Ahmed the Terrorist! My students are always telling me to watch that sketch… thanks Daniel.
I know we are always looking for simple warmers. Here are three or four that I have tried in recent weeks that have worked OK and I think they could be adapted to most levels from pre-intermediate and up.
1. Draw circles on the whiteboard – one for each student in the class. As they come in they have to draw their face in the circle with an expression of how they feel today. Ask them about why they drew the face they did. (For extra points, before wiping the board, take a photo of all the faces and put it online / send to the students for fun).
2. Similar to number 1 but prepare the circles on paper and with a thought bubble above each head. Ask them to draw their face and write or draw their thoughts in the bubble – then in pairs describe what is on their mind to their partners (this took up nearly half a lesson in Advanced Speaking last week!)
3. Ask the students to draw 3 circles on a piece of paper, one above the other, in the shape of traffic lights. If they want and you have time they should colour in pencil the top one red, the middle one yellow and the last one green. Ask them to write in the red circle things they want to STOP doing in their lives (going to bed too late, being late for English class…), in the middle yellow one ask them to write things they think they should stop but probably won’t (eating chocolate, leaving mess in the house) and in the green one ask them to write something positive they want to START (doing more exercise, read more English, learn how to play a musical instrument etc.). They then feedback to class and discuss what they wrote, who has the same as them etc. This could be used with the related language areas of future forms and intentions (should / would) and the vocabulary of resolutions, plans, addictions and habits.
4. Lastly, put a sign saying “agree” at the front of the class and one saying “disagree” at the back. Say sentences to students and they have to run to the around the classroom the sign that represents what they think. If they don’t know or are not sure they can stay in the middle. After each sentence interview one student about their choice. This could be for fun (“ABC is the best team in Natal”) or related to the vocab you are teaching (“Women are better at driving than men”). It’s a good way to generate conversation and it forces students to physically and literally decide “where they stand” on issues.