The Christmas markets in Germany have a lot to offer for tourists and readers alike. Also for students learning English as a Foreign Language is this topic useful for learning new vocabulary and grammar- in this case, present simple vs. present continuous. Here are some activities that are useful for the classroom, regardless of setting.
- With a partner, make a list of items you think would be found at a German Christmas market and why. At least three items, one of which has to be a Christmas gift, another a food item and the last one is a hot beverage. The more items, the better. 🙂
- Take some time to guess at the following 12 questions about Germany’s Christmas market by clicking here.
Read the following text below about the Medieval Christmas market in Erfurt and answer the questions that follow.
Adventsmarkt at Erfurt Cathedral
For the first time ever, the medieval Christmas Market in Erfurt is taking place at the Cathedral Erfurter Dom. From 29 November to 30 December people have an opportunity to visit the market and witness German culture during the Middle Ages by walking behind the Cathedral and seeing the stands that sell goods from that period. The reason for the move is due to a lack of space combined with strict regulations at their previous location, at Wenigermarkt. City officials claim that they don’t have enough space to house the high number of stands. People that enjoy the sounds of bagpipes and watching sword fights between two knights, while drinking a hot mead, are welcoming the city’s decision with open arms, and many are volunteering to help with the set up. Currently, construction crews are laying the foundations for the market behind the Cathedral. Signs and other information about the market, which is now being called the Adventsmarkt, are posted online. City officials hope that the market attracts at least half of the 2.2 million people that visit the main market every year. That market is located in front of the church at the market square Domplatz.
- After having the market at _______________, this year’s Medieval Christmas market is taking place at _______________.
- Where exactly at Domplatz is the market taking place?
- Why is the market relocating there? List two main reasons.
- How many people do retailers at the Medieval Christmas market hope to attract?
- What is typical of the Medieval Christmas market in Erfurt? Find three items in the text.
Vocabulary Challenge: What can a person find at a typical Medieval Christmas Market? Choose from the vocabulary list below. Which ones are mentioned in the text above?
Look for the verb patterns in the text. What differences can you see here?
The rules for simple vs. continuous and the usage of time markers can be found here. As pottery is also a handcrafted item one can find at the Christmas market, including the Medieval one, some exercises and quiz can be found in the link, too. 🙂
Look at the following sentences below, identify the time marker and the verb tense- present simple or present continuous
- The Christmas Market takes place every year during the time of Advent.
- At the moment, the mayor is cutting the stollen to open the market.
- People always love drinking mulled wine (Glühwein).
- Right now, the dancers are performing a music piece on stage.
- The Christmas carolers are singing in front of the Pyramid in a moment! Hurry!
- Traditionally, the brass group sings Christmas songs at the market at 5:00pm every day.
- We are eating Flammlachs (fried salmon) today at the booth next to the stage.
- Now the kids are riding the carousel.
- I’m trying a hot mead at the Medieval Market with some friends this evening.
- People mostly eat hot dishes, Langosch (fried batter) and bratwursts at the markets.
Using the verb in the bracket, complete each sentence in present continuous form.
- Harry: Marv, what ____ you ________? (do)
- Marv: I _______________rum with wine, oranges and spices. (mix)
- Harry: You _______not_____________ about making that punch again, are you? (think)
- Marv: Oh yeah, Harry. I _________________ my recipe! (specialize) I___________ in some cinnamon schnaps, sherry and a few cherries. (put)
- Harry: So instead of helping me collect money from kids for the Salvation Army, you ______________ a toxic with a potential of knocking people out cold? (make)
- Marv: C’mon Harry, you know we _____________ beggar’s money with that, right? (earn)
- Harry: Better that than me ______________ you getting punched! (watch)
- Marv: Quiet, Harry! Look, there are two people. They _______________ us for a cup! (ask)
- Harry: I ____not _______ at this! (look) I ________ back to the booth. (go)
- Marv _____________ his punch to the young couple. (serve)
- As they __________ the punch (drink), the man tells the woman “I’m loving you!
The woman becomes furious, punches him out and walks off!
Question for the forum: What is wrong with the man’s comment: “I’m loving you?” ❤
The following sentences are incorrect. Look at them and rewrite them, using the correct verb tense. Please note that the time markers are correct and must not be changed.
- The Christmas market in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is taking place every year from the end of November to the fourth Advent.
2. Hundreds of thousands of people are visiting the walls of this Medieval community at this time, annually.
3. The Night Watchman greets us this evening for a tour through the town.
4. From March to New Year’s Day, he is guiding people and telling them stories about the town’s history.
5. At the moment, Sara and Leif eat the town’s well-known snowballs, made of cookie dough.
6. The Christmas Museum is opening every day including Christmas Day.
7. In front of the Doll Museum, a little girl currently cleans one of the Käthe Wohlfahrt dolls found on the window sill.
8. Right now, the Night Watchman tells a group of children to stop singing “Ring Around the Rosy” because it is being a curse to the town.
9. The sun rises soon, but the Watchman still talks about the town’s history.
10. As the stores open, the people now sleep in front of the church.
Activity 4. Group Exercise- How to create your own Christmas market
Imagine you are the mayor of a small community and for the first time ever, you are hosting a Christmas market. How would you plan this? What would you sell? Check out this article as well as some suggestions and instructions from your teacher to help you. In the end, you should have a presentation of no more than two minutes where you will propose your Christmas market and your peers will help you.
Note: Good for groups of 2-4, pending on the class size.
The Christmas markets are proven to be very popular at this time of year. This includes the following Christmas markets that were used for these exercises which are highly recommended to visit when visiting Germany next holiday season:
Flensburg (for Activity 2)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (for Activity 3)
Heilsberg near Rudolstadt (for Activity 4)
ANS to the Vocabulary Challenge on the Medieval Christmas Market: Hot mead, swords, blacksmith, pastor, knight, glass ornaments, bag pipes, handcrafted knives, broom-maker, beer, smoked meat.