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Warm-up game needed!! 
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:14 pm
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Location: Adelaide Australia
Post Warm-up game needed!!
Hi! I'm looking for some warm-up games for a small class of girls from Japan. They are 2nd year high school but their level is really low. One girl has excellent English but the rest are at about 2nd year Junior High level. They are quiet and shy, and getting them to talk is like pulling teeth. :? I've played Shiritori, and other word games, but need some ideas for warm-ups, and I really need something fun and energising!!


Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:46 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:33 am
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Location: Niigata
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Because I'm lazy, I'm just going to post all the questions I wrote up today for an elective class I taught.

The basic of this game is to grab 4-6 English story books with lots of pictures and write up a ton of questions where they have to dig through the books looking for the answers. When I started the game, my girls freaked out cuz' the books were totally in English, but by the end of the game, they couldn't get enough. We went 5 minutes over classtime because they were so into it. Mixed into the list of questions, I hid other non-storybook questions, which you can read from the list below.

The handout I give the students is simply a list of numbers from 1-50 and when they complete a question, I sign next to the number. I allowed my students to choose the question number they fancied. This allowed them to travel all over the page so they weren't stumbling on each other's questions.


Books I used:
1. a phonics book - brown
2. JET Program manual - white
3. Planet Eigo - blue
4. Curious George - yellow

Here's a list of the questions I used:
1. Give me a pencil.
2. Give me 3 pens.
3. Give me a chair.
4. What is the first game on page 144 of the white book? (Spelling Bee)
5. What is the country on page 339 of the white book? (Israel)
6. What is the country on page 397 of the white book? (Romania)
7. What is the country on page 154 of the blue book? (charades)
8. Show me page 79 of the blue book.
9. Show me page 167 of the blue book.
10. Show me page 234 of the blue book.
11. Show me page 29 of the blue book.
12. Show me page 68 of the blue book.
13. Show me page 386 of the white book.
14. Show me page 220 of the white book.
15. Show me page 256 of the white book.
16. Show me page 24 of the white book.
17. Show me page 87 of the white book.
18. How many pages does the blue book have? (289)
19. How many pages does the white book have? (436)
20. How many pages does the brown book have? (237)
21. What is the name of the game on page 149 of the blue book? (What’s in a Name?)
22. What is the name of the game on page 116 of the blue book? (Holidays)
23. What is the name of the game on page 230 of the blue book? (Speedy Interview)
24. What is the name of the game on page 117 of the blue book? (J. League Soccer)
25. What is the name of the game on page 128 of the blue book? (Landmines)
26. Draw Mickey Mouse on the chalkboard.
27. Draw Anpanman on the chalkboard
28. What is the first word on page 234 of the brown book? (classroom)
29. What is the first word on page 38 of the brown book? (hug)
30. What is the fourth word on page 28 of the brown book? (page)
31. What is the first word on page 222 of the brown book? (his)
32. What is the thirteenth word on page 223 of the brown book? (now)
33. What is 125 x 24? (3,000)
34. How many pages does the yellow book have? (56)
35. What is the animal in the yellow book? (monkey)
36. What is the animal’s name in the yellow book? (George)
37. Where does the animal in the yellow book live? (Africa)
38. What color is the man’s hat in the yellow book? (yellow)
39. Who did the man call in the yellow book? Page 30 (the zoo)
40. Who did the animal call in the yellow book? Page 30&32 (firemen)
41. What are the colors of the balloons in the yellow book? Page 44 (blue, green, blue, yellow, red)
42. How many people are on page 37 of the yellow book? (13)
43. What is the fourth word on page 28 of the yellow book? (bed)
44. How many birds on page 15 of the yellow book? (2)
45. How many bananas on page 29 of the yellow book? (3)
46. Draw a monkey on the chalkboard.
47. How many firemen on page 35 of the yellow book? (19)
48. What 2 animals are on page 39 of the yellow book? (monkey and mouse)
49. How many balloons on page 47 of the yellow book? (13)
50. How many animals are on page 55 of the yellow book?

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:36 pm
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 9:43 am
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How about writing 'supercalafragilisticespialodocious'? Try to get them to repeat the word after you a few times. (this can be fun) Tell them a bit about the word (from a movie called Mary Poppins, not a real word) Then give them a blank sheet of paper each (recycle paper is good for this) and tell them to make as many words as possible (3 letters or more) using the letters in the word (set the timer). They can only use a letter if it is in the word and they can't use the same letter twice in one word if there aren't two of that letter (for example, there is only one 'f' so they can't write the word 'fluff'). When the time is up, collect one word from each student/group. (One point per word) When a student can't give a word, they are out but must try to write down the the other words students say (dictation) and they get 1 point for every 3 words they spell correctly (keeps them in the game.)


Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:51 am
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:27 pm
Posts: 191
Location: South Korea
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For that age group they are often shy to talk about hemselves but not so much about others, there fore you could break them, into pairs and have them interview their partners. afterwards they intoduce their partner to the class.

You can also have the pair stand up and the one student says this is my friend _________, then the other students ask him/her questions about their friend.

This gets the whole class invovled. If you just have them introduce the friend then if you want to make sure other students are lisening, you can ask someone from the audience what so and so's favorite food is or what did they did last weekend.

Another is to have each of them think of a yes/no question (Do you have a boy/girlfriend? ? Have you ever been to China? Do like playing soccer? and then they go around the class interviewing their classmates.

Afterwards they state their question and then how many people said yes and no.

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Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:16 pm
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MES-Fanatic!

Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:33 pm
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Location: nagano japan
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i am tired of the usual "what day is today" at the beginning of my classes, and i have 2 new students joining so what i am going to do for a nice warm up to introduce the girls to the class, which is scary for some kids as they are painfully shy, am gonna do the janken intro game, where you can either give them all 2-3 candies, or three plastic bears, or whatever, and have the students stand up and mingle, asking each other, whats your name? or anything really,,,,like "what did you do yesterday,,,or have you ever been to china, and after they reply to each others question or introduction they janken and the winner takes the losers candy,,or bear whatever you happen to use. good luck.


Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:10 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:20 pm
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It can be quite intimidating for students to introduce themselves to strangers in a foreign language (not to mention that they may have been asked to do this every time they started a new English course).....so.........why not start with something really easy?

I mainly teach kids from 5 to 10yrs old but have used this as a warm up for 20 year olds as well.

We have a deck of 34 cards (17 pairs) of colours. In a small group (2-5) deal out 3 to 5 cards each. Then the idea is to get as many pairs as you can. I get them to ask "(insert name here), do you have (insert colur here)?" the person they ask replies yes or no and hands the card over if they have it. (There is a name for this game but I don't know it.)

It's not difficult but it gives the students a chance to learn each other's names and get to know each other a little before they are asked to tell their life stories.

If you want to liven the game up a little, give the student the wrong card when asked or answer "YES, I have pink......HAIR!" Sounds stupid but it works for me here in Japan.

I guess my basic point is do something simple, let the students "play" together for a while before asking them to do self introductions.


Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:28 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:33 am
Posts: 289
Location: Niigata
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ematmos wrote:
(There is a name for this game but I don't know it.)


I think the name you are look for is "Go Fish"?

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:34 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:27 pm
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A fast warmup game I play is circle slaps. Clear off your table, and sit around it in a circle.

Place both of your hands on the table in front of you.

The first student or teacher starts the movement slapping the table with the Left hand then Right, then the next student counter clockwise does the same, and on and on around the table, creating a circle.

At the same time as the slap, the student must say something - for example, alphabet is easiest, so with one student they will say two letters.
Left Hand "A", Right hand "B"

If a mistake is made in either direction of slaps, or in what is being said, the person that made the mistake loses one hand from the table. If both hands are out, then they are out of the game. The last student to have a hand on the table wins.

This is level one.

Second level, is if a student slaps the table twice, the direction changes from counter clockwise, to clockwise.

Third Level, if you point to another student, then that student is next - remember to watch that the direction doesn't change.

For added levels of difficulty -

- make them use words instead of just the easy ABC eg. Apple, Ball, Cat

- Make the words topical like Foods, or Countries (note that some letters are very difficult if not impossible)

- Do the alphabet backwards

- make sure that they keep a certain rhythm.

- for a more complex idea, you can have different card sets on the table that answer the questions What, Where, When, Why, Who.
(e.g. classroom items, classrooms, morning afternoon evening, emotions, and jobs)
The first hand is effectively the answer to the person prior
eg LHand pencil, RHand Who
LH teacher, RH when
LH at night, RH Where
LH Music Room, RH What etc etc

There are many more variations if you think about it.
Hope this helps someone - my kids and adults all have fun with it. Try to keep it a little faster, or use easy review vocab. if a student takes too long you can always time him out.


Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:32 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:27 pm
Posts: 191
Location: South Korea
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Mojamoja,

I like that circle slap idea. Since we just finished our vacation, I wanted to review the material from last semester before introducing new stuff.

I wanted to use a new idea instead of all the games/activites from before and circle slap shall be it.

I've done other circle activities but I like the slapping the hands bit.

I'm going to use a timer as well. They enjoy trying to beat there time in the other circle games we play.

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Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:30 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:15 pm
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Post a warm-up
Here is a good warmup. Students get excited about the game. It's called "continue the story": you begin with 1 sentence using the words you want the children to recollect. A child continues it using the same word and his own. A second child makes up his continuation of the story with the word of the first child and his own. Words should be easy and well-known for them in order the game could be played in a quick temper. For example you may recollect verbs of motion or adjectives this way. still there can appear a certain problem : children may not know what to say and that's why for small and middle-class children this game is a bit varified: instead of the sentence a pupil adds a word:
-I am short
-I'm short. funny
-I'm short funny and plump.....
This game is a real fun for children!They try fo remember words!


Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:12 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
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Location: Tohoku Japan
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I like your idea Patrick (using the books, pages etc)


Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:22 am
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:33 am
Posts: 289
Location: Niigata
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Kiwione wrote:
I like your idea Patrick (using the books, pages etc)


Easy and hardly any prep required! :lol: My kind of activity. And, it let's the kids look into books completely written in English, but you are controlling the information they are going for so I think it gives them a certain level of 'safeness'.

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Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:34 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:10 am
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do tate/yoko.... Students stand up in orderly lines. Teachers ask questions. Students raise their hand teacher picks one. If the student answers correctly ask them Tate/Yoko (rows/colums) If the student says Tate then that student's row sits down. if the student says Yoko then that column sits down. The goal if for the student to sit down. The last group of students standing loses.


Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:33 am
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Location: nagano japan
Post warm up for new students
hi all, I will be teaching 8 kids today and some of them are trial students, and there are a few out going students and some who are really inward, i have been worrying as to how i can get them all to interact without being put on the spot with a self introduction, even i stammer in my japanese when i have to introduce myself, so i know how they feel.
I am thinking about kicking off the lesson with a secret code game, i will bring candy or chocolate and on each candy attach a post it with a code on it, with numbers which can be used for each letter of the alphabet such as A-1, B-2,C-3 and so on, i want to write a simple sentance, such as " whats your name? or "how old are you" "do you have a pet" only i will write it in numbers. Then put the candy in the centre of the table, ask each kid to take one and crack the code, writing each letter as they go along, then i will go around and help them say the sentance, Then am thinking about using the small town cards from there. This is a first attempt so dunno how it will go.


Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:36 am
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well, the secret code activity went well. It beats the usual "whats your name? scenario at the beginning of the lesson. what i did was, after they cracked the code and had written their sentance (question) onto paper, i played a game of abc-u are out, where everyone can say up to 3 letters sequently and the student who has to say U is out, so everyone points and says " You are out!" i then asked the question which was their code to the one who is out, and have them simply answere. This went really well.


Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:40 am
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