A warmer is a motivating starting activity better called: zealous, suggestive, dynamic and enthusiastic. It is an activity done at the beginning of the lesson to activate students to become animated in the language class. It is considered as a tool designed to attract students’ attention.
Advantages of warmers.
For teachers, warmers enable them to:
- get students’ attention and make them engaged in the following steps.
- break the monotony of learning.
- make the tasks more interesting.
- move students smoothly to the target language.
- activate the students’ background knowledge.
- help put aside distracting thoughts.
- serve as a springboard into the topic or target language.
- ensure students’ involvement in the class.
- recognize the different types of students’ learning styles.
For students, warmers enable them to:
- get their minds focused on the lesson ahead.
- get them started, so the wheels in their heads can start turning,
- have fun and enjoyment at the beginning of the lesson.
- know each other.
- open up their creative thinking to apply learning in new ways.
- feel comfortable with the environment and their classmates.
- increase their participation.
- review vocabulary from a previous class.
- have their energy raised.
- think and speak in English.
Tips to manage a warm-up activity:
- Normally, the warm-up session is the first 5 minutes of the class.
- During this session, get students to relax, know each other, and chat with their peers and with the teacher.
- There should be a good kind of mobilization.
- During the warm-up session, you should not over-correct students’ mistakes.
- Plan well for the warm-up session in a way that facilitates the rest of the lesson, increases students’ confidence and avoid students’ feeling of worry that prevents them from saying or doing what you want.
- Control the tone of what is to take place during this session.
13 examples of EFL warm-up activities to start your class right off.
1. Vocabulary Circle:
Teacher asks random students for a verb, a noun, an adjective or an adverb that begins with a, b, c, d, etc.
2. Catch Up:
Students interview other students in pairs or groups to discover about their lives: past, present and future.
3. Finish the Thought:
Teacher writes the beginning of a sentence on the board. Students are asked to complete it.
E.g. Today, I’m happy about ……………
Today will be awesome because ……………
Yesterday, I wish I had …………….
4. I Went to the Market:
This circle game begins with the simple statement:
(I went to the market and bought a ……….)
The first student adds a noun (a bag of flour).
The second student reads and adds (a packet of tea)
The third student reads and adds (a kilo of sugar), and so on.
By the end of the circle, the student will be required to have memorized a dozen of nouns and measure expressions.
5. What Does Your Name Mean?
Using a dictionary, google, a mobile or any other resource, students find and write down an appropriate adjective that begins with each letter of their first name. for example:
Hany: honest, active, neat, youthful.
6. Mixed-up Sentence:
Teacher writes a sentence on the board but mixes up the word order; then challenges students to reconstruct the original sentence.
7. The A to Z Game:
Teacher gives students a theme, for example: jobs, food, etc. teacher writes the letters a to z on the board. Teams of students must race to write an appropriate word next to each letter on the board.
8. Name Ten:
Teacher has students think of 10 items that fit particular criteria like:
Jobs where people have to wear a uniform, sports played with a ball, animals that lay eggs, three-letter parts of the body … etc.
9. Word Chain:
Students toss a ball to each other – and name the words that start with the last letter of the previous word, forming the chain. for example: ball, lamp, pen, and so on.
10. Error Correction Races:
Teacher puts students in some teams – and gives them lists of sentences containing mistakes. Students race to see which team can correct the entire page first. Teacher can include some correct sentences as well as sentences with multiple mistakes.
11. Synonyms & Antonyms:
Students work in pairs. Teacher gives students a word (good, for example). Students have to think of synonyms and antonyms. The pair of students that think of the most words win.
12. Can’t Say: “Yes or No”:
Here, students ask each other questions to try to get the other members of their group to say, “Yes or No”. The other members must answer the questions, but without saying “Yes or No”. It’s a fun activity that requires students to think on their feet.
13. Here’s the Answer; What’s the Question:
Teacher writes the answers to a few questions – about his life – on the board. Students have to guess what the corresponding questions are:
In the club.
Do you have any more warmers? Let us know in your comment.
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