EFL Advent Calendar – 8th December


Choose your Dream Gifts – December 8th

For: Children/Teens/Adults

Level: Elementary +

Time: 15 – 20 mins

Today’s activity is actually something I did with my Elementary Conversation class yesterday! They enjoyed the task, it gave them an opportunity to interact with authentic materials, and it also provided a good talking point for students who are often quite shy about speaking in front of each other: a success all round!

You’ll need a selection of Christmas gift catalogues – these tend to be available to pick up for free in big shops and supermarkets (or even put through your letterbox!) around this time of year, and it doesn’t really matter if they are in English or whether you can only pick up ones in students’ L1. You’ll also need some post-it notes, or at a push torn up strips of paper would suffice.

Tell your students that they are going to go Christmas shopping, and they have a list of people they need to ‘buy’ presents for. I wanted this to be a fairly quick discussion activity, so I used:

  • a friend or a member of your family
  • your teacher
  • someone in your class

but you could always add more people – and even get them to choose a present for themselves!

Give the students a time limit – say 5 or 10 minutes. They must look through the gift catalogues and choose a present for each person, marking the page or item with a post-it note. You have two options here: they can work individually (if you have enough catalogues!) or it can be a group activity where the students need to discuss and decide on the present choices together (obviously only possible if the gift recipients are people they all know!).

At the end of the time, ask them to share their ideas: what presents did they choose for each person, and why? Mine chose me a rather fetching pair of Christmas pyjamas and a mug for my morning coffee!

Enjoy – I’d love to know if your students choose any particularly creative presents!





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