The last class before the Christmas break might be a challenge as even adult students expect it to be light and holiday oriented. This short video issued by WestJet airlines in 2013 has inspired my Christmas conversation classes with more advanced students. I then came up with different activity ideas for all levels, focusing on speaking and listening.
Watch the video with your students and ask them what it was about and what they thought about it. Here are some questions relating directly to the video:
- Are you touched by this video? Why?
- Do you think the passengers took the Santa at the airport seriously? Why?
- Where there any gift requests you find unusual?
- What do you think the man who had asked for socks felt?
- Why do you think WestJet organized such an action?
- Do you think the airlines saw any benefits in giving their passengers Christmas gifts?
- What do you think the West Jetters felt during their endeavor?
In my experience watching this video has very often led to discussing the following topics:
- Giving vs receiving gifts: what gives us greater joy
- What is the so-called “Christmas spirit” nowadays?
- Do you think Christmas has become too much about material goods?
- Does a Christmas gift necessarily have to be something you can wrap and put under the tree?
- Is it OK for companies to play on people’s sentimentality to boost their sales?
If you are not sure your students will find this video stimulating (or you don’t feel like moderating the discussion which is absolutely necessary here), you might use it as a listening comprehension activity (although you will have to distribute the worksheets AFTER your students watch the video for the first time so that you don’t spoil it).
Elementary / pre-intermediate: WestJet Christmas Miracle
Intermediate-Advanced: WestJet Christmas Miracle
Elementary – Intermediate
Students retell the story from the POV of a passenger / WestJet team member / Santa. It is a good idea for students who need to practice their past tenses.
Intermediate – Advanced
1. Divide your students into pairs or groups. They need to imagine they are on a WestJet team looking for gifts and they can’t find this one toy a sweet little girl had asked for. They can’t let the child down, not on Christmas. What should they do? Great for second conditional and modal verbs practice.
2. Students imagine they are WestJet CEO at a press conference. One journalist accuses them of being cynical and trying to increase sales by bribing their customers with Christmas gifts. The CEO needs to give a heartfelt response emphasizing the meaning of Christmas. Good for higher levels.
For more Christmas activities for adult students, check out office Christmas parties lesson plan.
Hope you will have an engaging class with this video. I have been using it for the past 2 years with different levels and age groups and it has never let me down. You can learn more about the video here.