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New Year's Traditions ESL Lesson Plan

Coolest New Year's Traditions Around The World

Student Level


Video Length: 4:17

Updated on: 12/17/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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New Year's Traditions ESL Lesson Plan Description


This New Year's traditions ESL lesson plan contains activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials for C1 advanced students. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to describe New Year's traditions in their own countries or cultures, as well as other countries around the world. They'll get to know or learn a variety of objects or activities that are involved in these traditions, as well as the symbolism behind them.


At the start of this New Year's traditions ESL lesson plan, students have a discussion about some New Year's traditions that they practice or that they know about around the world. They talk about the symbolism of these traditions and any objects associated with them. Then, students do a short activity about some common New Year's resolutions or aspirations that people often set at the start of the new year. In the last activity in this section, students make some predictions about New Year's traditions using some objects in some images.


Students watch a video featuring speakers from 13 different countries, who speak about their country's New Year's traditions. These are speakers from the following countries:

  • Columbia
  • The Philippines
  • Finland
  • Romania
  • Nigeria
  • Ukraine
  • Italy
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Spain
  • France
  • Kazakhstan
  • Russia

Then, students must do an activity in which they mark or tick the types of objects these speakers mention. They do another activity in which they talk about some objects involved in these traditions, and check their predictions from the Preview activity.


After watching the video, students discuss their thoughts about the video and the New Year's traditions. Then, they proceed to read a quote from the speaker from Italy who talks about the symbolism of the lentil soup that they eat. This is followed by a word transformation exercise, in which students write the noun forms for some adjectives in regard to some other New Year's traditions around the world. These include parts of speech, such as:

  • patience
  • fertility
  • abundance
  • purification
  • bravery

There is a final activity in this section for students to learn some idioms that are useful to know in the context of New Year's holidays.


In the communicative activation for this lesson plan on New Year's, option A prompts students to create a new New Year's tradition by selecting an object or combination of objects from a list. The task involves presenting the tradition, how it works, and the symbolism behind it. Participants are encouraged to use provided nouns or idioms to describe the symbolism of their created tradition. It's a simple and creative exercise that allows for a personalized and imaginative approach to celebrating the New Year.

The second option prompts students to share a New Year's tradition from their country or explore one from another culture. Students present details about the tradition, including associated objects, how it works, and its symbolism. They are also prompted to consider whether any of the provided nouns or idioms describe the tradition's symbolism and, if so, specify which ones.

Benefits of using this New Year's traditions ESL lesson plan:

Cultural Awareness: The lesson plan promotes cultural awareness by encouraging students to explore and share New Year's traditions from various countries. This encourages and helps students understand different cultural practices and celebrations.

Critical Thinking: The lesson plan includes activities that encourage students to think critically about the symbolism behind New Year's traditions. They analyze objects, discuss the meaning of traditions, and engage in word transformation exercises, promoting higher-order thinking.

Creativity: The communicative activation section encourages creativity as students either create a new New Year's tradition or share and discuss existing traditions. This allows for imaginative thinking and expression.

Video Description

HAPPY NEW YEAR! To celebrate the ringing in the new year, this video joins together with people from cultures around the world to talk about the New Years' Traditions unique to their countries. Grab a glass of champagne (or horse milk), and let's ring in the new year!

Lesson Activities


New Year's Traditions, Celebrations, Symbolism


Countries, Objects, Short Answer, Prediction Check


Objects, Images, Parts Of Speech Transformation, Idioms


A New New Year's Tradition, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

New Year's Traditions, Symbolism

Lesson Preview

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