Ideas for using Christmas Flashcards

Today’s Flashcard Friday post is all about Christmas Flashcards!
Christmas FlashcardsThis week we worked on reorganizing ESL-Library’s Christmas Flashcard set. If you already have the Christmas flashcard set printed, you may want to add some of the new images. While our old set was full of holiday nouns such as “gift”, “bow”, and “mistletoe”, the new set includes verbs such as “buy”, “sing”, and “skate”. You will also find places that people visit over the holidays, such as “auditorium” and “shopping mall”. And don’t forget that you don’t have to use our suggestions. You can build your own set. Visit last week’s Flashcard Friday post for instructions on customizing, saving, and printing your own personalized flashcard set using our library of images.

Here are some fun games and activities to help review Christmas and holiday vocabulary using flashcards.

Tell me More

Put all of the flashcards in a box. Have students take turns picking out a flashcard. If the student knows the word he chose, he can say it. If he doesn’t know the word, he can ask others to help. Ask students what they know about this word. Is there anything else they want to know? Have at least one student ask a question about each word. Students should pass the card to the person who is talking. No one should talk unless they are holding the card. (They can raise their hands to receive the card when they want to speak.)

For example, a student chooses the “Rudolph” card.
Student A: Um, it’s a deer.
Teacher: Yes, what kind of deer?
Student B (raises hand and receives the card): A reindeer.
Teacher: Right! Do you notice anything about this reindeer’s nose. This is a special Christmas reindeer.
Student C (raises hand and receives the card) : It’s Rudolph!
Teacher: Yes. Does anyone have a question about Rudolph?
Student A (raises hand and receives the card): Why does he have a red nose?
Student C (raises hand and receives the card): Because he has to light the way for Santa’s sleigh. Rudolph is a character from a children’s story and movie.

Christmas Cookies

Tell your students to pretend they are baking. The class is going to make Christmas cookies. Pass each student a flashcard. (Students should not show anyone.) Students get into pairs or groups and describe the cookie they are going to make. Partners guess the word. Tell students to describe the shape, colour of icing, size, types of candies that they are using to decorate their holiday cookie. When a student guesses correctly pass the “baker” another card.

This is NOT a Christmas Ornament

Christmas FlashcardsDraw a large Christmas tree (undecorated) on the board. (Or have an artistic student do this.) Hand out a flashcard from the set to each student. Students have to decide whether or not the flashcard they received could go on, under, or around a Christmas tree. Students take turns coming up to the front of the room to name their flashcard and tape it on or by the tree. If their flashcard does not go on, under, or around the tree, they must give it to you and explain what this card has to do with Christmas. Then they must draw an ornament of their choice and say what it is.
For example:
Student A (shopping mall card): I got the “shopping mall”. It does not go on, under, or around a Christmas tree. It’s a place that you go to buy holiday gifts to place under the tree. (Student draws an angel. This is an angel. It belongs on a tree.)

Here are the cards from our Christmas set that would go on, under, or around the tree. Some others (such as airplane) may qualify as well (we have beaded helicopters on our tree!):
angel ornament | candy cane | star | Christmas bow | Christmas gift | candy cane | holly | dancing elves | rudolph | snowman ornament | stockings |


Christmas FlashcardsReview Christmas vocabulary with a holiday game of HangSnowman! Invite a student to the front of the classroom. Have the student choose a flashcard from a hat, box, or gift bag. The student will count the letters from the word or phrase and place the same amount of lines on the board. Classmates will take turns shouting out letters to guess the word. Each time a letter is not in the word, the student at the front will draw part of the snowman. (Invite the student at the front to use as many details as they want, including snowballs, eyes, carrot nose, mouth, scarf, hat, sticks for arms).

Christmas Categories

Place all of the cards on a rug or table and invite students to gather around. Tell students they need to work together to come up with a maximum of five categories (ex. decorations, traditions, activities) that all of the flashcards can fit under. After they organize the flashcards into categories review their choices. Does everyone agree with the categories? Do some words fit in more than one place? You can also play Christmas “Categories” another way. Choose a flashcard and hold it up. Go around the room and have the students (one by one) say words that are related to it. When a student hesitates for too long or says a word that is not related, he or she is “out” of the game. Continue until only one student remains.

Cold Seat

chair flashcardYou’ve played hot seat before, right? How about a game of cold seat? Play in the usual way, but pretend you are in the North Pole. The two students in the seats shiver as they guess which word is on the board behind them (you can even make them wear their outdoor clothes or a scarf). To join the fireside (the other students who are all fired up shouting out descriptions of the flashcard selected) the students have to guess the word correctly. Whoever guesses first gets to give up the cold seat to another person on his team. Hand out candy canes (real ones or drawn ones on the board) instead of points! If you don’t know how to play Hot Seat, read the instructions here.

Video Sneak Preview of our Holiday Flashcards

Related Flashcard Sets for talking about the Christmas Holidays

In the Dining Room
Winter Sports
Cooking and Food Prep

If you missed it, please check out last week’s Flashcard Friday post about Toys and Games. And don’t miss our recent Christmas posts:

12 Ways to Wish Someone a Happy Holiday (by Shelly Terrell)
Christmas Podcast
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Let’s Debate


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