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Publié : 23 août 2014
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Warm up games

The principle behind a warm up game is to help a student switch from the preceding lesson and to concentrate efforts on the English lesson that is about to get underway. A warm-up game can be used to revise some vocabulary or concepts that were worked on in the previous lesson. We try not to introduce new notions during the warm-up phase of a lesson. It is a phase which allows students to get into a mindset to allow them to work to their full potential in the phase(s) which follow.

Some vocabulary warm-up games :

  • Give me a word

Give me a word that begins with the letters of the alphabet in order ; apple, baby, cat, dinosaur etc
In reverse order
Give me a word, then the next person has to give a word which begins with the last letter of that word ; elephant – tomato – orange – egg – garage …

Give me the name of something you would find in the bathroom
Give me the name of an object you would take on holiday

Give me the name of a country in Europe (pronunciation activity).
Give me the name of a country in alphabetical order : Australia – Belgium – Canada – Denmark
Give me a city in alphabetical order : Athens – Bath – Chicago – Detroit

  • Chain speaking games
    I went to market and I bought a/an …
  • Click-click vegetable

In a circle, the students pick up a rhythm of 1-2-3-4 and they do 1-click fingers / 2-click fingers / 3 – 4 give the name of a vegetable. The aim is to do a complete round without repeating any of the veg. It is really hard for them at first, but they soon progress if you are able to repeat the game over several sessions. It can also be played with fruit, but this tends to be easier.

  • Paper tags

In a bag or a hat, I rip up a number of pieces of paper to give a large quantity of small strips of paper. The kids pass the hat/bag around and take out however many pieces they like (minimum of 1). When they have all taken papers, I say that the number of pieces of paper corresponds to the number of pieces of information they have to tell the class. It is essential not to tell them the rules before they take the papers. We then go around and listen to what they have to say. I originally played this game with a loo roll and the kids tore off the number of pieces they wanted, BUT I realized it isn’t very eco-friendly to play it that way, so I changed tack.

  • Who am I ?

In this game, the assistant prepares cards with famous people’s names on them. The leader tapes one card on the back of each member. Then everyone pretends they are at a party and asks each other questions to find out their own identities. When someone guesses their own name correctly, the name-tag gets taped to their front and they continue to chat with the other players until everyone is wearing the nametag on the front.

  • What would you do if… ?

You won a million euros
Your best friend committed a crime
You could change sex for the day
You became President
You were invisible


Ask students to prepare two sentences about themselves. One is true and the other is false. The others have to guess which is the true one and which is the false one.

You can find lots of examples of warm up games by typing an internet search “Warm up games esl”.

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