We’re snowed in!



With London currently buried under a blanket of white snow, talk at English Campus has naturally turned to whether this Christmas will be a white one.  In a nation obsessed by its weather placing a bet on whether there’ll be snow at Christmas has become one of the country’s favorite things to bet on.  Explain to students the meaning of ‘to bet’ and ‘the odds’ and then get them to predict based on their perception of the weather in the UK what are the odds of a white Christmas in London (currently 1/5 or 20%) Is it more/less than they thought?

With money at stake it’s important to establish first what is a white Christmas?

Is it the picture perfect Christmas remembered with nostalgia by Bing Crosby?

(watch up to 1 minute 15 secs)

I’m 1.__ of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to 2.___
Where the 3. ___ glisten,
and children listen
To hear 4.___ in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every 5.____ I write
May your days be 6.___ and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

1.    dreaming
2.    know
3.    treetops
4.    sleigh bells
5.    Christmas card
6.    merry

Get students to listen to the clip and fill in the gaps.  Then ask for their reactions, is it an accurate reflection of modern Christmas?

Luckily for those placing a bet a white Christmas does not have to be anything so picturesque, the official definition of a white Christmas is merely “If a single snow flake – even among mixed rain and snow – is officially observed to fall in the 24 hours of Christmas Day”

A snowy surprise
Pause the following clip after 3 seconds- get students to predict in pairs what happens next.
Watch the whole clip- were they right?!

To continue the wintry theme you can find a whole flurry of activities on MEC related to snow and weather.

“Weather Report” (MVA006592) This two-part video activity practices words related to weather.

“I love skiing!” (MVA006663) this two-part video activity, an interviewer talks to a skier then you choose words to complete sentences about the video and match words with the sport they are related to.

“It’s Cool in Canada” (MVA006663) This news item for teens is about Canada and what you can do there in the winter.

“Weather” (MVA004392) This vocabulary activity practices words related to weather. You identify the word with the stronger meaning.


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