Christmas Story lesson activities


Last year I made a Latin video in which I retold the Christmas nativity story in Latin using pictures from a picture storybook. (The version below is told in Classical pronunciation, but I also made an Ecclesiastical version in case that was your school’s preferred pronunciation.)

Now I’ve made a sequence of lesson activities for this video in the style of pre-listening, while-listening, and post-listening tasks which are used in Communicative Language Teaching.

As language teachers, we don’t just want to randomly put a video in front of students and afterwards never refer back to it again. We want to integrate the video into a meaningful lesson or unit of learning. So for example, students should be adequately prepared to understand the text they are about to watch (with the pre- activities), have some simple task to complete while paying attention to the video (the while- activities), and be given opportunities to extend and deepen their interaction with the language and concepts in the text (the post- activities).

In this set of activities, I start by previewing some of the vocabulary that will appear in the video by showing some of the words alongside pictures, and getting students to answer simple Latin questions with those new words. The words appear again in a plot summary of the text, where students need to put the events into a logical narrative order. Then while students are watching, they answer short true/false questions to collect information about the characters in the story. After watching, they read recounts of the same story told by different characters, identify which character ‘wrote’ each version, and summarise which details are more prominent in the accounts of each version of the story.

The point is not necessarily for students to dissect every word in the story, or to extract a grammar rule, but to focus on listening and reading with understanding, while staying in the target language as much as is practical.

(As a caveat, the video is explicitly narrated from a Christian perspective – if your school has a policy about the use of religious materials in class, be aware of this.)

The link below downloads a word document version of the activities worksheet (the word version can be edited):

And here is a pdf in case it is easier for you to view:

If you notice any typos, let me know and I can easily change the files.

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2 responses to “Christmas Story lesson activities”

  1. Gratias tibi ago Carla, looking forward to Christmas and your contribution. Vale, Charles. ________________________________

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