Countdown to Christmas!

Can you believe it’s nearly December? Around this time last year I wrote about making your own class advent calendar, so I thought maybe it’s time to produce a new one to countdown to Christmas.

I had the luxury of some time, so I got a pencil and a piece of paper and sketched an image with some traditional Christmas themes. A Christmas tree, Santa, a holly wreath, tinsel and a snowman.

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I colored the image in with photo editing software and inserted it into PowerPoint so I could begin making the calendar. This was the final result.

Advent Calendar 2015
Click on the image to download the template

Click on Advent Calendar 2015 to download the template.

The template is free to download and fairly simple to use. When you click on a numbered square it will disappear and a prize will appear beneath it.

This kind of calendar is also useful for practicing prepositions of place. If you go through the vocabulary of each item in the picture you could begin to elicit these kinds of responses.

“What’s the date today?”

“It’s the second.”

“Where is number 2?”

“Umm… It’s next to Santa, by the fireplace”

However, before you can use the calendar, you will need to edit the text in the prize boxes.

Editing the Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar_edit

Hide the numbered boxes to edit the advent calendar.

On the home ribbon, which is visible in the screenshot above, there is a small arrow on the far right of the screen beneath a pair of binoculars. Click on the arrow and you will see three options. Select the third option to display the selection pane.

When the selection pane is open, click on the eye icon to the right of group number and the cover will disappear showing a black square beneath it.

Type in your prize.

Alternatively, an easier method is to just select a numbered square and move it. Edit the text underneath and move the cover back into position. 

The downside of doing it this way is that it takes a little longer to edit all the text boxes.

Note: The background image has an action assigned to it. If you click on the background rather than a numbered square, it returns to the current slide rather than moving to the next slide. Check the action (insert ribbon/action icon) refers to correct slide if you copy the calendar into a different presentation. 

The Prizes

The prizes are entirely up to you but they could include:

  • A popular class activity
  • A no homework day
  • A Christmas song
  • A Christmas themed video
  • A Christmas themed activity

Check out Joanna Malefaki’s ELT calendar for ideas and inspiration.

Update: Take a look at Joanna’s latest post of Christmas ideas for 2015.

Creating your own countdown calendar

You may want to use a different image for your advent calendar, or you may want to create a countdown calendar for a completely different festival.

This tutorial video will walk you through how the calendar was created.

The video run time is approximately 5 minutes 30 seconds

As soon as you have an image, it takes approximately 10-15 minutes to make a calendar like this.

If you don’t have an image you want to use, try searching eltpics. Eltpics is a resource created for teachers by teachers. Visit their website for more information about their image attribution requests.

Do you use class calendars like this? Do you think they can motivate students? Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

You may also like to read:

Make your own class advent calendar – which has an earlier version of the calendar with descriptions on how to edit it.

The Big Reveal – for more information about using the selection pane to hide or view objects.

ELT calendar – Joanna Malefaki wrote a brilliant post last year with seasonal activity ideas for each day of December and also recently updated her Holiday Season Calendar for 2015.

Joanna writes for My ELT Rambles and you can find her blog here and here

8 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas!

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