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The Snow Queen - B1 → B2 Reading into Speaking
Ask your students whether they knew that Disney´s animation
Frozen was loosely inspired on Hans Christian Andersen´s The
Snow Queen. Then, read this beautiful tale of courage, friendship
and love below.
Once upon a time, an evil goblin lived in the mountains, far, far away. He built a magic mirror in
which anything that was beautiful or good was reflected as ugly and bad. One day, the goblin got
very angry and broke the mirror, making tiny pieces of it fall all over the earth. These pieces of
mirror got into some people´s hearts and eyes, making them see only the ugly and bad in everyone
and freezing their hearts to the point that they were no longer capable of loving each other.
In a tiny village in the mountains there lived a little boy and girl, Kay and Gerda, who were best
friends. They were inseparable, and played together every day. One day, two small pieces of the
goblin´s mirror got into Kay´s heart and eyes, transforming him completely. He stopped playing with
Gerda and made fun of her. This made Gerda very sad. She couldn´t understand how someone who
was once her best friend suddenly treated her like an enemy.
One wonderful snowy day, Kay and his friends decided to go on a sledge ride in the nearby
mountains. While they were playing, a huge sleigh appeared from behind them. A beautiful, tall
woman with curly pale blonde hair cascading down her back sat comfortably in the sleigh. She was
wearing a long silver gown that was sparkling like a diamond and a snowy white fur coat. Kay eyed
her with astonishment. She turned to him, saying, “I am the Snow Queen and I am taking you to my
Back in the village, Kay´s family started to get worried, as he had been missing all day and all night.
Gerda decided to go looking for her dearest friend and so, she set off by herself into the wintery
mountains. After having walked many hours in the heavy snow, Gerda reached a forest. There, a
reindeer approached her, saying that he could take her to the Snow Queen´s Palace. “You should be
careful though, because if she kisses you, your heart will freeze. This is what has happened to Kay,”
said the reindeer. Gerda was so wanted to find Kay so much that she decided to take that risk. When
she reached the frozen Palace, she found that the icy door was locked shut. She pushed it as hard as
she could, and the door opened slowly. She entered a huge hall entirely made of ice. The wide
windows were decorated with sparkling snowflakes. In the middle of the hall lay Kay. His eyes were
closed. Behind him, the Snow Queen was sitting on a shining diamond throne.
Gerda ran up to Kay and hugged him. The boy´s face was freezing cold. Ignoring the Snow Queen´s
evil laugh, Gerda kissed the boy´s icy cheeks, tears falling down her face. One of her hot tears
dropped onto his eyes, and another rolled down his chest and touched his heart. The boy opened his
eyes and, for the first time in many weeks, he smiled at his best friend. The Snow Queen screamed
with anger, as she disappeared and her Kingdom melted away.
Now test your vocabulary by matching the picture with the correct word!
Match the following words from the story with its correct synonym:
Evil Embrace To freeze Comprehend
Understand Surprise Sparkling To make cold
Astonishment Bad To hug Shining
Read The Snow Queen again and decide which sentence is TRUE or FALSE:
1. The goblin lived near the beach. T F
2. The magical mirror reflected all bad things as good. T F
3. Kay and Gerda were close friends. T F
4. Gerda met a bear in the forest, who told her where Kay was. T F
5. The Snow Queen´s throne was made of diamonds. T F
6. Gerda´s tears broke the evil spell cast upon Kay. T F
Did you know?
1. The author of The Snow Queen was the Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen.
2. Hans Christian Andersen´s fairy tales include famous stories such as: The Little
Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor´s New Clothes, Thumbelina and many
3. Andersen´s fairy tales have been translated into over 125 languages!
4. International Children´s Book Day (on the 2nd of April) is in fact Hans Christian
5. Hans Christian Andersen travelled to England and met the famous English writer,
Charles Dickens, at a party.
Irregular verbs – read the fairy tale one more time and underline the verbs. Which ones are
Answer the following questions as a written exercise or a speaking activity:
1. What did the broken pieces of magical mirror do to people it touched?
2. Why did Kay stop being Gerda´s friend?
3. What was the Snow Queen wearing?
4. How did Gerda find Kay?
5. What was the Snow Queen´s Palace made of? Try to describe it in as much detail as
6. Why do you think Gerda´s tears broke the spell cast on Kay?
Will you be my Valentine? A1 → A2 Writing
Write the names of your students on small pieces of paper, fold them, place them in a large
hat or plastic container, and ask your pupils to pick one piece of paper each. The person
whose name they take out of the hat/container will be their Valentine. Remind them that
they should keep the identity of their Valentine a secret! Then, ask them to create a
Valentine´s day card. However, instead of the content being a love letter, ask them to write
why they like this person by describing their best qualities, their personality and their
appearance in as much detail as they can, e.g. You are good at maths, and you wear a nice
hat, you walk to school with a smile on your face. Your hair is long and brown, you live in
Segovia town, I´m so happy that you are my friend. From: Toby. The text doesn´t have to be
a poem, but if they can find rhymes for some of the words, this would make the game even
more entertaining! When your students have finished and signed their Valentine´s Day
cards, collect them all and together, try guessing who each card was written for.
Historical figures in love! B2 → C1 Reading into Speaking
Here is a selection of love letters written by authors and important political figures from the
Read and discuss the ones you like most in the classroom. What do your students think?
Are they funny, romantic, pathetic, sad?
How has love changed over the years?
Do people still write love letters?
How has the internet and instant communication changed our love lives?
Which letter is their favourite and why?
Which words are dated and aren´t used anymore?
A2 → B1 – Listening It's a little bit ______________________
This ______________________ inside
I'm not one of those
Who can easily hide
I don't have much __________________
But boy if I did
I'd buy a big __________________ where
We both could live
If I was a ___________, but then again, no
Or a man who makes
__________________ in a travelling show
I know it's not much
But it's the best I can do
My gift is my ______________________
And this one's for you
And you can tell everybody
This is your song
It may be quite ___________________
But now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind
That I put down in words
How _______________________ life is
While you're in the world
I sat on the ______________________
And kicked off the __________________
Well a few of the verses
Well they've got me quite _____________
But the sun's been quite kin
While I wrote this song
It's for people like you that
Keep it turned on
So excuse me forgetting
But these things I do
You see I've forgotten
If they're _______________
Or they're ______________________
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the ___________________ eyes
I've ever seen
And you can tell _____________________
This is your song
It may be quite simple
But now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that
I put down in words
How wonderful life is
While you're in the ______________ (x 2)
Translate the words in BOLD into your language to help with comprehension: Hide –
1. Ask your students to listen to the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydPaDCG1z34 Have them guess (without the word bank on page 6) what they think goes in each gap.
2. Play the song again. This time, allow
your students to use the word bank on
page 6 to help them guess.
3. Listen one more time. Did your
students guess correctly?
Is Music indescribably beautiful? - Speaking and Vocabulary - B2
1. Read the adjectives below with your students. First, ask them what they think each word
means and have them give you examples of songs that illustrate the adjectives. If they can´t
think of an appropriate song, ask them to explain the meaning of the word with a dance, or
with a particular body gesture.
Breathtaking Dynamic Catchy Funky Classic Flawless
Instrumental Invigorating Rhythmic Harmonic Ambitious Thrilling
2. Then, play the following songs. Ask your students to match the adjectives with the song
they think that adjective describes best. They can use various adjectives from the list to
describe the songs:
Funky “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the waves : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUmE-tne5U
Catchy “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” by Mozart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb_jQBgzU-I
Invigorating “Get up offa that thing” by James Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_uNMy20qAI
Instrumental “Beat it” by Michael Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRdxUFDoQe0
Calm “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM
Ambitious “Have you ever loved a woman?” by Bryan Adams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq2KgzKETBw
Rhythmic “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen” by J.S. Bach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LvCzN2og6A
Please note: This is a fun and casual exercise that doesn´t necessarily have “correct”
answers. The aim of the exercise is for your students to exchange different opinions and
learn musical vocabulary. However, we can suggest the following possibilities:
1. Funky – “Get up offa that thing” by James Brown
2. Catchy – “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the
3. Invigorating – “Walking on Sunshine”, “Shake it off”
4. Instrumental – “Eine kleine Natchmusik” by Mozart
5. Calm – “Have you ever loved a woman?” by Bryan Adams
6. Ambitious – “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen”, by J.S. Bach
7. Rhythmic – “Beat it” by Michael Jackson
Bingo! – A1 Listening and Speaking
This is a fun way of practising new vocabulary with beginners. Look at the BINGO! printables
below (if you need more combinations, feel free to produce your own tables). Do your
students know all the words? If not, introduce the vocabulary to them first and then,
practice with them in this fun and interactive way! Every time your students cover one of
the pictures, ask them to create a sentence using that word, e.g. you wear a scarf in the
winter; you wear sandals in the summer; these socks are red; etc.
Go to http://www.dltk-cards.com/bingo/instructions.htm for blackout BINGO! rules.
Remember! Make sure you have six small pieces of paper for each student so that they can cover the correct
picture when you read out the words.