Christmas Spirit

Christmas is an important time of the year for retailers, and that is reflected in Christmas TV advertisements. A modern Christmas tradition in Britain is the John Lewis & Partners Christmas advertisement campaign. Every year since 2007 the company has produced a Christmas campaign where they promote their department stores. The advertisements usually present a cover of a well-known song together with a heart-warming story. Through the campaign, the company creates an image and an emotional connection to the audience and shoppers.

In this lesson, we will explore the John Lewis & Partners advertisement from December 2015. The advertisement is called “The Man on the Moon” and was produced in cooperation with the charity organisation Age UK and their campaign “No one should have no one at Christmas”.
Norwegian Christmas trees are donated to British cities every year as a symbol of the close relationship between the two countries. In the advertisement “The Man on the Moon”, the relationship is further reinforced. The Norwegian singer Aurora performs a cover of the Oasis song “Half the World Away”.

by Lene Haugmoen Kapstad, KKG vgs

Handout to students

Become a volunteer friend visitor

Silje Nordnes from NRK’s P3 may inspire your students to act on the issue of loneliness. To go from knowledge to action and become a volunteer friend visitor.

See the touching news report on NRK Dagsrevyen

The Red Cross acts as an intermediary between volunteer friend visitors and those looking for human contact. As a volunteer friend visitor, the only thing you have to do is to give some of your time.

“No one should have no one at Christmas”

Teaching intercultural competence

Globalization and cultural diversity make communicating appropriately with people of different backgrounds a much-desired skill. Openness, curiosity and respect towards alternative ways of thinking should be key values that pervade our education system. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says:

“The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.”

Here are two teaching resources to raise your students’ awareness of the importance of avoiding stereotyping.

Why the poppy?

Take the time to pay tribute to the bravery of those who fought in the wars by reading the poem “In Flanders Fields”.

Download In Flandern Fields

Further reading: Why do people wear poppies?


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Teaching resource: Midterm elections in the USA

American politics is all around. Take this opportunity to show your students that Trump is not almighty. He is controlled. The outcome of the 2018 midterm elections, on November 6, matter both to the President and the American people. Immigration, gun control, women’s rights and health care are hot topics.

Teaching resource: Midterm elections in the USA (PDF)

(By Siri Hunstadbråten, lektor Drammen vgs)

Photo by Mirah Curzer on Unsplash

Discussion task worksheet: Echo Chamber

Invite your students to discuss whether the internet is helpful or harmful in shaping the opinions of its users based on the text “The web’s “echo chamber” leaves us none the wiser” from E2.

Download the worksheet here

Teaching suggestions:

Relevant competency aims:

  • understand, elaborate on and discuss lengthy discourses on general and specialized subjects
  • analyse and assess the role of some English-language media in international society
  • reflect on how cultural differences and dissimilar value systems can affect communication


Possible starter/pre-reading activity:

Let students discuss in what ways they believe the internet to be helpful or harmful in general.

The following clip might also serve as a useful introduction:

*Prince Harry and Barack Obama on social media* (“Balkanisation” and “cocooned” may need to be explained)


Students need to have read Alan Martin’s text “The web’s “echo chamber” leaves us none the wiser” (pages 149-150).

Approximate use of time: 25-30 minutes, depending on class size.

Possible follow-up activities:

As the arguments are clearly split into pro and con arguments, this might form part of a broader debate on internet use, with one half of the class being assigned roles as Internet-sceptics, whilst the other half play the roles of avid supporters of the internet.

Discussion task worksheet: Will It Pay Off?

Invite your students to discuss education and future career based on the text “Will it pay off?” from E2.

Download the worksheet here

Teaching suggestions:

Relevant competency aims:

  • understand, elaborate on and discuss lengthy discourses on general and specialized subjects.
  • locate, elaborate on and discuss international educational options and employment options.

Approximate use of time: 25-25 minutes

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Discussion task worksheet: Brexit

Invite your students to discuss Brexit based on S. Toubeau’s text “Brexit: Europe’s new nationalism is here to stay” from E2.

Download the worksheet here

Teaching suggestions:

Relevant competency aims:

  • understand, elaborate on and discuss lengthy discourses on general and specialized subjects
  • elaborate on and discuss various aspects of multicultural societies in the English-speaking world

Approximate use of time: 25-35 minutes

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