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Warm Up Activities For English Clubs 20 Questions One person thinks of an object (person, place, or thing).

Everyone takes turns asking yes/no questions until someone can guess correctly (or until 20 questions are asked). The difficult part is that you cannot ask "wh" questions! Example: PINEAPPLE. Does it talk? No. Does it make life easier? No. Do you eat it? Yes. Is it something you would eat for dinner? No. Etc... If someone makes a mistake in forming the question, other club members can help turn it into a proper question. Can't Say Yes or No In this game everyone is given a certain number of coins or squares of paper (about 10). Everyone moves around the room starting conversations and asking each other questions. The only rule is that you cannot say the words YES or NO. If you accidentally say one of these words, you have to give a coin or square to the person who you said it to. Try to trick each other by asking questions that you would almost always answer with a yes or no. Think of other ways to trick your friends. Sometimes asking two quick questions in a row works well. (Especially tag questions: Are you new here? This is your first time in America, isn't it?). This game is a great way to practise using small talk and to add variety to your vocabulary. It also makes everyone laugh. Fact or Fiction In this game, one person tells a short story about themselves or someone they know or heard about. Usually it is something funny or crazy. It can be a true story, or something made up. Example: Josh tells a story about his Uncle Leo who sleeps in the nude. One day Uncle Leo was sleepwalking and he went outside and took his dog for a walk. The next door neighbour was coming home late from work and saw him! She called the police and he got arrested for being naked in public. Everyone around the room has to say whether they think Josh's story is fact (true) or fiction (made up). Josh reveals the truth when everyone has guessed. Members can take turns telling a story. Chain Fairytale This is a fun writing warm-up. Everyone has a piece of paper and writes the first sentence or two to start a fairytale (not one that already exists). Example: Once upon a time there was a frog that had no legs. He wanted to get married, but there were no female legless frogs in the land. After one minute the leader will say "SWITCH". At this time the writers have to put down their pens and pass the papers. They cannot finish their sentences. Then, the next writers will continue the story. After about ten minutes you will have as many silly stories to read as you have club members. The leader should warn the writers that they will soon have to wrap-up the story during the last two minutes so that each story has a conclusion. Read all of the stories out loud for a good laugh. You can extend this activity by trying to edit each other's writing and spelling errors. Draw the Picture In this activity members split up into pairs or small groups. One person looks at a scene from a magazine or book (the leader should cut out enough pictures, or bring in enough magazines for the club). The other person has a pencil and a blank piece of paper. The person with the picture will try to describe everything he sees to the drawer. This is good practice for using prepositions of place. When the describer is finished, compare the drawings to the real thing! Whose is the closest to the original? Categories For this game, one person thinks of a category, such as MOVIES. In a circle, everyone must take a turn thinking of a Movie title (in English of course). If someone takes too long to give an answer (the leader should count to five) then that person is out and a new category begins. If someone gives an answer that doesn't make sense or is incorrect, he is also out of the game. For example, if the category is VEGETABLES and someone says "banana" that person is out. The game continues until only one person is left! Who am I? In this game, the leader 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 party guests until everyone is wearing the nametag on the front. Jeopardy In this game, which is based on the famous gameshow Jeopardy, everyone writes down ten answers to questions about themselves. After writing down the answers, people have to form pairs or small groups and try to find out what the questions are. Example: (answer = purple) "What is your favorite colour?" "Blue." "What colour do you hate?" "Green." "What

colour is your underwear?" "Purple!" You can stop at three guesses if you want, or keep going until someone in the club can guess the question. Hot Seat In this game, the club is split up into two teams. One member from each team sits facing the group. The leader holds up a word (or writes it on the board if you are in a classroom) for all of the team members to see except for the two players in the hot seats. The teams must try to get the person in the hot seat to guess the word or phrase. The first person to guess correctly gets to stand up and a new member from their team takes the hot seat. The person on the other team has to remain in the hot seat until she gets an answer first. You can keep score or just play for fun. This game can also be played in pairs. One pair member closes their eyes while the leader shows the word to the other pair members. The first pair to get the word right gets a point. Warning! This is a loud game because people tend to get excited and yell! Broken Telephone This is a listening and pronunciation activity that always gets people laughing. The leader first must think of a sentence or phrase and whisper it to the person beside her. That person will then whisper what she heard to the next person. Each person can only say, "Can you please repeat that?" one time. When the message reaches the end of the chain that person must speak out loud. Oftentimes the message will be completely different when it reaches the end. Try to find out where the chain broke! In a big group you can send the message two ways and find out which team comes closest to the real message. (A famous example is the army message that started as "Send reinforcements, we're going to advance" and ended as "Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.") Whisper down the alley Divide the students into equal teams and have each team form a line facing the front of the room. Go to the student at the front of each line and whisper a word or sentence. When the teacher says Go! the student at the front of each row turns around and whispers the word/sentence to the next person in line. Then that student passes the word on to the next student and so on. As soon as the word/sentence reaches the last student in line, he/she races to the front to repeat the word/sentence to the teacher. The first team to finish is the winner. Variation: In a small class, have the students stand in a circle. The last person to hear the word/sentence then repeats what he/she hears out loud. Feet writing Demonstrate this activity first. Clear a space at the front of the classroom so all students can see the floor. Ask students What letter is this? Then walk in the shape of a letter of the alphabet. The students guess, e.g. It's an S! It's an A!, etc. Then ask a volunteer to come to the front of the room and walk in the shape of another letter for the rest of the students to guess. Things in the classroom This game can be used to review adjectives, comparatives and superlatives. Put Ss into small groups. Each group chooses an item in the classroom to describe. Then each person in the group makes up a sentence about the item, e.g. It's (smaller) than a desk. It's (blue). It's the (biggest) thing on the bookshelf., etc. When groups are ready, they take turns saying their sentences. The rest of the class tries to guess the item by asking questions, e.g. Is it the dictionary? Is it the box? Variation: Students can describe people instead of objects, e.g. His/her hair is shorter than (S1's name)'s hair. His/her bag is bigger than (S1's name)'s bag., etc. Who's talking? After students have learned several different question-and-answer exchanges, put them into pairs and have them create their own exchanges. Then, invite two or three pairs to stand at the front of the class. The rest of the students put their heads down on their desks so they cannot see. The teacher points to one pair at the front. The two students perform their exchange. They can perform it any way they choose: disguising their voices, speaking slowly or quickly, etc. When they are finished, the other students raise their heads and try to guess which pair performed the exchange. Air drawing Demonstrate this game first. Draw an animal in the air with your index finger. The students watch carefully and try to guess which animal it is, e.g. Is it a (whale)? The first student to guess correctly then takes a turn at the front to draw an animal for the other students to guess. Who's the biggest? This game reviews superlatives. Invite three students to stand at the front of the room. The teacher tells the three students Make yourselves big. I want to see who is the biggest. The students can try to make themselves look big by standing on their tiptoes, reaching their arms out, etc. Then the teacher asks the class Who's the biggest, (S1's name), (S2's name) or (S3's name)? Have the class vote. Then the teacher asks three new students to stand at the front and make themselves as small as possible. Have the class vote on which student is the smallest. Continue the game with other words, e.g. "tallest", "shortest", "happiest", "oldest", "fastest", etc.

Idea #1: Write two or three questions on the board, preferably related to the topic. However, for classes that meet regularly, you may also use this as an opportunity to include target language from the previous lesson. Read the questions aloud and check comprehension. Students then find a partner to discuss these questions for the length of the warm up. As no pair of students should finish talking early, this means that everyone will need to ask follow-up questions to generate a conversation. Idea #2: Here the teacher writes two or three controversial statements on the board. Students work in pairs/groups and agree or disagree with the statement, as well as provide reasons. For example: Question: Money is more important than happiness. Question: Success can only be measured by income. Idea#3: Students get into pairs/groups. The teacher writes a topic on the board, and students brainstorm associated vocabulary for the topic. Each pair/group should write the words in a notebook. This activity requires students to use vocabulary on the lesson topic, allowing the teacher to gloss over any already known words and focus on unknown material. In addition, if the teacher opts for students to write the words on the board, then the words can be used later in the lesson. Idea #4: In this activity, students brainstorm words based on the topic. However, some filters are used to order the generated vocabulary. For example, a topic on occupations might have students generate three jobs for the following categories: Category: What jobs earn more than $1,000,000? Category: What jobs are dangerous? Category: What jobs do high school students usually do? Idea #5: Students speculate from a question, and can be used with just about any grammar point. This works especially well when the question requires students to speculate about the teacher (or other teachers). For example, if the grammar point for the lesson were on the past tense, students could discuss and write ideas to answer the following question: Question: What did your teacher do this weekend? Idea #6: For this activity, students get into small groups to play charades. The teacher writes actions on slips of paper before the start of the class, with each student receiving one slip of paper. The students must act out the action on the paper without speaking, and their group must guess the answer. The teacher can focus on just vocabulary, so students will answer: "play soccer" or "eat" or "watch TV." The teacher can also plug the verb into a sentence, such as "You (verb) last weekend, didn't you?" Idea #7: The teacher selects several pictures before the class starts, preferably ones with a lot of action and/or with something unusual happening. In addition, the teacher should consider the topic of the lesson, as the students can generate ideas/vocabulary for use elsewhere in the lesson. Students get into pairs/groups. The teacher distributes one picture to each pair/group, or posts the pictures on the board. Students then describe the picture, answering wh-questions as prompts. For example: Question: Who is in the picture? Question: Where are they? Question: What are the people doing? Idea #8: In this warm up activity, the teacher again selects several pictures before the class starts. Students also get into pairs/groups to talk about the pictures, which will maximize student talk time during the initial stages of the lesson. However, students now speculate a conversation for the people in the picture. Students don't need to write a dialogue, but they should imagine what is being said. After a few minutes, students move on to another picture and repeat the activity. Idea #9: The teacher writes five questions on the board, all of which are yes/no questions. Students find a partner and ask/answer one question. They want to find someone who will answer "yes" to the question. A "yes" means they can check off that answer, and then ask another question from the board. A "no" means they must find a new partner and ask the same question again. This activity gets quite chaotic and competitive as students race to find answers to the questions. Idea #10: The teacher writes two questions on the board. Students stand up and find a partner to ask/answer each question. After both questions have been covered by both students, each finds a new partner. They then repeat the process. Because students talk to several people several times on the same topics, their answers will show improved accuracy and fluency.