Warm-up - Games for ESL Kids

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Warm-up - Games for ESL Kids


MarchGood at the beginning of class to wake everyone up! Call out commands such as: Attention, salute, march in place...stop, sit down, stand up, walk in a circle, clap your hands...stop, run in place...stop, jumping jacks...stop, swim in place....stop, etc. At first students will copy you but later they should be able to do the commands without you. (Submitted by Tania Bibbo).


Star JumpThis one is great for over excited Ss who need to burn off a bit of energy.  It's also good for classroom commands and numbers.  Stand the students in a line and call out instructions: "Jump 10 times", "Turn around 4 times" etc.  Other good ones to use are: run (on the spot), hop, hands up & down, touch your (body part), stand up & sit down and star jump.


Knock knockThis can be used at the beginning of each class.  Teach the Ss to knock on the door before entering the classroom.  There are 2 variations for the next step: 1.  When the S knocks, T says "Who's there?".  The S replies "It's (Koji)" and then the T says "Come in (Koji)".  2.  When the S knocks the T must guess who it is "Is that (Koji)?".  The S replies yes or no - if no, the T continues guessing.  Having your Ss develop their own knocking styles makes this even more fun.

Sit downName Game

Good for a first class.  Sit the Ss in a circle.  Point to yourself and say your name "I'm Jason".  Then Ss say their names around the circle.

Name Memorizing Game

MemorizeHave children sit in a circle. Start by saying "my name is.." and then answer a question about yourself. For example "My name is Jo and I like the color Purple." The next person says "This is Jo and he likes the color purple and my name is Rose and I am 8 years old." The next person says "That is Jo he likes Purple, this is Rose and she is 8 and I am Jeremy and I like the color blue." It's a chain and the kids have to repeat what the last people have said about themselves. It's really hard to be the last person in the circle! (Submitted by Danielle)

Puppet Conversation

PuppetHand puppets really liven up a classroom, especially for young learners who are shy when talking to the T.  You'll probably find that some Ss prefer talking to the puppet than to you!  Fun puppet characters (such as Sesame Street's Cookie Monster) that talk to Ss can produce unexpected results.  I always use Cookie Monster at the beginning of my young classes.  Here's what I do: 1. Cookie Monster is sleeping in a bag.  Each S has to shout "Wake up Cookie Monster!" into the bag.  Cookie Monster only wakes up when the whole class shout together into the bag.  2.  Cookie Monster says hello to each S and asks them questions (their names, how they are, how old they are, etc.).  Ss reply and asks Cookie Monster the same questions.  3.  Ss and Cookie Monster sing the 'Hello Song' together.  4.  Cookie Monster says goodbye to each S individually and then goes back to sleep in the bag.  The actual lesson can now start.

Spin the Bottle

BottleSit Ss in a circle with a bottle in the middle.  T Spins the bottle.  When it stops spinning the S it is pointing to has to answer a question.  If the answer is correct then that S can spin the bottle.  This is a good class warm up activity (e.g. What did you do last weekend? Did it rain yesterday? What did you have for breakfast this morning?).

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