Winter Celebrations in the French as a Second Language Classroom

One of the most special times of year in the core French classroom is Winter. There are so many fun holidays that we can study to learn more about the French culture. This helps our FSL students to see the benefits behind studying a second language. 

  1. Noel – Décembre

Christmas is one of my all time favourite holidays and I absolutely LOVE studying how various French nations celebrate around the world. December is such a tricky month to keep students engaged and adding a little bit of magic can really help! 

I love pretending to go on a trip with students to visit different French countries and learn more about how they celebrate the holidays. If you want to learn more about how to prepare a Noel Autour du Monde trip for your students, click here to read my blog post all about it! 

  1. Le Jour de l’An – Janvier

As soon as students return from winter break, it is the PERFECT time to study Le Jour de l’An. Your FSL kiddos will LOVE learning more about how the French celebrate le Réveillon.

I love to introduce key vocabulary terms to students with a powerpoint presentation and an activity booklet. 

It is also super fun to have students make their own party hats and do a countdown from 100. Not only does this make it seem more like New Year’s eve, but it is great practice of French numbers!

  1. La Fête des Rois – Janvier

After you’re done with studying le Jour de l’An, it’s time to move onto La Fête des Rois. This is a holiday that I find very few students have prior knowledge of, which makes it even more fun to teach! 

Once again, I like to start a study of La Fête des Rois with a powerpoint presentation and activity booklet to introduce key vocabulary terms. 

After students have a bit of an understanding of this holiday, it’s time to get your bake on! La galette is a special cake that is served on La Fête des Rois. There is a small token hidden inside. The person who finds the token gets to be King or Queen for the day! 

You have two option here. You could choose to bake with your class, which I am ALL ABOUT! Hello measurement and real life skills! Just don’t forget to carefully insert your token into the cake. 

Alternatively, you could buy cupcakes from the store (I like to use those mini ones). Then carefully insert a small token into one of the cupcakes. 

Whichever student finds the lucky charm then gets special privileges for the day. Maybe you will have a crown for them to wear? Maybe they get to choose which game the class plays in PE? Maybe the rest of the class will practice bowing down to them or referring to them as “le rois”? It’s really up to you.


While I truly believe that the most important part of any French Winter Holidays unit is to have fun and inspire students to love the French culture, we do live in the world of assessments. If you are interested in a Google Form Quiz which assesses vocabulary from all 3 holidays, click here to check it out in my TPT store. 

I hope that you now have some ideas for how you can make your Winter French classes much more fun and engaging for students.

Tips and Tricks for making winter in the French as a Second Language Classroom as engaging as possible! Upper Elementary students will love learning about Noel, le jour de l'an and la Fête des Rois. Perfect for January and February in the core French classroom. Alberta Grade 5 FSL

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