The Grinch Christmas Lesson

By Stephanie Vasse, 13 April, 2018
Junior High
1 2
To review familiar vocabulary through listening to and watching the original Grinch cartoon, and to analyze the meaning of Christmas to other cultures through observation.
Video, projector or TV with hookup/DVD player, HDMI cord, internet connection (if streaming)

Summary: This Christmas lesson is based on an Englipedia lesson, modified for the ability of my students (ichinensei). First, we preview the worksheet as a class, checking the character names and meanings of the Word Box words. We do the first question together as a class, then the students are responsible for the rest of the questions as we watch the video. At the end, we have a class discussion about the meaning of the video. Even if your students don't have a lot of English ability, the wacky Looney Toons-esque antics (thanks Chuck Jones!) should keep them interested.


  1. Prepare the video of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I purchased the Amazon video version, which includes a few other Dr. Seuss classics. It includes English subtitles.
  2. Prepare your video player of choice. Keep in mind that large projectors often do not have sound so you may need a speaker.
  3. Watch the video to make sure you know it well yourself so you can pause where the questions are answered.
  4. Modify the worksheet as needed for your students.


  1. (5 min) Greeting and warm up. Do your usual routine. We listened to a Christmas song.
  2. (5 min) Introduce the video and the worksheet. Show a picture of the Grinch and asks if anyone knows him. Give the students their worksheets, then review the four main characters. Check that students understand the Word Box vocabulary. Even ichinensei should know most of these words, but "mean", "reindeer", and "noise" may need a definition.
  3. (5 min) Write the first question on the board. Tell students you'll do this question together. Play the first part of the video, then pause as soon as the video says "The Whos in Whoville liked Christmas a lot". Play it again so they can hear the sentence clearly. Write "5" into the blank so students know they don't have to write the whole word. Make sure your students are already familiar with TRUE/FALSE questions or review question 2 as well.
  4. (20-30 min) Pause after each time one of the questions is answered. If they need extra help, ask more leading questions with the help of the OTE. Replay the part if needed.
  5. (10 min) Tell students to turn and talk to the student to their assigned partner or the student next to them about what the "meaning" or "message" of the video was. They can use Japanese for this discussion. After a 2 minute discussion time, have students volunteer to answer in Japanese. Listen with the OTE and see what the students understood. You can summarize what YOU understand about the video with the help of your OTE at the end of class.
Christmas as it is shown in this movie is not really how Christmas is celebrated by most Japanese people. Your students will probably not understand the message of the movie inherently, so helping them to pull meaning out of it may be hard at first. However, the imagery in the movie is strong, so with encouragement the students have a lot to draw on besides the English.


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