The Christmas Truce

MAIN AIMS Agreeing,disagreeing and making suggestions (FCE and CAE speaking exam practice)

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Upper-intermediate (B2.1) and above

TEACHER’S NOTES (Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes)

1.  Tell students that you’re going to play a piece of music and that they should close their eyes and relax. Play the video below (sound only, blank screen). Afterwards, they tell a partner how it made them feel and what images (if any) went through their minds.

2. Tell them to imagine that this piece of music is going to be used in a film soundtrack and they’re going to discuss how to use it in different kinds of films.

3. Put them in groups of three and display this question for them talk about.

4. Stop them after a few minutes and tell them they have one minute to decide which kind of film this music would go best with. Open class feedback.

5. Display or hand out these expressions. Ask them how often they used one (or something similar) during their conversation. Tell them what you noticed as you were going round. Say that in the next conversation, they must use these expressions.

6. Now they imagine that this music is going to be used in an advertisement. Display this question for them to discuss.

7. Stop them and tell them they have one minute to decide which product the music would be best used to advertise.

8. Open class feedback

9. Say that this music is used in a British TV advert and show them this screenshot. Establish that it’s World War One and the British and Germans have called a truce. Does anyone know when and why? Play this video from 01:50 to 02:41 so that students can see what happened.

10. We haven’t seen the product yet. Get students to work in groups to think of an ending where the product being advertised is revealed.

11. Find out what they decided and then play the whole advert. Afterwards, explain that Sainsbury’s is a supermarket. It works with the charity The Royal British Legion, which provides assistance to members and veterans of the armed forces. The chocolate bar that appeared in the advert was specially created to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

12. Say that the advert has been both praised and criticised in Britain and display these two opinions. If students agree that it’s a heartwarming advertisement, they should stand near the screen. If they think it’s cynical and tasteless, they should stand on the opposite side of the room. If their opinion is somewhere between the two, they should stand somewhere that reflects this i.e. nearer the front for the first one etc.

13. Put students in pairs or groups of three or four with differing opinions and get them to convince their partners that their opinion is the right one. Finish off by finding out if anybody changed their point of view.

14. As a follow-up, tell students to find out the name of a film the music from the advert has been used in, and send them this link to read more about the Christmas Truce.


13 Comments on “The Christmas Truce”

  1. Looks like another goodie from you guys!

  2. Khalid says:

    Thank you guys!

  3. kovgabi says:

    Wow, great post, great lesson plan! Thank you for hte wonderful idea!

  4. Isabel Paradinas says:

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. ann says:

    I did this lesson today with an advanced adult student. It was just great…. thanks for a superb lesson plan. I’m definitely going to use it again with another group of students before Christmas.

  6. em says:

    I had been planning to do a lesson on the xmas truce and you beat me to it! It goes great with the units im doing with both FCE and CAE-thanks!

  7. em says:

    worked out great, my students were very into it, had some great ideas about how to end the advert!

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