Winter ESL Lessons Archives

Winter Vocabulary

Read the poem and discuss new vocabulary.


Jack Frost (by Gabriel Setoun)


The door was shut, as doors should be,

Before you went to bed last night;

Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,

And left your window silver white.


He must have waited till you slept;

And not a single word he spoke,

But pencilled o’er the panes and crept

Away again before you woke.


And now you cannot see the hills

Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;

But there are fairer things than these

His fingers traced on every pane.


Rocks and castles towering high;

Hills and dales, and streams and fields;

And knights in armor riding by,

With nodding plumes and shining shields.


And here are little boats, and there

Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;

And yonder, palm trees waving fair

On islands set in silver seas,


And butterflies with gauzy wings;

And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;

And fruit and flowers and all the things

You see when you are sound asleep.


For, creeping softly underneath

The door when all the lights are out,

Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,

And knows the things you think about.


He paints them on the window-pane

In fairy lines with frozen steam;

And when you wake you see again

The lovely things you saw in dream.

link to PDF


Winter Verbs

Fill in the blanks with a verb that makes sense and then compare with your classmates.

1. I ____________________ to build snow forts in the winter.

2. ____________________ your snow boots before coming into the house.

3. All this _____________________ is making me really tired.

4. I just bought a new sled. Do you want to go ______________________?

5. Can we _____________________ a snowman?

6. You should always ____________________ a helmet while skiing.

7. It’s always fun to ____________________ hot chocolate after playing outside in the snow.

8. Be careful not to ____________________ on the ice!

9. Can you help me ____________________ my skates?

10. Brrrrrr! It’s cold. It’s time to _____________________ home.

link to original PDF


Happy Valentines Day Charlie Brown!

Watch the video. [social_share style=”square” align=”horizontal” heading_align=”inline” facebook=”1″ twitter=”1″ google_plus=”0″ linkedin=”0″ pinterest=”0″ /]

See if you can find the following emotions in the video:

  •  Hope
  • Anticipation
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Dissapointment
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Gratitude

Can you explain why the individual(s) may be feeling this emotion?


Video Credit:



Valentines ESL EnglishYou may not carrot all for me

The way I care for you.

You may turnip your nose

When I plead with you

But if your heart should beet with mine

Forever lettuce hope

There is no reason in the world 

Why we two cantaloupe.

Author Unknown

Look at the words in bold. Can you figure out which words have been replaced by the fruits and vegetables?

Try by yourself and then work with a friend!


 Happy Valentines Day!

Listen and watch the video below.

or click here for PDF Printable Version for handouts: PDF

Share This Link with others on Facebook

Find the following words and expressions in the text and work with a partner to figure out their meaning.





“Sweetie Pie”






“Apple of Your Eye”





















Video Credit:



15 Excellent Winter ESL Resources from around the Web

We have searched high and low, and these are our 15 favourite external site resources for teaching the Winter ESL theme. Enjoy!

ESL Winter Wonderland

1. 27 great winter ESL activities to keep your little snowflakes busy.

2. Vocabulary, vocabulary and more vocabulary for ESL wintertime fun!

3. Dozens of printable winter ESL worksheets for your little ones to do in front of a roaring fire.

4. Poetry, crafts, worksheets and short stories! There’s no end to the winter-themed activities here

5. Forget drafty! Feeling crafty? Dozens of great activities for your young ESL learners! 6. Beethoven and ESL? You bet. They team up for a neat winter song for your intermediate students.

7. Vegetable Soup. Do You Like It? The perfect food in the middle of winter and you can share the enjoyment with these activity ideas.

8. From Pearson Longman, a great lead off exercise to the describing the seasons.

9. Dozens of winter-themed songs to warm up your little ESL learners.

10. No better place to introduce your ESL learner’s to winter and the animals that live in the freezing climates of the world.

11. Fun online winter ESL game. Challenge your students English and their memories!

12. All kinds of winter-themed ESL flashcards for those frigid winter days

13. Dozens of great winter holiday activities!

14. All kinds of activities and worksheets for your ESL class!

15. Winter sports worksheets by the sled load



Winter Olympics Sports and Events:

Winter Olympic Medals

There are fifteen winter Olympic sports and within each sport there are various events. This is a vocabulary builder designed to help you  understand more about the wonderful winter Olympics.





  1. Alpine skiing:  This is the sport of downhill skiing; as opposed to cross country skiing (also called Nordic).  This sport consists of the following alpine skiing events: slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom and the downhill. You Alpine skiingcan learn more about alpine skiing in this lesson (alpine skiing at the Olympics)
  2. Biathlon:  In the Olympics, the Biathlon is the sport which combines rifle shooting and cross country skiing.



  3. Bobsleigh: This is a sport in which teams of two or four people ride very fast down an ice track in the sled. The ice track goes down the side of a mountain, and it is full of twists and turns.
  4. Cross country skiing:  This sport is a Nordic style of skiing (boots are not fixed to the skis, only the toe portion is) which involves long distance, kind of like long distance running, but on Nordic skis.
  5. Curling: This is played by sliding large stones across the ice surface toward the circle on the other end. Each team wants to get the stones closest to the center of the circle, and knock the other team’s stones away from the center.



  6. Figure skating: Involves performing skilled skating routines on ice. There are four main events in the Olympics which are, men’s single, ladies single, pairs and ice dancing.

    figure skater

    figure skater

  7. Freestyle skiing: This exciting sport originally included skiing moguls, aerials and ballet skiing.  It now includes several events, and no longer includes ballet skiing. The events in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi will include, moguls, aerials, ski cross, boarder cross, ski half pipe and snowboard half pipe and slope style.

    Freestyle Aerials - upside down twist

    Freestyle Aerials

  8. Ice hockey: This is a sport played on ice. It involves two teams who use a hockey stick to shoot a puck into the net of the other team. 
  9. Luge: This is similar in concept to the bobsleigh, in that it is a small sled which slides down an ice track with twists and turns. These can be one or two person sleds. This is known as the fastest and most dangerous of the sliding sports in the Olympics. 
  10. Nordic combined: This sport combines cross country and ski jumping. 
  11. Short track speed skating: This is a team sport of 4 or 6 skaters which skate on a short oval ice track. 
  12. Skeleton: this is similar to the luge sled, but it is for one person. The athlete slides down on his stomach, and head first, unlike the other sliding sports in which they go feet first. 
  13. Ski jumping: This is where skiers, on Nordic type skis, slide down a large, and log ramp and jump into the air. 

    ski jumping

    ski jumping

  14. Snowboard: This sport involves riding down a hill on a snowboard. It is much like alpine skiing, but instead of skis, on a snowboard. There are freestyle events, snowboard cross, big mountain and downhill events as well. 
  15. Speed skating: This is long distance skating, much like marathon on ice. There are various events, but in general they are much longer tracks (400 meter track) and long distance events. 

    speed skating

    speed skating

Review Questions:

  1. What are the three sliding events?
  2. What sports are comparable to long distance running?
  3. What is the fastest skiing event?
  4. What is the most dangerous sliding event?

Internet Research questions:

  1. In what city / country are the 2014 Winter Olympics?
  2. Who won the men’s freestyle moguls event in the 2010 Winter Olympics?
  3. Who is “Eddie the Eagle” and what is his sport?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your favourite winter Olympic event (and if course, why)?
  2. Do the Winter Olympics help to promote world peace / relations?
  3. What benefits do the Olympics games provide to athletes?
  4. Do you think professionals should participate in the Olympic Games?

Alpine Skiing at the Olympics – Winter Olympics vocabulary

Alpine Skiing, also called downhill skiing, consists of four main events in the Winter Olympics.  These events are slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom and the downhill.

Slalom:  The slalom event is where the skier skis around poles from side to side in a short downhill in zigzagging manner. The object of the event, as is with the others too, is to complete the course with a faster time than the other competitors.

Here is a video of a slalom event:

Giant Slalom: This is also known as the “GS”. The GS involves the same zigzagging skiing around poles, but on a slightly longer course, with the poles more spaced apart, and thus a GS skier will reach faster speeds than a slalom.

Super Giant Slalom: The Super Giant Slalom, is also known as the “Super G”, which is even faster, with an even longer course than the GS. Again, the poles are more spaced out and this event is faster yet than the GS.

Downhill: The Downhill is the fastest of the alpine skiing events, and the skier must simply complete the course in the fastest time possible. The downhill racer doesn’t ski around gates, but the skier must atay within the boundaries of the course, which is marked by poles (called gates).

Slalom again:



Winter Olympics ESL Vocabulary & Conversation Starter (Winter Olympics)

Beginner Olympic English – This is an easy conversation model starter activity based on the Winter Olympics theme.

  • Jon: Did you watch the Winter Olympics on TV?
  • Teri: Yes, I did. My favourite event is figure skating. What is your favourite event?
  • Jon: My favourite event is freestyle skiing.

*note: in Canadian English favourite is often spelled with ‘ou’ – favourite. However, it is also correct to spell it ‘favorite’, as spelled in the USA.

Intermediate/Advanced Olympic English – This is a slightly more advanced model of a conversation starter activity based on the Winter Olympics theme.

  • Evan: Hi Zoe, what do you think about the bob-sledding event?
  • Zoe: I think it is exciting, but dangerous. Do you like the biathlon?
  • Evan: It looks very hard, but boring to watch.

*When using this sentence pattern, be sure you choose word pairs that work together well. Opposite words will not work in this pattern usually. For example, something cannot be both, ‘exciting’ and ‘boring’.

**add qualifiers: a qualifier can indicate your opinion on something you say that could be open to challenge by someone else. The last line said boring (to watch). This qualification is used in the second sentence because not everyone would agree that biathlon is boring, in every circumstance. If you are an athlete doing the biathlon maybe it is exciting, but if you are watching it, your opinion is that it is boring.

Qualifiers can also be used as follows: It is exciting, but looks dangerous. (in this case, the speaker appears to like it, however, due to it being dangerous, would not likely want to try, or participate).

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