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ARM exercises - speaking activity to wake up a sleepy class

Average: 3.8 (69 votes)

This is a great way to start a lesson with a free-speaking activity. I call it ‘ARM exercises’ which is simply short for Accept, Reject or Modify statements.

Gillie Cunningham

Choose a controversial statement. For example:-

  • ‘Women are the best drivers.’
  • ‘Mobile phones should be banned from public spaces.’ 
  • ‘Homework should be optional.’
  • ‘Burgers are better than pizzas.’

Either dictate or write the statement on the board. Students decide if they accept, reject or modify this statement, according to their personal opinion. When they have made their decision, you would then say ‘OK go round the room and try to find somebody who has the opposite opinion to you’ or ‘OK go round the room and find someone who has a similar opinion’. Alternatively, they could mingle in the class to find the range of opinions, like a small survey – how many students accepted, rejected, or modified the statement.

This activity can really stimulate discussion and the focus is very much on the students rather than the teacher.

To round off the activity, finish with a short whole-class feedback stage.

Language level
Language Level: 
Intermediate: B1

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