ESL/EFS Christmas Poem

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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

A poem by Clement Clarke Moore

PEDAGOGIC NOTES

  • Level:         Intermediate +

  • Activity:     Gapped Dictation

  • Practice:     Pronunciation

  • Skills:          Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Pre-teach punctuation names.

  • Instruct students to work in pairs. (A & B)

  • Organise them, so they are sitting opposite each other

  • Give each student a worksheet and tell them not to look at their partner’s worksheet.

  • Students should work alternatively, reading out the lines which they have and writing down the ones which they do not have.  They should spell out all difficult words.

  • This is a listening exercise, devised to give ‘telephone practice’.

Children could be encouraged to draw, or act the events which are described in the poem.

WORKSHEET FOR STUDENT A

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

……………………………………………………………….

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

……………………………………………………………….

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

……………………………………………………………….

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

……………………………………………………………….

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

……………………………………………………………….

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

……………………………………………………………….

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

……………………………………………………………….

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

……………………………………………………………….

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

……………………………………………………………….

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

……………………………………………………………….

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

……………………………………………………………….

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

……………………………………………………………….

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

……………………………………………………………….

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

……………………………………………………………….

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

……………………………………………………………….

As I drew in my hand and was turning around,

……………………………………………………………….

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

……………………………………………………………….

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

……………………………………………………………….

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

……………………………………………………………….

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

……………………………………………………………….

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

……………………………………………………………….

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

……………………………………………………………….

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

……………………………………………………………….

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

……………………………………………………………….

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

……………………………………………………………….

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

……………………………………………………………….

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

……………………………………………………………….

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

……………………………………………………………….

WORKSHEET FOR STUDENT B

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

by Clement Clarke Moore

……………………………………………………………….

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

……………………………………………………………….

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

……………………………………………………………….

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

……………………………………………………………….

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

……………………………………………………………….

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

……………………………………………………………….

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

……………………………………………………………….

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

……………………………………………………………….

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

……………………………………………………………….

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

……………………………………………………………….

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

……………………………………………………………….

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

……………………………………………………………….

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

……………………………………………………………….

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

……………………………………………………………….

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

……………………………………………………………….

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

……………………………………………………………….

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

……………………………………………………………….

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

……………………………………………………………….

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

……………………………………………………………….

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

……………………………………………………………….

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

……………………………………………………………….

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

……………………………………………………………….

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

……………………………………………………………….

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

……………………………………………………………….

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

……………………………………………………………….

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk,

……………………………………………………………….

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

……………………………………………………………….

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

……………………………………………………………….

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

THE ANSWER KEY

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house;

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”