Published 22nd May 2019
The first activity for your English as a Foreign Language lessons is surprisingly important. Your lesson might be the first time that day that your students are speaking English, or maybe even the first time that week. Your warmer activities need to be something that will get them into English mode but that is also engaging enough to get them interested in the lesson.
Piece of cake, right? Well, not always.
Three of our favourite warmer activities for the EFL classroom
Put the students into pairs or small groups. They must number themselves. Each student in the group will take a turn so, for example, all the number ones will do the activity at the same time. The teacher chooses a topic and, at their signal, the students in question must speak on that topic for 60 seconds. The trick is they have to speak without pausing, stopping or hesitating.
A to Z
This works especially well for Young Learners or for lower levels, but it can be adjusted to work for any class. Put the students into pairs or small groups. Each group must have a piece of paper. The teacher gives a topic – for example, animals. The students must write down a word which falls under that category which begins with each letter of the alphabet – alligator, bird, cheetah. At the end of a certain time limit each group reads out their answers. For each word a group has that no other group has they earn a point.
Would you rather?
Put the students into pairs or small groups. Write a Would you rather…? question on the board – or prepare it beforehand on your interactive whiteboard or a PowerPoint presentation. Each student in the group must make a choice between the options and they can discuss it in groups. At first start with the usual choices but you can make them more difficult and more interesting as you go along.
Would you rather be on a beach now or in bed?
Would you rather eat pizza or pasta?
Would you rather break an arm or a leg?
Would you rather have a lot of money or be very good-looking?
Warmer activities might be the last thing you prepare for when you plan an EFL lesson, but that doesn’t mean they are the least important. Make sure you plan an engaging and enjoyable activity for your warmer activity so that your students can ease themselves into the lesson and look forward to what is still to come.