Published in e-newsletter hyphen in May 2004.
‘Classroom warmers to stimulate interest’
Whatever the level and the lesson, it is always a great idea to start off the new academic year with a couple of warm-up activities to get the students to meet new class members (and perhaps, you as a new class teacher, too!), and to get them to communicate in English straight from the first lesson. It will also help break the ice after such a long break and of course, remind everyone how fun it is to learn English!
So, why don’t you try this few ideas, for a fun start to the lesson?
What do you know about me?
Chances are you’re a new teacher for one or some classes in the school. Teachers tend to start off the lesson in a new class by asking students about them, their family and interests. Students, on the other hand, never get to know as much about you! Give them a chance to get to know you just a bit better …
Write a list of ten things about yourself on the board some of which are true and some false. Make sure that the true ones are as unusual as possible. The students discuss the possible answers in groups and once they have come to a group decision about which are true and which are false the voting begins. To avoid cheating they write their answer on a piece of paper.
Nominate a student/representative from each group to come up to the board and mark with a tick or a cross all sentences. If the group gets one right they get two points. If they get it wrong they get a point deducted.
Alternatively, students ask you as many questions as they can about the statements. You answer as if they are all true. When they have asked as much as possible, they decide individually which are true and which are false. You give them the real answers – who got them all correct?
We Fit Together Perfectly
Use your class list to create a crossword puzzle filled in with all your students’ names. You can use first and last names, or shorten the puzzle by using only first names (and last initials, where necessary). Display the huge crossword puzzle in the classroom (or draw it on the board) under the headline ‘We Fit Together Perfectly.‘
Use all the information you have (or that your school / colleagues can provide you with) to create a clue for each student. Then, have students talk with one another to learn which student matches each clue — and how to spell each student’s name!
Starting the Year on the Right Foot
Have students trace their (right!) shoe on large pieces of colourful card, and cut out the shoe shape (or provide them with ready-made ‘feet’). Discuss your goals for the new academic year and write a personal goal for the year on your ‘foot. Help students write their own personal goals for the year on theirs. Students can decorate their shoes in unique ways (glitter etc.) at home, and you can display them on the classroom walls under the headline Starting the Year on the Right Foot!