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2016 Free Holiday Lesson Plan

Are you ready to teach your last English class of the year? Tired of the usual Christmas vocabulary word searches and crosswords?

Need a quick solution for your holiday lesson plan this year?

Well, I have a fun, unique plan about winter holiday traditions around the world ready for you – and it’s free!  (You have access to my free printables, right?) I’ve just added a Winter Holidays lesson plan pack in the December 2016 section, so you can access it anytime.

Free Printables Library


Holidays Around the World Lesson

Have you ever noticed that winter holiday lesson plans seem to focus on Christmas and New Year’s?  In fact, they don’t even touch upon the many, many holidays that occur in the winter months and have nothing to do with Christmas! Actually, during my three months living in Holland this semester, I learned about two holidays I didn’t know existed!


1. Holiday + Country Matching Game

2016 Holiday Lesson Plan

Get Your Holiday Lesson Plan!

If you know me, you know I LOVE to travel!  So, what better way to incorporate that passion with teaching, and teach students about other cultures?  This works especially well if you have an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. Often, students will be able to share a lot about the holiday season in their own countries.

There’s a holiday + country matching activity in the lesson pack!


2. Vocabulary Memory Game

Remember the game of memory you probably played as a child? Where you match pictures with words (or pictures with the same pictures)?  Don’t worry if you don’t. I have instructions in the lesson plan pack.

I’ve created game cards for you, too, so you can just print it and teach it!


3. Your Favourite Holiday – Think, Pair, Share


Actually, this is my favourite part because it’s super interesting to hear students share stories about their cultures.

  • Think:   Give students a few minutes to think of their favourite holiday
  • Pair:  In pairs, students explain their favourite holiday, tradition, food and any other aspect they can think of. This works really well in ESL classes for vocabulary development!
  • Share:  Each person shares their partner’s favourite holiday with the class. Try to pair up students from different home countries if possible!

Holiday Board Games for English Class


If you happen to have a bit of extra time in your class, or are having a class Christmas or holiday party, it’s fun to play some board games. Which games are best for English class? Here is a list I use for vocabulary practice with my students:

  • Memory  (This is very good for beginner adults. Have them choose a card and describe the pictures before they draw another card)
  • Jenga –  Write words on Jenga blocks and use them as conversation topics. When students move a piece, they need to talk about the topic written on it.  (I can’t take credit for this last idea; I found it on Pinterest!). If you’re in the UK or Europe, click here to grab your Jenga game!





So, I hope you spend the last weekend before the holidays shopping, rather than lesson planning!   Don’t forget to sign up for your printables (updated monthly) at the end of this post if you haven’t already.

Oh, if you still need gift ideas for the teachers and language lovers in your life, be sure to check out my posts on 15 Perfect Gift Ideas for Teachers and 7 Awesome Gifts for Language Learners and Lovers.

Happy Teaching!



P.S. For those of you who love photography like I do, I took the photo for the main image in today’s post in the summer (yes, the summer!) of 2010. I was on a road trip with two close friends in the Columbia Icefields, Alberta, Canada.

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