Contributor: Sam Collins
When Alfie finds a box containing a seed for The Perfect Christmas Tree, he is keen to grow it at home. Instead of a traditional tree, a Venus flytrap grows; could it be the perfect tree for Alfie and his family?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Stop the video at 0:08. Ask the children for ideas about what the film could be about.
- Stop at points in the advert, such as 0:40 and 0:41. Describe the emotions the characters are feeling. How do you know? How could you write a description of their emotions?
- Ask the children to jot down the different emotions that the characters are feeling throughout the advert.
- Create a storyboard for the advert.
- Write a narrative poem that describes the events of the advert.
- Create a character portrait for the boy, Alfie. What are his physical characteristics? What is his personality like?
- Tell the story from the point of view of one of the characters.
- Create a sequel. What might happen in future years?
- Act out the story in small groups.
- Write a narration for the advert.
- Invent some dialogue between the characters, for example, between Alfie and his mum as they plant the seed (0:16 – 0:18).
- Watch some other John Lewis Christmas adverts, such as Moz the Monster, Give a Little Love and Buster the Boxer. Can you see any common themes and ideas?
- Watch the story behind this advert. What surprised you about how the advert was made?
- Write a story where something did not turn out as expected.
- On the box, it says that the seed will grow into “Your own perfect Christmas Tree”. Is Snapper the perfect tree for Alfie and his family? Have a class discussion.
- Make a list of things that a magical seed could grow into.
- Try growing something from a seed.
- Make a fact file about a Venus fly trap. There is some good information on this page.
- Use a device to film the children retelling the story.
- Create an animation of Snapper (or another plant) growing.
- Design a Christmas ornament that could go on snapper.
- Snapper is a puppet. Design your own Christmas puppet, or print out a template, like this simple paper bag puppet.
- Listen to the full version of the music.
- Watch the advert and discuss how the music affects your feelings about the story, for example, when the lyrics begin at 0:29, or when Snapper is put outside at 0:58.
- Compose an alternative soundtrack for the advert.
- Learn about the history of the Christmas tree. You can download a great comic from the National Geographic site.
- Look at some Christmas adverts from the past. This page has some good examples. How are they different from today? How are they the same?
- Invent a dance to go with the music.
- Talk about different Christmas traditions. For example, our Saint Nicholas fact cards have information about how Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated around the world.
- The words of the song, La vita na festa, mean “Life is a celebration”. Find out how to say this in other languages.
- Have a discussion about gifts. When have you given a gift? When have you received a gift? How did it make you feel?
- Talk about how things sometimes do not turn out as you expect. In the advert, this is a good thing. How do you feel when things do not go the way you thought they would? How can you cope with unexpected things?
Don’t forget to explore our ideas for the other popular Christmas adverts in 2023!