Number one for English language teachers

The Gift of the Magi

This advanced-level story is set in New York at Christmas in the early 1900s. It is about a young married couple who are poor but very much in love, and want to buy each other the best Christmas present possible. The story is told in two parts; each part contains audio and an accompanying lesson plan written by Ceri Jones, which includes teacher’s notes, student worksheets and a full transcript and glossary. Part 1 is free to all onestopenglish users.

The Gift of the Magi lesson plans

  • The Gift of the Magi: Part 1

    Author: Ceri Jones

    Part 1 of this story introduces us to one of the main protagonists, Della, who despite having little money, is desperate to buy her husband an extra-special Christmas present. In this lesson, the students will: briefly discuss the topic of gift-giving; listen to the introduction and familiarize themselves with the narrator’s voice and pace; listen to the first half of the story, focusing on the main events and information; listen carefully to a short extract and raise their awareness ...

  • The Gift of the Magi: Part 2

    Author: Ceri Jones Staff Room

    Part 2 of this story concludes with Della and her husband, Jim, unveiling their gifts to one another. In Part 1, Della had sold her beautiful, long hair to buy a watch chain for Jim. In this lesson, the students will: recall the main events from Part 1 of the story and predict the events in Part 2; listen to Part 2 and discuss the moral of the story; listen carefully to a short extract and practise the intonation of lists; discuss their ideas for an ideal gift and plan a modern version ...

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