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Mog’s Christmas Calamity

Posted on December 18, 2015 by kierandonaghy

mog

This EFL lesson plan is designed around a short film commissioned by the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s titled Mog’s Christmas Calamity inspired by the children’s writer Judith Kerr. In the lesson students collate vocabulary related to Christmas, talk about Christmas customs, watch a short film and predict the ending of the film.

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Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2) –Intermediate (B1)

Learner type: Young learners, teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Christmas

Language: Vocabulary related to Christmas

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: mog’s christmas calamity lesson instructions

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Step 1

Dictate the following words:

Christmas card, present, tree, decorations, snowman, turkey, cracker, chestnuts and candle.

 

Step 2

Ask your students to think of verbs which go with Christmas card. Try to elicit:

Write a Christmas card, send a Christmas card, open a Christmas card.

Put your students into pairs and ask them to come up with verbs which collocate with the other nouns.

If your students live in a country which celebrates Christmas you may help them with the vocabulary and the task should not be too difficult. However, if your students don’t celebrate Christmas you may prefer to just teach the vocabulary.

 

 Step 3

Get feedback from the whole class and write up the most typical collocations such as:

Choose a present, wrap a present, send a present, put a present under the Christmas present, unwrap a present, open a present, return a present.

 

Choose a Christmas tree, buy a Christmas tree, decorate a Christmas tree, put a fairy/star on top of the Christmas tree, put present under a Christmas tree.

Put up decorations, take down decorations.

Make a snowman, dress a snowman.

Buy a turkey, stuff a turkey, roast a turkey, carve a turkey.

Pull a cracker.

Roast chestnuts.

Light a candle, blow out a candle.

 

Step 4

Put your students into small groups. If they celebrate Christmas ask them to describe Christmas traditions and customs in their country. If they don’t celebrate Christmas ask them to describe any Christmas traditions and customs they have seen in films or television series.

 

Step 5

Get feedback from the whole class on Christmas traditions and customs in their countries, or those they have seen in films and television series.

 

Step 6

If you are from a country which celebrates Christmas, tell them about Christmas traditions in your country.

 

Step 7

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film in which they will see a family home on Christmas Eve where everything has been prepared perfectly for Christmas Day, but that the fat family cat called Mog caused a series of calamities which ruin everything. Put them into pairs and ask them to predict what they think Mog might do to ruin Christmas Day. You might like to give an example such as, “Mog might climb on the table and eat all of the turkey.”

Give them five minutes to come up with things that Mog could do to ruin Christmas.

 

Step 8

Get feedback from the whole class on how Mog might ruin Christmas Day.

 

 Step 9

Tell the students to watch the film and compare their predictions with what actually happens to Mog. Pause at 02:40.

 

Step 10

Get students to describe what happened to Mog and what Mog did.

 

Step 11

Ask your students what they think is going to happen to the Thomas family now and what they are going to do to celebrate Christmas Day.

 

Step 12

Now show the rest of the film and ask your students if they like the ending.

 

Step 13

Pause at the caption “Christmas is for sharing”. Ask your students if they agree with this message and give examples of how we can share at Christmas.

 

I hope you enjoy this ESL lesson.

Support Film English

Film English remains ad-free and takes many hours a month to research and write, and hundreds of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy or value in it, please consider supporting Film English with a monthly subscription, or by contributing a one-off payment.

Monthly subscription

One-off payment

18 thoughts on “Mog’s Christmas Calamity

  1. Thank you for a fantastic movie and clever ideas. This is exactly what I have been searching for to show to my students. A big thank you!

  2. Superb work, as usual! My conversation class tonight in Sant Vicenc de Montalt triumphantly saved! Thanks so much for all of these, and Merry Xmas.

  3. Pingback: Mog’s Christmas Calamity « Christmas Resources for Teachers – Nollaig Shona from Seomra Ranga

  4. Thank you for this helpful website and for you creative teaching ideas. I think they are the best I could find to motivate my students. I love it and I am going to buy your book.
    My best regards

  5. Pingback: Phonics year 1 | Pearltrees

  6. Thanks you a lot, Kieran! I really admire your lessons! This one will be perfect for my class tomorrow, because it both helps to teach students Christmas traditions and develops critical thinking skills (“Christmas is for sharing”).
    Happy Christmas!

  7. Thanks a lot for a wonderful lesson ideas! I used the plan in several kids & teenage groups. For kids I simplified it. We revised Pr.Simple or Past Simple (depending on the group level) making up sentences of what Mog has done. And for teens your plan worked great!
    Many thanks for inspiration!

    • Hi Yulia,
      Thanks a lot for commenting and for letting me know how the lesson worked with your students. It sounds like they really enjoyed it which is great to know.
      All the best,
      Kieran

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