"When is Christmas?" is a natural extension to the Hi, friends! "When is your birthday?" lesson.

As a younger ALT, I noticed students could ask and answer the birthday question fine, but didn't quite understand the "when" component of the question well enough to carry it over to a question like "When is New Year's Eve?"

This activity emphasizes the "When" part of the question and gives more advanced students an opportunity to try making their own questions for the class to answer. It's simply one person asking a question and everyone answering. I call it talking-time.

Basic Info

Time: 5 mins
Level: Elementary, grade 5-6
Works with: When is ~?
Class size: Small to large

You will need:

  • nothing


  1. Give the students an example by asking the question "When is Christmas?"
  2. Students answer by giving the date.
  3. Ask students to volunteer asking similar questions.


  • After practicing "When is your birthday?" (students asking each other), write the question up on the board. Ask what the whole question means. Ask what "birthday" means. Next, "your birthday". Last, ask what "When" means. Now erase your birthday and write "oshogatsu" or "midori no hi" or something else in the space. Ask the students that question. This should start the talking time.


I have used this activity when teaching Lesson 2 from Hi, friends! 2.

It's a low energy, high concentration activity and can work well after a rowdy activity to re-focus the class.

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