Beginning a lesson with a warm-up activity has many advantages. I can just list some as
- waking up tired students
- breaking the ice
- encouraging students to talk and think on the subject
- allowing students to settle down and prepare for the lesson
- previewing or revising a particular language area
- introducing the topic
- providing humour
- starting the lesson with a smile
- energising your students
- proving oral fluency practice
- and they are easy to prepare
There are many activities that can be used as warm-ups. Course books usually support the teachers with a short activity but from time to time, to surprise the students we can bring drama into the classroom. I’ll just list here a few drama activities and a few links for websites in this post.
- Divide the class into two and tell students to stand as 2 lines. Tell them Line 1 will form a circle and that will be the inner one, line 2 will form another circle around the inner circle. Set time limits. Ask students to come face to face and talk about a) something they remember from yesterday b)what they know about the topic you are going to work on. When the time is up, tell outer circle to move until you stop them and inner circle to wait for a new partner. (You can play music while they are moving) When they stop, they can talk on the same topic with their new partners. You can finish the activity after a few rounds.
- The teacher gives a piece of paper to the students and asks them to write at least 5 features of their character. The teacher collects the papers from the students and puts 4 chairs in a + shape. Then the teacher reads the features written on the papers and students who have those features are asked to gather around the same chair. Then the students can talk about their similarities. You can even put them in groups and ask them to create a class poster. This activity will be a great 1st week activity even with large classes.
- Group your students and ask them to freeze frame a few scenes from the previous chapters of the book you have been reading after each scene the rest of the class try to guess which scene is in the frozen frame.
- GoNoodle is a fun website you can find many videos and use them as warmers or energizers when you feel your students are getting bored.
- Famous Movie Segments for Warm-ups and Follow-ups will come handy when you need something different.
Have a great term 🙂
1. Each person is given a sheet of paper with a series of instructions to follow. Each student’s instructions should be different. Tell them to stand up and mingle until you stop them. Then ask them to share their answers. Your instructions can be as “Find someone who …”
- Find out who has been abroad before.
- Who can play any instruments?
- Find what your classmates have for their breakfast.
- Who spent their summer holiday on an island?
2. Give each student a post-it note. Tell them to write their names at the top. Then ask them to write 1 adjective that will describe their physical appearance and 5 adjectives that will describe their character. Collect the post-it notes. Tell students they will guess the person you chose. Ask them to stand up next to their seats. Read one adjective each time and if they think that adjective doesn’t describe them, they have to sit down (whether they have written the adjective or not) Once they sit, they can’t stand up again. Continue calling an adjective, till they guess who the person is.
3. Divide the class into teams. Tell them they will advertise themselves to you. Prepare a bank of advertisements for them to get inspired. This will work well with a group of students who know each other well but the teacher meets them for the first time.
4. Provide A4 size paper, crayons, markers for each student. Ask each student to prepare a poster which contains some symbols or pictures describing who they are, what’s important to them or what they enjoy.
Each poster should be divided into 4 or 6 segments. Each segment can contain a picture of favourite emotion, favourite food, a hobby, a skill, a motto etc. Set time limits. When they finish, tell them to stand up, play some music and tell them to walk around till you stop the music and ask them to find a partner and introduce themselves to each other, then they have to exchange the papers and they will introduce their new friend to the class.
Some other activities from the archives of A Journey in TEFL
It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and most of us have started our summer holidays. Yet some of spend their holidays working in the summer schools or summer camps. Here you can find some activities that may help you
Asking Questions, some fun activities
Games, Fillers, Warm-ups
Fun Writing Activities
Old Techniques Revisited
Motivating Learners with Fun Activities
Songs in EFL Classroom
I found this activity hidden in one of my idea notebooks a few minutes ago while trying to organize my files.
Ask students to write a question on a piece of paper.
Tell them to fold it down and pass it to the next student.
The next students will also write a question and fold the paper and pass it to the next student.
This will continue until the students get their own papers.
Then tell students to choose
1. a funny question
2. the question they’d like to answer
3. a question they can’t answer
4 . a question with a a grammar mistake, etc
Then they can answer the questions they want to answer.
They can create a wall poster titled “Our Questions and Answers’
I also think this can be a great idea as pre (reading, listening,writing, speaking,etc)
Write the topic on the board
Tell students to write a question on that topic and pass the paper to the next students
When they get their own papers tell them to check the text if they can get an answer for any of the questions on the paper.
If you have access to a computer room, before reading the text in the course book, students can search the web and try to get answers for their questions.
Here are some activities you can use when teaching descriptions.
Agree on a list of 5 people known to students
Dictate words and phrases which describe the people chosen
Students write the descriptions you dictate beneath the name of the person they think is referred to.
Choose something to describe.
Tell students to divide a piece of paper into 3 sections as right, wrong and neither right nor wrong
Dictate a number of short statements.
Students write each short statement beneath a suitable heading.
Running picture descriptions
Divide the class into groups.
Place a picture on your desk or on a wall.
Student A from each group goes to the picture to look at it carefully then goes to his group and dictates what he sees. He can go to the picture as many times as he wishes.
My dream holiday
Display 10 postcards of holiday destinations.
Tell students to walk around and choose a postcard.
Tell them to return their seats and write a short letter to a friend telling their visit.
Ideal Holiday Destination
Display 10 postcards of holiday destinations.
Tell students to walk around and choose two postcards.
Tell them to return their seats and write a short letter to a friend telling which will be an ideal destination for their next holiday.