Le Noël is here, and you know what that means – a fun French Christmas Activities roundup! Here are some of my exact lesson plans over a few different years in both French 1 and 2.
My big goal during le Noel was to keep their fading attention, and to dive deep into lesser-known Francophone and French Christmas traditions. This time of year is a great opportunity to do a deep-dive in culture. I also made the mistake in my first year teaching that many others do.
Christmas Activities for French Class
If you’re like me and struggled with how to teach culture without relying on English, I’ve got you. This post is here to give you lesson plans and free tools to use 90% French in your Christmas activities for French class.
I was in a high school setting, but these can easily work for middle school French. Read to the bottom for printable free Christmas activities in French!
If you need holiday activities for French class, I suggest looking first for how different places celebrate winter and holiday traditions. Ask yourself and search online:
What are different ways people celebrate Christmas in Francophone countries?
What holiday dishes are traditional in Francophone countries and regions? What can I share with my students? Where can I find recipe videos or cool pictures?
What language skill am I working on that I can put a holiday spin on? For example, if you’re focusing on acquiring past tense, how can you talk about past holiday years?
French Christmas Activity Sheets
I was lucky enough one year to spend Christmas in the Alsace region. I took the pictures, souvenirs, traditions, and stories back to my students. We stayed in Riquewihr, a town famous for its 12th and 14th century architecture and beautiful Marché de Noël. The mix of German and French heritage makes for an outrageously delicious and fascinating place to spend a holiday.
I made a comprehensible reading for my students based off of this beautiful town (famous for being the basis of the live action Beauty and the Beast). You can use this reading and fun French Christmas activities below:
Free Christmas Activities in French
I also use Christmas as a great opportunity to work on interpretive reading and writing skills. This is a set of free fun French Christmas activities, download it below to get started!
You can see in the picture above how much fun your students will have writing cheeky letters to Santa. First, they use contextualized guides to help introduce some Noel and holiday vocabulary in French. Then, using their guide, they write their own letter.
Next, let’s look at how you can use this free French Christmas activity in your class.
French Christmas Lesson
The picture above is the sample letter. The students have to choose answers based on whether they understand the reading and what applies to them.
My favorite section is where they have to choose an answer based on how good they’ve been! LOLZ.
French Christmas Lesson Plans
Have students choose a few answers based on what they want for the holidays and help with how to format a letter. This is essential! Having the sample letter helps students write their own later on.
LAST, have students use their vocabulary and sample letter (from the last activity) to try writing their own letter. They can use pieces from the sample and slowly craft their own message.
AS A WRAP UP, you can ask students to switch letters and figure out what each other asked for for extra comprehension.
French Christmas Activities
Ready for your next fun French Christmas activity? It’s not what you might think. Christmas is a spectacular opportunity to collaborate with other departments and teachers who are struggling with the same things as you. Their kids are all over the place, distracted, and need something holiday themed to keep their attention.
One year, I collaborated with the culinary department to create a Buche de Noel with my classes. It was so much fun! Check out the final product:
To make this work the best, the students had to complete a culture assignment to learn about Christmas in Alsace, a place where Buche de Noel is a common Christmas treat. Those who didn’t complete the work had to finish the assignment had to work while their classmates made chocolate treats. But we didn’t have that problem, I had an amazing class and they were all excited to make food with their culinary friends.
My best tip? Reach out to whoever you’d like to collaborate with early. Make it very easy to collaborate with them by taking care of the logistics, like bringing your students to their area or watching their class as well. It’s mutually beneficial, because your students will be taught by another teacher for a few blissful class periods, you’ll get a break, and your students will LOVE it. And learn incredible things!
It’s a win-win. The French classes get to work with their hands and learn a new skill, and the culinary students (or whoever you collaborate with) get to know more about French and Francophone culture!
More Free Resources for French Teachers
Thanks for learning with me. I hope you enjoyed these French classroom ideas for the holidays. Here are more resources and articles I know you’ll love:
- 11 French Resources for Teachers – All Free!
- French Classroom Decor Ideas for Proficiency Oriented Instruction
- Black Francophone Leaders for French Class
- My Favorite Francophone Culture Project: Virtual Field Trips
- Five Fun French Speaking Activities to Review for Finals
- Curriculum Design for World Language
- The Truth About Teaching with Comprehensible Input
Learn how to transition to proficiency
Last but not least, I have my favorite free resource for French teachers. This lovingly crafted guide has everything the modern world language teacher needs, including steps on curriculum mapping and how to transition to proficiency. Grab yours below:
Have you ever wished the transition to proficiency were easier to do? Grab the FREE toolkit here to learn the framework for updating your practice to comprehensible input – without all the overwhelm – and prepare for the challenges ahead.
I can’t wait to hear about your French Christmas lessons, activities, and celebrations this year. Joyeux Noël!
Rooting for you,