In most of the training sessions that I am involved in, I begin with some warming up games. Indeed in Dakar, I would be faced with a riot in the classroom if I didn’t !! They have come to expect some noise, some smelly sockball games and some raucous singing !! There is, however, a serious point to the warming up process and every activity is followed by a period of analysis about what a particular activity works on and how we can get the best out of it. On this page, I am going to begin a kind of compendium of some warming up games – some tried and tested, some on my To Do list. I hope they will work for you.
The Robot Game (not yet tried but coming to a classroom near you soon !!)
Thanks to Emma for the idea.
Tell the students we will be playing a game where they are my robot students and when I talk to them, they have to answer me altogether, as if they just have one brain and one voice. I say “Hello,” and they respond “Hello“. I suggest they look at each other and not at me. It goes on like as follows, although we start from the beginning each time they don’t respond with one voice. Robot voices can be optional and also any robotic movements, if you want to add another dimension with younger ones.
- How are you?
- What day is it today?
- What month is it?
- What year is it?
- Is it raining?
- What day is it tomorrow?
- Who’s your favourite teacher?
- Mrs Léger. [that’s me]
You could use the same questions or change them as appropriate for your class. Because we repeat the same questions in the same order each time we start again, the students get better at it each time and I think they feel more confident in answering. By the end of the warmer, they should be focused, and ready to listen to each other and continue with the rest of the lesson. They should also all have smiles on their faces. It seems like a fun way to start a lesson!
The News Game : a series of images to inspire the pupils to start speaking continuously. Each image corresponds to a category :
the date / the time / the weather / who is present and who is absent / what we did last lesson / what happened in the news in recent days OR what did you watch on TV last night / one piece of information from your life – an event, a piece of news, something you want to share with the group.
When all these categories are put together, we arrive at a PPC of several minutes without a script and as the students get more confident, the PPC gets longer.