(1) Upper Beginner Lesson (The origin of the Christmas Tree)

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The History of Christmas Trees

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LEARNERS: Read each section twice and then listen to the audio of each text and copy the voice you can hear. Do twice.


A Christmas Tree

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it,  in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.

VOCABULARY: credited, starting, tradition
 devout, brought, homes

Now listen to the audio

COMPLETE THE SENTENCES: (You may need to change the word form)

SENTENCE 1: In my _________ I have a 52 inch television.

SENTENCE 2: Carnival is an important _____________ holiday in Brazil.

WRITE A SENTENCE:   Using the word ‘brought’ in the simple past.

For example:  Yesterday I brought my computer home with me from work.


The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s. Discover the history of the Christmas tree, from the earliest winter solstice celebrations to Queen Victoria’s decorating habits and the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City.

VOCABULARY: symbolic, evergreens, continue, tradition, brought, discover, earliest 
winter, Solstice, Celebrations, decorating, habits, annual, lighting, Candlelit

Now listen to the audio.


Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

VOCABULARY: Advent, plants and trees, remained, festive season, pine, spruce, ancient
hung, evergreen, boughs, witches, ghosts, evil-spirits, illness

Now listen to the audio


        1. Make a list of all of the past tense verbs in the text.
        2. Make a list of all of the present tense verbs in the text.

Make a sentence using one of your present tense verbs.

Make a sentence using one of your past tense verbs.


Watch the video presentation and answer the questions below.


        1. When was the first Christmas tree decorated?
        2. Where was the first Christmas tree decorated?
        3. What was the name of the English missionary that travelled to Germany in the 700s?
        4. What is a ‘melting of pagan and Christian traditions’?
        5. What year did they start putting apples on fir trees?
        6. What did they call the trees with apples on them?
        7. In 1851 Christmas trees appeared in England. Why?
        8. Who did Queen Victoria marry in 1851?
        9. What was the name of Queen Victoria’s husband?
        10. In the United States Christmas trees ‘took off’ after the invention of what?


      1. Write one simple sentence in English about Christmas trees using the simple present.
      2. Write one simple sentence in English about Christmas trees using the simple past.

SIMPLE PRESENT: Watch the video below about the simple present

SIMPLE PAST:   Watch the video below about the simple past.

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