovely Christmas.

Follow-up activity:  The children can make a Christmas card with one of the alternative wishes inside and a picture on the front, e.g. I wish you a yummy Christmas and a Happy New Year  (copied from the board). This could be illustrated by Father christmas eating some British Christmas pudding or a local Christmas speciality.

Activity 3: Letter to Father Christmas

Aims:  To make requests using I’d like …  To practice letter-writing in English. To select correct words and insert them so that the letter makes sense.

Language: I’d like … What would you like?  Presents: bicycle, baseball bat, kite, book, rope, letter, envelope, date. North Pole, world, universe, street, December

Time:  35 minutes

Group size:  Whole class/pairs

Materials needed:  A photocopy of the worksheet (attached below) per child. Dictionary.  Pictures of vocabulary: book, kite, bike, baseball bat, skipping rope, bicycle, doll, game

  • Draw a model letter on the board but with gaps where words are in bold:

Address of school                                                                                       


Dear children,

Please can I have some good English speakers for Christmas.
I’d like … (write the names of all the children in your class).

Thank you!


(your signature)

  • Let the class tell you the missing words in the letter. Write them in the spaces.
  • Give each child a copy of the worksheet.
  • Show the children the circles with the letters in and explain that they represent the pictures in other circles (kite, bike, etc.) 
  • Put some simple words on the board as anagrams and see whether the class can work them out, e.g. lodl - doll, emag - game etc.
  • In pairs, the children now fill in the words in the empty circles using the anagrams in the thought bubbles. Check these as a class.
  • Now, explain that the children should decide which presents fit the spaces in the letter to Father Christmas. The children should fill them in and sign the letter with their own name. 
  • In the last space and circle, each child can include what they would like Father christmas to bring, using a word and/or a picture. If you do not know the English word for a particular present, refer to the dictionary.

Follow-up activity:  Split the class into pairs. Child A should ask B: What would you like (Father Chirstmas to bring)?  A: I’d like …  B: What would you like?  etc. You could use What do you want? I want …  if you prefer.

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