- Brainstorm on the subject of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, getting your students to say as much as they can in English about him. Are children encouraged to believe that Father Christmas is real, and if so, at what age did they stop believing in him? Do children ask for Christmas presents from Father Christmas, for example, by writing letters or do they receive presents for Kings’ Day in their families? You might want to broaden the discussion to include some other cultural traditions relating to Christmas — note, for example, that the text mentions Christmas trees and mince pies.
- Give your students between five and ten minutes to read through Worksheet A, encouraging them to look up new vocabulary.
- Give each student a copy of Worksheet B, then divide the class into pairs and ask students to work together to do Exercise 1, in which they have to find the words to match the definitions.
- Check answers in open class.
- Ask the students to turn over their copies of Worksheet A or to give them back to you temporarily. Then, keeping the students in their pairs, hand out Worksheet C and ask them to move on to Exercise 2, in which one word has been omitted from each line of the text. With no indication of what the words were, or any gaps to show exactly where they have been taken from, how many of the words can the students remember and replace? This is not a test of memory alone, however: the students should be able to draw on their grammatical and lexical knowledge, and you should also point out that both the glossary and the students’ correct answers to Exercise 1, on Worksheet B, should be of some use. Award a point for each word that is correctly replaced. (You could perhaps award half a point if the students come up with a word that fits the sentence but is not actually the original word, eg ‘puts’, instead of ‘places’, in line 14.) The pair with the most points is the winner.
- Check the answers as an open class.
Exercise 1: 1 proof, 2. deliver, 3 jolly, 4 encourage, 5 sledge, 6 alcoholic, 7 goes back a long way, 8 fictitious, 9 chimney, 10 gift, 11 merge, 12 detail, 13 origin, 14 place, 15 beard
Exercise 2: 1 children, 2 costume, 3 the, 4 encouraged, 5 behaved, 6 northern, 7 live, 8 North, 9 pulled, 10 fly, 11 given, 12 at, 13 bed, 14 places, 15 tree, 16 about, 17 drink, 18 or, 19 as, 20 reindeer, 21 course, 22 them, 23 In, 24 a, 25 seventeenth, 26 not, 27 green, 28 feast, 29 name, 30 Dutch, 31 Claus.