How To Make A Christmas Cracker – Share the U.K. Christmas tradition with your ESL Students


How To Make A Christmas Cracker – Share the U.K. Christmas tradition with your ESL Students

Presents, treats, and festive decorations make the Christmas season a favorite time of year among many children. This calls for special arts and crafts projects that will get them excited for the holidays. There are many to choose from so you’ll need to pick the best one for your classroom. A fun and easy one is making a Christmas Cracker. 

Christmas Crackers are a tradition from the U.K. It originates from a story about a candymaker. In 1861, Tom Smith had trouble selling his candy and he tried to think of a way to get people to start buying them. Legend has it, he was inspired by the crackling sound of a log. He then developed a packaging that would crack when it’s opened and sweets would come tumbling out. He called them ‘Bangs of Expectation!’

Even today, when families are sitting together at home or at the dinner table, it’s customary to pull open a Christmas Cracker with someone else and use what’s inside. You put on the paper hat that’s inside, tell a corny joke, and play with the trinket or toy. It’s great fun and you can share this tradition with your ESL students.

If you want to see a step-by-step demonstration of how to make one, I have a  Youtube tutorial for you to follow along with.

The materials you will need are:

  • Tissue paper
  • Construction paper
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • Clear tape
  • Ribbon
  • Candy
  • Mini toys

After your ESL students have about finished making their Christmas Crackers, pass out those small toys and treats so that they can put them inside. They’ll be able to share them with their brothers or sisters at home.

If you have another tradition from your own culture you’d like to share, you could also be inspired by that to lead an activity or plan a craft for your students. Following instructions in English will help strengthen their listening skills and the crafting itself will engage them and foster creativity.

For more ideas on how to teach English through drama, download the free e-book, Teach Children English Through Drama.

Visit the Kids English Theatre Youtube Channel for more Christmas activities and chants , drama games, language exercises, puppetting demos, and other fun ideas to make your lessons fun and unforgettable. 

Be Theatrical!


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