• Inspirational English

My Favourite Time of Year

Updated: Apr 13

Christmas ESL lessons

With the Christmas lights switched on a couple of weeks ago here in Folkestone, I couldn't help creating my first festive lesson plan. This time I was inspired by the beautiful song MY FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR by The Florin Street Band. Here's my lesson plan:

Step 1

Ask the following question:

What do you associate Christmas with?

Step 2

Brainstorm some Christmas vocabulary on the board

Step 3

Then show these slides with some festive words

Here´s a list of the words that I have illustrated:

Carol singers, Christmas cracker, baubles, tinsel, mistletoe, twinkling candlelight, Lanterns, snow-dusted rooftops, boughs of holly, Christmas tree, Christmas cards, church bells, Christmas wreath, braziers, deck the halls, mince pies, Christmas pudding

Step 4

Let´s dip into the world of Christmas.

Play this video with the sound OFF. Which Christmas words can the students spot?

Key: carol singers, brazier, lanterns, snow-dusted rooftops and twinkling candlelight.

Step 5

If you want to check if your students have watched carefully, ask them these questions:

1. What hat was the violinist wearing?

a) a woollen hat

b) a bowler hat

2. How many carol singers did you see?

a) four b) five

3. What were they holding?

a) little angels b)lanterns

4. What game were the boys playing?

a) snowball fight b)hide and seek

5. Which era does the video depict? How can you tell?

The Florin Street Band puts their own spin on Christmas in the Victorian era. We can see this in the people´s outfits, the horse-drawn carriages, and braziers in the street, which were used by the poor people to warm themselves.

Key- 1b, 2-a, 3-b, 4-a

Step 6

Read the lyrics and fill in the gaps with an appropriate word. Then listen and check:

candlelight, deck the halls, carol singers, church bells, mistletoe, lanterns

My Favourite Time of Year

_____1______lighting up the town,

Peace on earth is all around,

Everything is calm on Christmas Eve.

There's goodwill in the air tonight,

Angels sing by_____2______,

Their voices carried on the wind.

When ______3_____gather round,

When I hear that festive sound,

I wanna join with them and sing!


They sing a merry song and we all sing along,

A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.

See the stars tonight; they're shining bright,

'Cause it's Christmas time and it's my favourite time of year.

______4________with boughs of holly,

Give me_____5______; it's the season to be jolly,

Wrapping presents, writing cards, helping decorate the tree,

But there's one thing that makes it all for me.

When carol singers gather round,

Angel voices fill the town,

It's like the world is joining in!

(Noel, Noel, Noel)

Christmas Eve,

Still believe,

So excited,

Can't sleep,

When the morning comes,


And he's been!


Key: 1- Lanterns, 2- candlelight, 3- carol singers, 4- deck the halls, 5- mistletoe, 6- Church bells

After the students complete the exercise, play the video to check their answers.

Download the Student Handout from the FREE PRINTABLES page.

Step 7

Although the video gives us a sneaky peek of a Victorian Christmas, there´s a lot more to it. That historical period was very hard for poor people in England and Christmas was mainly celebrated by the rich. Still, it is during that era when many popular Christmas traditions came about, for example sending Christmas cards and making Christmas crackers. So let´s find out more about them.

Give the link to this BBC article to your students. If they don´t have access to technology, you can print it out for them.


Put the students in small groups and ask them to prepare a quiz with 10 questions. They can use, or simply write it in their notebooks. Help out with unfamiliar vocabulary. Once they are ready, place the groups into pairs so that they can test what they´ve learned about Victorian Christmas.


If you have run out of time, you can use this quiz. Once the students have chosen their answers, they can have them checked online and also read more about the traditions. :


If Christmas is celebrated in your country, ask the students to do some research and find out what similarities and differences they can discover between Victorian Christmas and how the holiday was celebrated in their country in the past.


This special Christmas bundle consists of 3 lesson plans which utilise mindfulness tools:

Lesson 1- At Santa’s Workshop A visualization-based lesson plan for young learners which aims to improve their listening, speaking and writing skills.

Lesson 2- Give a Little Love A lesson plan for young learners which features a mindful activity to help students focus. The students will practise their speaking and listening skills. They’ll also need to put on their creative hat for a collaborative task.

Lesson 3- On Christmas Eve A visualization-based lesson plan for teens and adults (levels B1 and B2) which involves all their skills. It also teaches students to be kind and compassionate.

Get the bundle here


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Happy holidays,

Marusya Price

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