Discussion Topic for ESL Students: Winter Break Activities
This activity is intended for intermediate students as listening/speaking practice to review simple past forms, phrasal verbs, and some commonly used Canadian idioms for newcomers living in Northwest Coastal British Columbia.
I suggest starting with the teacher talking about their Winter Break, highlighting the use of some of the terms, before handing out the activity sheet to participants. It can be used as a Listening activity first, with students listening again to the facilitator’s short talk.
Participants can review the vocabulary, ask for clarification, while using the checklist to identify activities they have done or not done, and discuss their responses with the larger group.
Another activity for a more advanced group is to use the sentences as speaking prompts for participants to get up and walk around asking each other.
Extended/more advanced group – As part of Essential Skills, each student gets a few prompts on a tally sheet to ask the others, and record the responses on to the tally sheet, and then all the students share their responses with the whole group.
During the Winter Break, I
⃝ Went shopping
⃝ Traveled to Terrace for the day
⃝ Got bargains at Boxing Week sales
⃝ Went out for dinner
⃝ Hosted a house party
⃝ Caught up on some rest
⃝ Took things easy
⃝ Rang in the New Year with friends and family
⃝ Slept too much
⃝ Ate too much
⃝ Got outside for some fresh air
⃝ Got sick and stayed home
⃝ Kept up with my workouts
Read the different options, and choose which ones you did over the winter holidays. I suggest you add some personal stuff and change some of the details. The list is based on a group of participants i have been working with, so I added some phrases and suggestions more suitable to the region. For example, you might have traveled somewhere, gone out to the cinema, gone ice skating or skiing, spent a lot of time playing games online with friends, catching up on house work, reading, gone out hiking, etc. The extra options are open to adding other activities, and the activity can be a way of getting you started to add details about the activities you did. It might motivate you to write a bit about the winter break.