(by Craig Wealand)
Some tried and tested (sometimes successfully) ways of warming and waking up you and your students. I’ll leave you to decide on level suitability. Many thanks to those who have passed these ideas on to me over the years. As with bad jokes, it’s often difficult to trace the source.
(S = student SS = students T = teacher)
1. Memory Test
Pairs. SS look verycarefully at the room and the people in it for 1 minute. 1 S closes his/her eyes. Other S asks questions.
2. How Was Your Weekend?
Boring when it’s asked every Monday, but give SS the identity of a famous person on a slip of paper (or let them think of their own). In pairs SS ask questions and try to guess the other’s identity based on what they did over the weekend.
Alternatively, brainstorm whatthey think the King of Spain did, or Madonna, Harrison Ford, Mickey Mouse, Brad Pitt etc.
3. The Room Is The World
Tell the SS that the wall with the whiteboard on it is North. Ask them what the opposite wall is. “South?” , fantastic, and this wall? “East”, and this? “West”. Good. So if this classroom is the world, where is Spain? And France? What about Canada? Tell SS to stand up and go andstand in a country they’ve always wanted to visit. Without moving they ask each other where they are, and why they’ve always wanted to go there. They’ll have to shout across the world at distant SS.
4. Chain of Words
T reads out a list of words, and SS can join in by supplying a word once they’ve spotted
(or think they have) the connection. Do you know?
Carpet, train, never, rubbish, heavy,yellow, weather, reason, nuisance, end, drip, pencil, letter, respect, trip, painting, gallop, print, talking, go, operation, love, England, dark, kitten, nurse, engineer……….
(They all begin with the last letter of the previous word)
5. Find The Pattern
The teacher’s chair is the ‘Hot Seat’. Send a S outside the class to think up questions for his/her classmates. Give the rest of the class apattern. They must use this pattern to answer questions when the S outside comes back in and starts asking things while sitting in the chair. For example:-
Answer only using three words.
Say ‘yes’ first, then say whatever you like.
Say what you like, but you must touch your nose when you answer.
Only answer using adjectives.
Repeat the question, then answer it any way you like.
Touch your ear.Begin with ‘Erm..’
Cross your legs……etc.
Can the S guess the pattern?
Now the T leaves the class, and the SS think up a pattern for him/her to guess.
6. Don’t Say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
Put a S in the aforementioned hot seat. The rest of the class (including the T) fire questions at the S to try and get him/her to say yes or no. A demonstration by the T may help for a lower level class ( ‘I don’t thinkso’, ‘that’s true’, ‘that’s not quite right’, ‘ ‘ah huh’, ‘sometimes’, ‘I do’ etc.)
7. Three Wishes
SS write down three wishes. SS get up and mingle until they find someone with a matching (or similar) wish. Then they sit down in pairs and talk about it .
Variation: Two bad experiences. The last seven things you did before leaving your flat this morning. Places you’d visit if you won threeplane tickets.
8. Body Spelling
Groups of three, four or five .
SS think of a word then pretend they are the letters of the word.
SS stand up in front of the class and mime the word. The rest of the class has to guess which word is being spelt.
Caution! Know your students. Not good on the first day with a class of Japanese beginners.
9. Hidden Topic
Write a list of different subjects on smallcards or slips of paper (e.g. Tennis, computers, shopping for food, traffic, beer, suits and ties, cycling, babies). Show a subject card to one S and start an informal chat with the S without naming the subject on the card (circumlocution). Other SS write down the subject on paper (without the other SS seeing) when they think they know what it is. If they’re correct, they can join in the chat....