What kind of warmers do you use with your students?

Watch Andy's ideas and leave your suggestions for warmers below.

If this video is not available for viewing in your location, please click here


Submitted by R3 on Mon, 11/15/2010 - 16:13


Thank you!

In particular, I'm looking forward to trying out:

  • Fizz, Boing, Bounce
  • Buzz



Submitted by annFor on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 08:31


All are really good practical ideas for keeping your students engaged and changing the pace of your class. Really enjoyed too having a chance to see how the group of students reponded to each game.


Thank you.

board race

Divide the class into 2 teams (if you have too many students in each team, 6 is perhaps the maximum), the other teams can have a turn later.

Divide the board into 4 sections with one vertical and one horzontal line.

Write the same vocabulary you want on focus on in the 2 bottom sections of the board i.e. so the same words are duplicated.

One member from each team comes to the board. The left side of the board belongs to one team, the right to the other.

You give them clues to identify one of the words written on the board: by giving it's opposite, giving a situation when it's used, giving its definition.

Members of the same team can help the person at the board to guess the word.

The first person to write the right word in the top section of the board (or if you have an Interactive Whiteboard, to move it there) wins 1 point.

The team with the most points wins.

Submitted by KaraAharon on Wed, 11/17/2010 - 23:41


Here's another idea:

Start with a sentence such as "I am going to the moon/When I go to the moon/I will go to the moon/a party/a desert island and I will bring..... (adjust sentence according to your lesson plan and tenses they've learned).

In order to join you on the trip, each pupil must bring something that fits the rule you've chosen, except that you don't tell them what the rule is - they have to figure it out. Some examples - a word beginning with the same letter as each person's first name, a word beginning with the last letter of the previous word, words that contain double letters, etc. The game continues until each pupil has found at least one object that he/she can bring.


Submitted by Augun on Thu, 11/18/2010 - 19:01



Great ideas for warmers are here.I liked Change places (full of fun) game and Fortunately,Unfortunately  speaking activity.Fizz ..bounce is also interesting.I'll practice the activities out with my classes.Thank you for this video material. 

Submitted by Nidia Tapia on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 17:29


I used buzz as a warmer, I had good results. I´d try to use the others because they´re great. I´m sure my students will like them.

Submitted by anindita sengupta on Sat, 11/20/2010 - 14:41


A game or a casual conversation can always act as a good warmer, both with kids and high school students.

Submitted by samzz on Thu, 11/25/2010 - 20:16



I really liked the ideas, infuse some energy in the students. In fact it really works.

Here is another idea like creating a word ladder if you have a white board or flip-chart.  Start with any word and then let each student make a word with the last alphabet of the previous word. Make it challenging by sharing the word immediately without a pause. Children usually love it even elders too.

Submitted by ehrcic on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 07:10

In reply to by samzz



I really love to start my lessons with warmers in classes with younger children. But do you have any ideas to start with children at the age of 13-16; I have never had the courage to start there with a warmer as I am afraid I loose all control about my students - at that age they are just toooooooo funny!

Submitted by samzz on Fri, 12/03/2010 - 14:13

In reply to by ehrcic



Kids at any age are willing to dwell into some activity. May it be an intriguing word puzzle or generating a poem through a word game. I tried some brain teasers as a Morning challenge, worked like anything. Class discipline is never lost :)

Submitted by Southentrance on Wed, 04/20/2011 - 19:15

In reply to by samzz


Thank you for your great ideas :)

Submitted by Sybil1963 on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 06:53

In reply to by samzz


creating a word ladder is an excellent idea, i will definitely try it with my class. Well a correction if you dont mind. All 26 letters a-z is called an alphabet, if they are singled out then they are called letters of the alphabet.

Submitted by Sheila C on Tue, 12/28/2010 - 16:07


Really liked all of them!!!

I think even adults will enjoy!!!

First class warmer: 

Box of matches - presentation

Students need to strike a match and talk about them to other students  as much as they can until the match goes off or it burns their fingers. Other students can make questions, too!!!

Do this until all students have done their presentation.

Submitted by natamgeladze on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 08:35

In reply to by Sheila C


Thanks Sheila for sharing. It can be adapted in various ways I think. I will use it for revision as well.


Submitted by Emodi on Tue, 01/04/2011 - 07:17


It was very funny watching the video and it was useful too.

Thanks for the ideas. I will use some of them in my lessons.

Submitted by DawnD on Wed, 01/19/2011 - 17:06


Thank you for a great video!
I use vocabulary review warmers. I write the vocabulary from the previous lesson(s) on small pieces of paper and have my students to pull one out of a bag. Then, they either
- explain it (taboo game)
- draw it (with pre-set time limit)
- mime it
- organize it (into given groups)
- find a partner (with a synonym, antonym, taboo game)
These can be done as group work or pair work, depending on the size of the class. I encourage students to move around the classroom freely and acknowledge the completion of their task.
Let me know what you think of it.
Thanks Daniela

Great, Daniela!

I'll use it with my little pupils. They are at age of 10. By the end of the term they are usually tired and I think your exercise will help them learn new words with enthusiasm.

Submitted by natamgeladze on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 08:32


Thanks a lot for filming what you do. The ideas are good and useful . Going to try them myself.

Submitted by genciago on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 21:18



Now I realized why warmers are essential, the secret of what to include in them,  gave me a better understanding.

Thank you

Submitted by Gulshan Huseynli on Mon, 05/02/2011 - 12:57


 All of them ar good warmers but I mostly like Fortunately and unfortunately.

Submitted by shilpadub on Thu, 07/14/2011 - 07:28



I tried Fizz, Boing, Bounce in my session today and the level of energy generated in the class was hysterical! Totally worth it.

Submitted by adwa on Sat, 10/01/2011 - 10:22


I like these warmers. They're fun. However, I can't use them with my students because of the classroom layout. We work in classrooms with a traditional layout. There are 4 rows. In each row, there are about 6 two-seat desks and the desks are heavy and quite difficult to move around.

Submitted by Sally Trowbridge (not verified) on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 09:32

In reply to by adwa



With a traditional classroom layout perhaps you could try asking students to stand in a circle either at the front of the class or around the desks for some of these warmers. Another idea is to use a zig-zag formation, so that students take turns to speak from their desks. There’s more on classroom layout in this article: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/classroom-layout.


Submitted by OksanochkaD on Fri, 09/14/2012 - 04:00


Thank you for the great ideas you shared. My favourite is Fortunately/Unfortunately, as I can use it in my private lessons. Are there any warmers that can be used in one-on-one lessons? Almost everything I find is for a group of students.

Submitted by Nalleli Lawrence on Thu, 07/11/2013 - 20:22


 I have really enjoy seen this alive demostration, I can see the students are really enjoyig it, there is a combination of funess and willingness to work. I look forward to using similar ideas!  

Submitted by Anna Louise Bennett on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 11:23


Something that works well with my learners is to put them into groups of 3, and ask them to think of as many things as they can that are: round, rectangular, made of glass, made of wood etc... Timing them and having a 'winning team' adds incentive.

Hello Katrasca Thanks for your comment - if you are new to teaching, don't worry - we have lots of resources on the site to help you. Why don't you take a look at our Teacher Development section - https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/teacher-development You can find lots of tips, activities and ideas there. You could also take one of our training courses or watch some of the webinars and talks on our site. You can find out more here https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/training-courses I hope you find the site useful, and good luck with your teaching, Best wishes Cath TE Team

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.