The Reading / Listening - Letters to Santa - Level 5

An unlikely source has revealed the pandemic fears of children across the world - Santa's mailbag. A post office that answers mail it receives for Santa has described the concerns children have about COVID-19. The letters have the usual requests for Christmas gifts, but many have emotional outpourings that give an insight into how the pandemic is troubling children. A writer at the post office who replies to the notes said: "This year, we really feel their fears - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what really emerges from their letters. And in every country."



The post office has been inundated. It gets 12,000 letters a day. It has a team of 60 letter writers. They say children are confiding in Santa about their heartfelt fears. Perhaps parents are in the dark about this. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need magic and to believe in you." Another put a mask inside her envelope so Santa would not spread the virus. The post office said the letters to Santa are a kind of release for children in lockdowns, especially those deprived of grandparents. It said: "Children are putting into words everything they have felt during this period."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Letters to Santa - Level 4 or  Letters to Santa - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/emotional-toll-wrought-pandemic-jumping-off-pages-in-deluge-dear-santa-letters-v1
  • https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-postal-service-france-coronavirus-pandemic-b6ca8343c7f67aaa4ed9de0915378ddd
  • https://kstp.com/minnesota-news/santas-mailbag-a-look-into-pandemic-worries-children-/5935841/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. An unlikely source has revealed
  2. concerns children have
  3. the usual requests for
  4. give an
  5. how the pandemic is
  6. we really feel their
  7. their grandparents or
  8. It's what really emerges
  1. insight
  2. their parents
  3. the pandemic fears
  4. from their letters
  5. about COVID-19
  6. troubling children
  7. Christmas gifts
  8. fears

Paragraph 2

  1. The post office has been
  2. It gets 12,000
  3. It has a team of
  4. children are confiding
  5. their heartfelt
  6. parents are in the
  7. I need magic and
  8. everything they have felt
  1. to believe in you
  2. 60 letter writers
  3. fears
  4. during this period
  5. dark about this
  6. inundated
  7. in Santa
  8. letters a day

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

An unlikely (1) ___________________ the pandemic fears of children across the world - Santa's mailbag. A post office that answers mail (2) ___________________ Santa has described the concerns children have about COVID-19. The letters have (3) ___________________ for Christmas gifts, but many have emotional outpourings that give (4) ___________________ how the pandemic is troubling children. A writer at the post office who replies to the notes said: "This year, we really (5) ___________________ - for themselves, their grandparents or their parents. It's what (6) ___________________ their letters. And in every country."

The post office (7) ___________________. It gets 12,000 letters a day. It has a team of 60 letter writers. They say children (8) ___________________ Santa about their heartfelt fears. Perhaps parents are in the (9) ___________________. One child wrote: "This year, more than the others, I need magic and to believe in you." Another put (10) ___________________ her envelope so Santa would not spread the virus. The post office said the letters to Santa are a (11) ___________________ for children in lockdowns, especially those deprived of grandparents. It said: "Children are putting into words everything they have felt (12) ___________________."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Anunlikelysourcehasrevealedthepandemicfearsofchildrenacrossthe
world-Santa'smailbag.ApostofficethatanswersmailitreceivesforSa
ntahasdescribedtheconcernschildrenhaveaboutCOVID-19.Thelett
ershavetheusualrequestsforChristmasgifts,butmanyhaveemotional
outpouringsthatgiveaninsightintohowthepandemicistroublingchildr
en.Awriteratthepostofficewhorepliestothenotessaid:"Thisyear,were
allyfeeltheirfears-forthemselves,theirgrandparentsortheirparent
s.It'swhatreallyemergesfromtheirletters.Andineverycountry."Thep
ostofficehasbeeninundated.Itgets12,000lettersaday.Ithasateamof
60letterwriters.TheysaychildrenareconfidinginSantaabouttheirhear
tfeltfears.Perhapsparentsareinthedarkaboutthis.Onechildwrote:"T
hisyear,morethantheothers,Ineedmagicandtobelieveinyou."Anothe
rputamaskinsideherenvelopesoSantawouldnotspreadthevirus.Thep
ostofficesaidtheletterstoSantaareakindofreleaseforchildreninlockdo
wns,especiallythosedeprivedofgrandparents.Itsaid:"Childrenarepu
ttingintowordseverythingtheyhavefeltduringthisperiod."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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