Lesson Warmers


General Warmers

  • Error Correction. Write a handful of words on the board relating to the previous lesson. Include some errors. Students find the errors and correct them.
  • Word Bag. The tutor has a bag of random objects. Each group or person must take four objects and then use them as a basis for a story.
  • Odd One Out. Arrange the students in pairs or small groups. All of the words, except one, must share a common link e,g hat, coat, shoes, train. The student’s must guess the odd one out e.g train.
  • Jumbled Sentences. Mix up order of words in a sentence. Students unravel and put in correct order.
  • My Tutor isn’t a Robot. Write your name plus a list of answers to questions about yourself e.g 5 Gemma England 25 Roast Dinner. The students must then guess the questions e.g how old am I? What is my favourite meal?
  • Who said it. Gather various quotes from different sources about a subject-include some from unusual sources or celebrities. Make the quotes in to a quiz – who said it?
  • Taboo Cards. Make a set of cards about key words, concepts etc. In groups the  students try to describe what is on their card without using key words. For example for a card with the word cat on it you could ban the learner from saying cat, meow and feline.
  • Chat Cards. In pairs or small groups the students discuss the topic on a ‘chat card’.
  • Take a Card. Write a set of questions on a various cards. Place the cards in a box. Each student picks a card, answers the question and then passes the box on.
  • Five Things. This is a game based around the concept of name five things. The students are given a series of questions starting with name 5 things. Either individually or as a group they work against a ten second time to answer the questions. A PPT for the game can be downloaded here: Name 5 things….
  • Numbers. In groups students write down five numbers related to their lives e.g numbers of years they’ve been with their current partner, birth year, number of children, house number, number of siblings, years living in a certain country or their lucky number. The other students in the group then take turns guessing what each number represents.

Story Telling

  • Synonyms. The tutor reads out a short list of words. The students think of a synonym for each word.
  • Word Bag. The tutor has a bag of random objects. Each group or person must take four objects and then use them as a basis for a story.
  • Five Words. Use five words to describe your weekend.
  • Postcard Story. Each student is given a post card that they mustn’t show to any one else in the class. They write down 10 words inspired by the postcard. They then swap the words with their partner and use them as a basis for a pice of creative writing. Only when they’ve finished the writing task can then students reveal the postcard to their partner. After the reveal the students discuss whether the piece if writing  is similar/different to the image on the postcard.
  • Postcard Character. Find a character in a postcard and write a letter to them.
  • Chain Story. The tutor starts off by reading the first few sentences of a story. Going round the class, each student adds another section’ to the story, e.g. ” I was watching TV when all of a sudden the lights went out. There was a large crash and…”
  • Story Board. In small groups the tutor hands the students a small collection of photo’s. The student must arrange the photographs to create a story.
  • A Picture on the Board. The tutor draws a picture on the board e.g a box, or a cat. The students must devise a story based on the picture.
  • In my Basket. The learners are given a picture of a shopping basket containing various items. They must use the items in the basket to create a character and a back story.
  • Dice Roll. The student opens up a random page in a story book. They then roll a dice. Whatever number the dice lands on the student counts that many words into the page, they then write down the word. They repeat this exercise . Then they use the two words to create a sentence.
  • Celebrity Dice. Create two dice. One with six pictures of celebrities. One with the words who, what, when, were, how, why. The student rolls for the first dice to get the characters for the story. Then throw the second dice to generate ideas for the story. The students then use the brain storm to create a draft story. 

Career Lessons

  • Personality. Use six adjectives to describe your personality, the personality of your ideal boss etc.
  • Following Instructions. Draw a 6 x 2 table on Microsoft Word. Insert 5 random shapes into the table. In pairs one student has a copy of the completed grid, the other student has a blank grid. The student with the completed grid describes what is on their sheet so that the other student can copy the shapes into their blank grid. A copy of the completed worksheet can be downloaded here – Following Instructions Starter Sheet You could follow this warmer by discussing with the students how easy/difficult it was following their partners instructions, how following  the instructions on application forms are important, what instructions might be on application forms and what they mean e.g complete in black ink, use block capitals.

Physical Warmers

  • Ball Throw. Throw a ball back and forth as you ask and answer questions.
  • Snow Ball Fight. The students write three facts about themselves on a piece of paper. They then crunch up the paper to resemble a snow ball and then have a snow ball fight. Everyone grabs one of the snowballs and has to try to find the person who wrote on it. Once they find their partner, they present the person to the rest of the class and explain what they learned about the student.
  • Target Practice. Display various questions or topics around the room. Students choose which topic they’d like to be questioned about or which question they’d liked to be asked by throwing a ball at the ‘target.
  • Find the missing words. Identify two points in the classroom that can be used as answer stations. Label them with the missing word options e.g a or an, have or has… Read out each sentence. The students run to the answer station that they think has the correct answer.

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