ESL Warm Up Activities with Free PowerPoint Download

ESL Warm Up Activities with Free PowerPoint Download

I use games and fun activities to warm up my class before the lesson begins, to break the ice or even as a time filler. Warmers bring energy to class and definitely fills the time with more learning when the lesson runs shorter than expected.

Below are some of the games that I have been using in my ESL class. You can click on the game title to download editable PowerPoint demo and rules.

Disappearing Words

In this simple activity, students are shown a word, phrase or sentence that disappears in 2 seconds! They need to remember what they saw and write them down on a mini-whiteboard or paper. The fastest team to show the correct answer wins the round.

Game Type: Individual, Team

Give Me 5!

The teacher calls out a student to give 5 things on a given category in 30 seconds! This is a good activity for reviewing vocabulary.

Game Type: Individual

Word Snake

Each team makes a line near the board, then one student per team comes up to the white board and writes a word. The next student has to use the last letter of the word on the board to make another word. At the end of the game, the team with the longest word snake with all the words joined up wins the game.

Game Type: Team

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Hidden Pictures

The teacher slowly removes the squares while students take turn guessing what is the picture hidden behind it. The student who guesses the right word wins the game.

Game Type: Individual

Hot Seat

One student will help the person in the “hot seat” to guess the secret image behind him/her before the time runs out! This is a classic way to develop word association and description.

Game Type: Pair, Team

I.N.I.T.I.A.L.S.

Students are shown different pictures and they need to take the first letter from each picture to form the mystery word. This is a fun activity that tests students vocabulary!

Game Type: Individual, Team

Pelmanism

This is a matching type activity where each team is given a set of cards. Students spread out the cards on the table face down and take turns picking up a card and finding its pair.

Game Type: Team

ALSO READ: Classroom Activities Using Technology

Sleeping Elephants

Students form a group of four and number themselves from 1-4. Students will all “sleep” by putting their heads down. When they hear the teacher calls their own number, they will “wake up” and have to remember what they see. After 4 rounds, everyone “wakes up” and puts the word or sentence together. Credit to the owner of the slides.

Game Type: Team

Brain Teasers

Break the ice with these funny brain teasers for kids and all ages! You can also use this as a warm up for a full lesson or maybe to fill in the remaining time at the end of class. Brain teasers are good to stimulate students to think quick and critically!

Game Type: Individual, Team

Tongue Twisters

A tongue twister is a series of words or sounds that are usually repetitive and are difficult to pronounce quickly and correctly. Most English language teachers use tongue twisters to develop the students pronunciation and accent. Sometimes, we use tongue twisters just for the sheer fun of doing it. I often get my students to memorize this and ask them to say it out loud in class as a group and in pairs.

Puzzle Makers

In this post, I discuss how I let my students create their own vocabulary puzzles for their classmates to solve. Enjoy the 6 types of puzzles including a downloadable PowerPoint for instructions.

Let me know in the comments what you think about these activities!

 

Author: Melchor Bernardo

Melchor is a professional educator from the Philippines based in Saigon. He teaches ESL and this website is a bit of copy of his teaching styles and philosophy.

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