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Ideas and More Ideas to Warm Up Our Lessons Some activities bring suggestions on using web2.0 to enrich the experience


Icebreakers and Warm-up activities Time and again I have finished a semester with the feeling that I should have devoted more time to interacting and facilitating interaction among my students. Our students need to feel they belong and that we are present. This book is an attempt to make our lives easier by putting together tested activities I collected over the years. I bet readers know or have used many of the tasks proposed here, but I believe that having them all compiled might prove handy. This booklet is supposed to be a work in progress. Please, feel free to suggest and ask for editor’ status to continue writing it.


I know what you didn’t do last summer. Level Materials

Lower intermediate up None

Procedure: Students write sentences about their last vacation. One should be a lie. Students share in pairs, and try the guess which sentence is the false one.


Humming Level Materials known songs

Any slips of papers with names of well

Procedure: Hand out strips of paper to half of the class. All students stand up. The ones with the stips have to hum the song, and the others have to guess what song they are humming. If they guess correctly, they will pair up and work together on the following activity.


What ‘s the movie? Level Materials plots

Any Stips with name of movies and thir

Procedure: Teacher hands out strips. Students have to stand up. The ones with the plots are supposed to read or paraphrase until they find the student with the name of the movie. When they find the person, they should pair up for the following activity.


What do you think? Level Materials

Any swayable

Procedure: This amazing site has lots of topics you can choose from. You select one, and they give you two pictures for you to talk about or compare. Students can share their opinions, and write their comment for an authentic audience. Topics available vary from cities, movies, music etc.


What’s True? Level Materials

Intermediate up Blank sheet of paper or photopeach See example here

Procedure: Students should write 5 sentences about themselves. Preferably something funny or unusual that most people wouldn’t know, but one of the sentences should be a false one. Students should read their sentences aloud to the group and the group tries to guess which one is the false one.


My Picture Level Materials

Any Blank sheet of paper or sketchcast

Procedure: Student s draw a picture of anything they believe would represent who they are. When they finish drawing, they could go around the classroom explaining their drawings and the reasons why they did them.


My Tastes Level Materials

Lower intermediate up Blank sheet of paper or Wallwisher

Procedure: Have students write one thing they love doing, one thing they hate doing and one thing they don’t mind doing. The teacher does the same. A student reads the sentences, and sees if the class can identify each person by likes and dislikes.


First Impressions Level Lower intermediate up Materials Blank sheet of paper and/or digital camera and photobabble Procedure: Stick a blank sheet of paper on sts’ back. Play a song and ask them to mingle. Sts’ write on each other’s paper their first impressions of each classmate. Sts now read what was written and tell the group what is right and what is wrong about it. The whole group then writes sentences to record later on a description of the whole group on photobabble.


Singing Challenge Level Materials

Intermediate up Lyricstrainning, IWB

Procedure: In the beginning or the end of the lesson have students complete the blanks as a whole group and sing together.


Portraits Level Materials

Intermediate up Blanksheet of paper or sketchcast

Tell students to draw their portrait. They might complain a little, so you also draw something very simple to show them that you don’t expect anything fancy. Ask students to write 4 or 5 key phrases or words connected to them, for example, 3 children. Display the drawings around the room and ask the students to walk around with a pen in hand and write questions under the information they read: for example, if a student reads ‘3 children' they may want to write, do you have 3 children?‘ When the students are finished the questions that have been posed should be answered, this can be done as a class or in smaller groups. It's good fun because the students are mingling and coming together from the beginning.


Highlight Level Materials

Intermediate up None

Ask students: "What made you smile today or yesterday?" And let them share. You can't believe how much you can learn from this simple activity!


Name-chain Level Materials

Any None

The first student says his/her name, the second student has to repeat the previous name and add his/hers and so on till the teacher repeats all the names. To spice it up the students not only say their names but have to add a movement. e.g.: My name is Dani. (claps) Her name is Dani (claps) and my name is Joe (moves arms). Finally the Teacher has to repeat all the names and challenges students to do the same.


Questions to Myself Level Lower intermediate up Materials BoardQuestion cards or small talk questions on a slideshow. Show students a soothing slideshow with questions on the slides or have them read the questions you displayed on the walls. Have students in pairs ask and answer the questions and then share some of the answers with the whole group. To set a great start and build a sense on community, the teacher should end this activity by saying each student’s name and a piece of information he/she learned about each and every student during the activity. This is Maria, who likes roses. This is JosÊ, who has been listening to great music lately.


Bubbles in the Air Level Materials

Young learners Bubble jar

Individual students from each team are given a bubble jar ( plastic jar with bubble solution and a wand). The teacher calls out a category of nouns, adjectives , or personal information as a student begins to blow bubbles. That student, or another member of the team tries to say as many words as he/she can that belong to the category before all the bubbles disappear.

Acknowledgment: Activity taken from workshop delivered by David Malatesta in 2010.

Icebreakers and Warm ups  

A list of tested activities to spice up our lessons.

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