Celebrate German Speaking Countries and Christmas with these amazing low prep and no prep teaching ideas and activities
Need to spice up your German lessons with some festive Christmas love? Look no further! I’ve got you covered with 30 almost no-prep Christmas activities and ideas. These amazing suggestions will make the end of a long term easier on you by saving you time and helping your students learn about Christmas culture in German speaking countries.
You can use these activities, combined with my 15 Helpful Last Christmas Lesson Ideas Tired Language Teachers post from 2020 for lessons in the lead up to the end of the Christmas term.
Food Related German Christmas Lessons in December
Food is a huge part of a country’s culture, as is Christmas (in German speaking countries) and so it makes sense to add them into a German Christmas lesson! The following activities can be used in isolation, but also combined over a serious of lessons about food, the imperative and Christmas.
Beginner / Intermediate – Christmas Food Activity 1 – Video / No-Prep :
Firstly, we discuss Christmas food and sweet treats, such as Dominosteine, Stollen, Lebkuchen, Spekulatius and Plätzchen (see image). Check out my YouTube channel with the Christmas in German speaking countries which includes the video: Kinder essen deutsches Weihnachtsgebäck which has native German children eating and rating these baked German goods for some listening practice and vocabulary input. At this point, from what they’ve seen, as well as they’re own knowledge of German treats, ask students to survey their classmates, in German, natürlich, to find out which ‘Weihnachtsgebäck’ would be most appealing to the group.
Christmas Food Activity 2 – Recipes / No-Prep:
Then we look at some recipes to see if they can figure out what ingredients are required to make them. Even though they aren’t particularly ‘German’, I have used this Weihnachtsmuffins Recipe in the past. It allows me to introduce common baking ingredients that students would know, as well as relatively simple instructions in German to make them. At this point, you could give students an optional homework to bake these cakes and sell them to raise money for a German charity or for the school.
Christmas Food Activity 3 – Adventskaffee / Low Prep + Advanced notice required!
For older students, I introduce the concept of ,Adventskaffee’ to discuss traditional Christmas traditions and sweet treats. We then recap the imperative form and rules (in the forms du, ihr and Sie), moving on to looking at German recipe websites. I enjoy the website: lecker.de, including their lists of Plätzchen Recipes! Who doesn’t enjoy a good Plätzchen or two at Christmas?! It makes me very hungry and excited for the festive season!
The final part of this ‘lesson’ is a homework activity. I ask my German students to pick their favourite type of biscuit and bake a batch. They could either take a photo or bake them to bring to the last lesson before Christmas to share in the lesson. I have also asked students to pretend they were a German YouTuber and create a short video with ingredients and talking through the instructions for others to be able to replicate. Alternatively, if timetabling allows and you have the option of using a food tech room, I would ask students to choose a recipe they like the look of as a group, we buy the ingredients and then they make it the following lesson.
Christmas Food Activity 4 – Share The Treats / Low-Prep
f you don’t have time to carry out the activities above, but still wish to share some festive German treats with your students (and your department has the budget), raid the aisles at Aldi or Lidl for their Lebkuchen, Stollen bites or Dominosteine. These Favorina Lebkuchen Gingerbread Mix bags from Lidl are delicious and should contain enough for at least one class of 30-35 students! I tend to offer these out in the last lesson as the students are leaving the classroom. Whilst I realise that students have allergies, I do take this into consideration and offer alternatives if necessary so all students are able to have a little taste of a German Christmas.
Christmas Food Activity 5 – What Do Germans Eat for Christmas? / Low Prep :
The ideas above are quite ‘sweet’ ideas! However, why not present details on what Germans eat for Christmas? Here’s a video in English What Germans Eat for Christmas if it’s of any use. It definitely tends to depend on the region. My husbands family eats Kartoffelsalat and Würste! If you’re from a German speaking country or have celebrated Christmas in Germany (etc), let me know what you eat for Christmas in the comments below! Do let me know where you’ve had it too!
Little Note: I actually remember my German teacher in year 7 (Ms Hood), bringing us some Gummibärchen as a treat on her travels to Germany before the Christmas holidays. It’s stuck in my head and I have never forgotten the word for gummy bears since. If you can, try to include a bit of food in your lessons before the Christmas break.
MUSIC RELATED CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES FOR GERMAN LESSONS
Music is a massive part of a country’s culture, as is Christmas music. When I was in primary school, we learnt Stille Nacht, and I still to this day remember the lyrics!
Beginner / Intermediate – Christmas Music Activity 1 – Stille Nacht / No Prep :
I really like Zeitfürdeutsch’s Stille Nacht lesson which includes PowerPoint and activities. This Christmas song is known in English and so it will be a relatively each option to teach. The lesson breaks down pronunciation and meaning into manageable chunks and the language is definitely reusable.
All Levels – Christmas Music Activity 2 – Lyrics Training – Stille Nacht / No Prep :
If you have access to a device each, then LyricsTraining’s Still Nacht might be a nice alternative or add on. You can access the LyricsTraining video by MoonSun here. Choose your mode: beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert and fill in the gaps as you listen to her singing the Christmas song.
Beginner / Intermediate – Christmas Music Activity 3 – O Tannenbaum
Without saying what you’re going to play, play O Tannenbaum and see if students can guess what the song is. To take it a step further, see if the students can O Tannenbaum Lyrics as they listen and then perhaps go on to comparing the lyrics in English and German to see how close the translations are. This will allow you to illustrate the translations to and from other languages can’t be done literally.
MORE CULTURAL RELATED CHRISTMAS IDEAS
Intermediate/ Advanced – Cultural Christmas Activity 1 for German Lessons / No Prep – Adventsbräuche
I think www.dw.com is an absolutely wonderful resource containing lots of teaching and learning material for German throughout the year. I really like this Bräuche im Advent lesson for CEFR A2 and B1 students which includes a Weihnachstmarkt and Backen lesson.
MORE CONTENT BEING ADDED AS YOU’RE READING SO COME BACK SOON FOR THE REST OF THE IDEAS – music, film, vocab and other fantastic ideas will be here very soon!JOIN ME ON MY SOCIALS FOR MORE FAB TEACHING CONTENT >>