Give and Receive Gifts in English Dialogue Activity

Here is a Christmas related activity adapted from Les Zexperts FLE originally created by Benoit Villette. After this dialogue activity, your students will give and receive gifts in English with ease and confidence!

Merry Christmas !

It’s almost Christmas, so we’re doing some Christmas posts. Voilá. Being traumatized by French television as a child, whenever I hear “It’s Christmas time,” I think about this horror. If you don’t speak French, be thankful. But that doesn’t matter. I wanted to do a blog post about Christmas, so I started looking at what we’ve got in our French resources to send to Ian and I found a nice Christmas gift giving activity. Why not make this a give and receive gifts in English dialogue activity? This approach focuses on functional language for specific situations and what better situation around the holidays than gift-giving (and receiving).

Typically, this approach uses a tree diagram, but I’ve decided to adapt the idea in the form of a small card game.

This has the advantage of giving you even more ways to use it (on the other hand, it’s less convenient for home review). Either way, start by cutting out the small cards from the first board (which extends to the second page). The second table contains items needed for more advanced students.

Basic version

In all versions, the goal is to create a dialogue using the elements provided on the cards.

Put students in pairs, then cut out, shuffle and distribute the cards from the first board (pages 1 and the top of page 2). If you have multiple pairs, you will need to cut out the entire board for each pair. A word of advice: they can do it themselves.

One of the students receives the large “Merry Christmas” card: he or she begins the dialogue by placing this card on the table and giving their partner a gift (I have put four examples of gifts for you on page 3 of the PDF). It is up to you to decide whether the gift is “wrapped” or not – it may have consequences for the dialogue that follows.

Once the other student has received his or her gift, he or she must use one of the cards to continue the dialogue. The student places the card on the table and the other first student continues the dialogue by placing another card on the table. Cards cannot be used more than once, and it is impossible to use all the cards for one dialogue. Students continue until the dialogue is over.

An example dialogue:

  1. Merry Christmas!
  2. This is for me?
  3. I hope you like it.
  4. I’ll open it, then.
  5. Do you like it?
  6. I’ve always wanted one!
  7. It was nothing.
  8. Come on, give me a hug!

Remember, it’s impossible to use all the cards for one dialogue. Make sure your students understand that this is not the goal.

Possible variants:

And that’s it. Students use these sentences to build dialogues. It’s very easy to set up and from there your imagination is the limit for procedure. You might try doing it:

  • individually, where your students try to create the longest possible dialogue,
  • in pairs, with each partner having their own cards or having all the cards on the table,
  • in pairs as a game (partners take turns in order to create the dialogue) or by creating the dialogue together,
  • by adding the other sentences in the advanced table on page 2 (leading to more complex dialogues).

It’s up to you as the teacher to implement the best procedure for this Christmas gift activity. After playing a few rounds, you might end up with a “cardless” role-playing game. Use this as the basis for your own themed dialogue depending on your specific needs.

Something related?

Negotiate and Haggle in English



  1. Dialogue : offrir et recevoir un cadeau | Les Zexperts FLE

    […] Note : cet article est disponible en anglais sur notre site de ressources ESL. […]

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Ian Kime

Ian Kime

I have been teaching English abroad since receiving my CELTA certificate in Poland in 2018. I enjoy tracking my individual students’ development but love having lessons with big groups! Now that I teach online, I am accompanied by my sidekicks Olaf, Mała, Pirate and Bandit on a regular basis.

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