Asking Questions – A Warmer or A Filler

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.


Describe …


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.

Rights/ Wrongs

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.

Guessing Game Guest Post by Arzu Baloglu

I work at a high school and I mainly teach 9th and 10th grades.I learned this activity at a workshop I attended a few months ago.

The idea is to give students  some clue words and numbers  which are important to you  and make them guess what they  are about.So ss are getting to know you by suggesting ideas .In the end you give the correct answers.I’ve prepared this activity as a ppt presentation by adding photos. I think  some slides with photos on the first day of school could be more interesting and fun  instead of just introducing yourself to the class.Because students can be curious about their new teacher and want to learn more about her/him.

The aim is not only make ss find the correct answers but also make them speak as much as possible.

I put photos, many of which I took for this activity , and numbers on the slides. I tell the ss all the slides are related to me and then let them make guesses .After they finish guessing about me and tell me all their ideas,I show them the correct answers .Some of them are too easy to guess  J.Later they can tell a word or a number about themselves and the class try to figure them out.

This kind of activity later could be used while teaching  likes &dislikes. SS can prepare some slideshows to talk about their likes&dislikes.Their  favourite writer,film ,singer,food ,city,etc. can be put on the slides as well.

I’ve prepared a ppt presentation  in case there may not be wifi on the first day of school,but other presentation tools like Prezi or Animoto can be used,too.If you don’t want to use photos,you can use word clouds by writing all the key words and numbers in it.I think the more interesting the photos or words ,the more fun the students will have.


A Warmer and a Filler

As the end of the month is close, I started getting more links for the blog carnival. However, there are loads of ideas with friends who hasn’t started blogging yet. Emine Bülür is one of them and I’m so happy that she wanted to contribute to the carnival with an activity.


Here is a warmer & filler activity:
Give them a piece of paper on which they can write their names.

I collect all the names in a box and ask them to pick a name.

Later, they write two questions for the student whose name written on the back of the paper.

Finally, they can share what they have leaned about their friends with the rest of the class.
It works well especially at times when student need to introduce themselves to a new class. As we use a modular system at our school, they change classes every quarter so the activity helps me a lot in this respect.

Emine Bülür Civanoğlu has been an English Instructor for eleven years and currently working at Doğuş University English Preparatory Programme. She is interested in Educational Technology, Learner Autonomy and Management in ELT. She  is a regular conference participant and presenter.
Twitter: @EmineBC
By the way, if you don’t blog but have an idea for the blog carnival to share with us, please feel free to contact me.
You can reach all the efl,esl blog carnival posts from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog