The best ideas for English lessons after the winter holidays

Ideas for your post-holiday lessons

Ideas for your post-holiday lessons


  • Activities
  • Tips & Strategies
  • Methodology

For many of us, both teachers and students, it is quite difficult to return to the usual pace of learning after the long winter holidays, when almost every other day we celebrated something and did not have time to look inside the coursebooks. Some were sleeping a lot, eating a lot, and just relaxing. That’s why, don’t try to jump into studies right away, but make this transition smooth to avoid stress yourself and allow students to share about what they did during the holiday break. 

We offer several ideas that will help motivate students and get them back to learning without too much effort.

Learn the best EFL/ESL classroom management strategies

Share Pictures

If you teach middle school or high school, most of your students have phones. Ask them to take their phones and share some photos and videos from their holidays. Share your photos too and you will see that they will like them. Students can come up with captions for photos/videos in English and share them on social networks. 

You can also run a competition, for example, the photo with a description that will get the most likes. All this can be done during one lesson. And until the next one, students have to vote. The prize is additional points to the test or some other incentive.

Create memes

Your teenagers will love this challenge. You can get excited about the process yourself. Just be careful with the programs that students will be using (some have inappropriate images). So it’s best to have students upload their own holiday photos and turn them into memes using, for example, Filmora.

Remember the time

Ask students to write their pleasant, funny, or crazy memories from your lessons on a piece of paper or in a notebook. They can write as many memories as they want, but one of the memories must be made up. Then ask them to share two of their memories with the whole class or in small groups. One of the memories must be real and the other fictional. The rest of the students must guess what is true and what is not!

How to spark motivation in teenage EFL learners

Practical tips

Writing prompts

Two or three weeks without school… what were the students doing all that time? What are they looking forward to in the new year? One great way to learn about this is to have students write about it!

  1. Write about the best gift you gave to someone else. What made it so special?
  2. Describe a person you spent a lot of time with over the winter break.
  3. How did you bring joy or happiness to someone else this season?
  4. Make a pie chart that represents your entire Winter break. Create sections for the different things you did over the break. Be sure to make the sections proportional to the amount of time you spent doing each activity. Label your pie chart.
  5. Write about something you are looking forward to doing this year.

Holiday habits

In this activity, students ask each other about their holiday habits using the question “Do you…?”

Students interview as many people as possible, write down their answers and then tell others what they learned. The task can also be completed in the form of a survey with the creation of a table. Download it here.

Using tasks in language teaching

Winter Rhymes

The task is to recycle winter vocabulary. First, students answer questions in a special form. Then check the answers in pairs or with the whole class.

After that, invite them to come up with their own short poems on a winter theme, and choose the best one together! Download questions here.

For the youngest

The youngest learners will enjoy the following activities:

  • poems and action songs
  • draw and write about the winter holidays
  • create  “Welcome back” cards for their classmates
  • Holiday Memory Book. Ask students to draw their favourite holiday, moment, or gift. Then write a few sentences about it. After students have completed their Memory Book page, have them share it and make a book.
  • Show and Tell. Once the students return from winter break, they will bombard you (and each other) with stories about what they each got from Santa or all the fun places they visited over the holidays. The best way to share all their experiences and stories about new toys is to bring them, show them and speak about them. Try asking students to guess who brought what. You can collect them in a bag, take them out one at a time, describe, and guess whose toy it is.

Audiobooks for YL: where to find and how to use

Selection of materials

Students are sure to enjoy the ease of a relaxing back-to-school day. Winter break was a time for rest, so it’s a good idea to slowly and carefully bring students back to school. This will help everyone be motivated and ready to learn in the shortest amount of time.

Article authors & editors
  • Yulia Chorna

    Yulia Chorna


    DELTA Module 1, CELTA certified teacher of General & Business English



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