Listen&Learn: The History of Santa Claus

Jaksyn Peacock
The origin of the jolly man in the red suit.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • deliver: to bring something to someone
  • legend: a story that is passed down through generations
  • bishop: a high-ranking member of the Christian clergy
  • fortune: a large amount of money
  • tradition: a practice observed by a certain culture or family
  • symbol: an object or image that represents an idea

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Children all around the world today know about Santa Claus, the man who delivers to every house on Christmas Eve. The of Santa has been around for a long time. The legend was based on a bishop named St. Nicholas, who was born in Turkey almost 2,000 years ago. St. Nicholas was a wealthy man who wanted to share his fortune with people who were poor or . Celebrating St. Nicholas was originally a Dutch tradition. Dutch people living in New York City in the 18th century made the legend in American culture, and the image of Santa became an important symbol of Christmas. Although “Santa Claus” is his most name in the United States and Canada, Santa has many different names in different parts of the world, such as Father Christmas, Saint Nick, and Kris Kringle.

Comprehension questions

1. St. Nicholas was born almost

Correct! Wrong!

St. Nicholas was born almost 2,000 years ago.

2. The people who originally celebrated St. Nicholas were

Correct! Wrong!

The people who originally celebrated St. Nicholas were Dutch.

3. The legend's most common name in the U.S. and Canada is

Correct! Wrong!

The legend's most common name in the U.S. and Canada is Santa Claus.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. People all around the world have different ways of celebrating the holidays. What holidays do you celebrate in the winter? What are some traditions that you have?

Transcript

Children all around the world today know about Santa Claus, the man who delivers gifts to every house on Christmas Eve. The story of Santa has been around for a long time. The legend was based on a bishop named St. Nicholas, who was born in Turkey almost 2,000 years ago. St. Nicholas was a wealthy man who wanted to share his fortune with people who were poor or hungry. Celebrating St. Nicholas was originally a Dutch tradition. Dutch people living in New York City in the 18th century made the legend popular in American culture, and the image of Santa became an important symbol of Christmas. Although “Santa Claus” is his most common name in the United States and Canada, Santa has many different names in different parts of the world, such as Father Christmas, Saint Nick, and Kris Kringle.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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