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ESL Worksheets: Naughty or Nice? (Based on the Song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town")

Level: ESL Intermediate
Objective: Learn about Santa Claus as personified in American/English folklore by means of a song

Have students in pairs or small groups discuss the following questions:

  • Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were little? Who did you think gave you presents on Christmas: Santa Claus or your parents?
  • Did you think Santa Claus brought gifts only to the well-behaved children?
  • Did you feel disappointed when you learned that Santa Claus was unreal?

Take the questions up adding more information about traditional perception of Santa Claus (where he lives, what he does, what way he appears in the house, how he looks, etc.). Mention that it is believed that only children who behaved nicely throughout the year receive presents; whereas naughty children receive a lump of coil.

Have students go through examples of nice and naughty behavior in Exercise 1. You may want to change examples according to the age of the learners.

Go over the bolded words in Exercise 2. Ask students for additional situations the new words can be used.

Have students listen to the song and answer questions a-d in Exercise 3. Discourage them to peek at the lyrics of the song on the handout.

Have students listen to the song again and fill in the missing words in Exercise 4. Play once again if needed.

Additional work: you may also want to discuss the structures ‘had better’ (short form: ‘better’) and ‘had better not’ (short form: ‘better not’). Ask students to finish sentences such as:

I had better have my homework ready or ___________________.

I had better not eat that cake or ______________.

I had better talk to my father about my trip or _______________.

I had better not take that road or ________________.

Student Handout

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ESL Worksheet Naughty or Nice.pdf

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