Warm-up activities are essential in the Online class. Pupils may be tired or have other things on their minds and diving straight into a textbook or grammar explanation can be quite jarring.
With a good warmer you can put your students into English mode; attentive, interested, and ready to participate. A warmer can also serve to review language from a previous lesson or prime the class for a new topic.
Here are the list of warmers and time fillers during an online class.
1. Quick Question
Write a list of two or three questions on the board which introduce the theme of the lesson. For example, if you are going to talk about books, you could write: What’s your favourite book? What was the last book you read? What kind of books do you prefer? etc. Give the students 5-10 minutes to discuss the questions and then have students report back to the class.
2. Make the most Words
Write a topical vocabulary item on the board. In twos or threes, students make as many new words from it as they can. Use longish seed words such as apologize, dictionary or September. Score teams a point per word and award a bonus point for the longest.
3. Make the longest words
Write a topical target word vertically down the board, for example, WINTER. In twos or threes, students attempt to come up with the longest word that begins with each letter. Give teams a point per word and a bonus point for the longest.
Waterfall Industrious Nausea Terrified Empty Retailer
4. Mixed-up Questions
It’s always good to start the class with a question. Write a good one on the board but mix up the word order, then challenge students to reconstruct the question and then discuss it in pairs or small groups.
For example: most item you have the ever expensive what’s bought?
5. Mixed-up Question (anagram variation)
Alternatively, write a question on the board but this time scramble the letters of each word. For example:
tahw si ruyo seealirt rommey?
6. Letter String Dictation
This is a great way to lead into the topic that you want to cover in the class and also serves as a simple activity to help students recognise letters of the alphabet. Think of a couple of questions for students to discuss in pairs or groups. Write the questions down and then dictate them as a long string of letters.
whatsyourfavouritecolour? whatdidyoudoinaweekend? whatkindofbooksdoyouliketoread?
After dictating the letter strings, students should attempt to form the questions and then discuss and report back to class.
7. Word Ladders
In this activity, a word must be transformed step by step into a target word. To illustrate the idea, write the word run on the board and explain that the target word is fit. For each turn, only one letter can be changed. See if the class can find a valid sequence together. Some possible sequences are:
8. What’s the Missing Word?
Find a group of compound words or collocations which share a common word. For example, bedroom, bathroom, living room, classroom, showroom, etc. Give students one of the word/collocation parts, such as bed and have them guess the missing part, add to the list writing bath, living, class, etc., until they successfully guess the word.
9. How Many Sounds Can You Hear?
Students sit in silence for two minutes and write down every sound that they hear. Let them compare their lists with their neighbours before seeing who has the longest list?
If you like this activity try doing a guess the sound quiz.
10. Name Ten
Have students think of 10 items that fit particular criteria.
For example: Food that contain egg, animals that lay eggs, three letter parts of the body and etc.
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