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
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.
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
Explain the rules. You will give the students a category.
Call 2 students from each team to the board.
Set 2 minutes and tell them to write the words that come to their mind.
Things in a fridge
Things you can buy from a supermarket
Things you can find in a living room.
Adjectives that describe personality.
2. Right Word, Wrong Place
Prepare a handout with newly learned structures or some quotes on the topic you’d like to discuss in the class.
Make grammatically incorrect sentences changing the place of two words in the sentence and ask students to correct them.
3. Catch the words
Draw a circle and write some letters with which students form words. Prepare a handout jumbling the words you’ve recently studied in the class.
On slips of papers, write sentences or ask students to write sentences.
Put the students in pairs.
Give each pair 4 slips of papers, preferably the same 4 sentences and tell them to write a dialogue and insert the sentences they have on the slips of papers into their dialogues.
5. Comprehension Questions
Write the topic of the reading passage/listening activity on the board.
Tell students to copy it on a piece of paper and then write a question about it.
Then pass the paper to their friend and ask them to write another question. Then tell them to pass it to the next student. When each student receive their own papers, ask them to read the text and try to find if any of the questions are answered.
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
I know I am a bit late for the following lesson ideas but for a while I’ve been a bit reluctant to write anything. I hope I will keep my blog alive in 2013 …
Now here I go …
A lesson for the next Christmas
Write Christmas on the board
Tell students to brainstorm ideas
Write the skeleton of the poem
Christmas sounds like —
Christmas tastes like —-
Christmas feels like —
Christmas looks like —
Christmas smells like —
Christmas sounds like —-
Christmas is a time
Then you can even decorate the class with the students as we did
A lesson for the 1st day of the New Year
3,2,1 expectations from 2013
When I say we are going to do our New Year’s resolutions, the students always complain telling that they’ve been doing it for ages. I decided to adapt the famous 3,2,1 introductions to a New Year’s first lesson.
Old School option
Give students post-it notes
Write the instructions on the board
3 things you want to do/achieve this year
2 places you want to be/see/visit this year
1 thing you want to buy this year
Give the same instructions
Tell students to create comics.
Here are some examples from my students. They are still posting their comics 🙂