Before, during or at the end of the class, you name it! Students will always be up for a break whenever they get the chance to. Whether you are someone who teaches youngsters or adults, you really have to find ways to liven up the classroom and the students as well. Especially if you are dealing with a “tough crowd”.
Warm up activities, games and other creative ways to enhance their learning are truly welcomed in every classroom. Having prepared the daily or weekly plan, can always help you as a teacher to run the lessons smoothly, have everything under control and you`ll have their attention throughout the hours that they will be with you. Here are some creative and fun activities to do with your students to break the ice or just warm them up a bit.
This game will not only enrich their vocabulary, it will also help learners of all ages have a bit of fun while learning. As a teacher myself, primary schoolers get quite creative. Teenagers?! Well, they feel like they are not actually learning anything and that’s the reason why they love it. (Oh, if only they knew that they are learning as they are playing). For the adults, this activity is some sort of an escape from their everyday life, and having the opportunity to chill and learn at the same time.
How to play Pictionary? Write a bunch of words and put them on a plate or a vase. You need to split the class into teams and divide the board based on how many teams you have created in the class (ideally two or three). One of the team members has to pick a word from that vase and draw the word as a picture. The team has to guess what the word is and the first team to answer correctly gets a point. Make sure every student gets to draw on the board since everyone should be and feel part of the game. Here’s a link with all the details on how to play this game with your students.
Whenever I ask my students what they would like to play, this game always manages to cheer them up the most. It is a great activity for all ages and class levels, as students are able to practice their listening skills and speaking.
How to play: Two teams, or more if you have more students. One student sits on the “hot seat” and faces the classroom. Behind the student will be the board with a word written on it. One of their team members must help the student to guess the word by describing it. Make sure you have words equally for each time and each student. Everyone should try the hot seat.
Call my bluff / Two truths and a lie
If you are a new teacher or if you are just getting to know your students, then this icebreaker is the right one for you. It helps their speaking and listening skills. Note: It is important for this game to create a safe space for your students to make mistakes and not feel bad about it.
How to play it: As the teacher that you are, you do the first trial. Write three statements about you on the board. One of them has to be true and the other two should be lies. The students have to guess which one is the truth, by asking questions. The ones that find out which sentence is the truth, they win. Don`t forget to give students some time to write their own truths and lies, before they write them on the board. Spare 10 minutes at the end of the lesson, just to reflect on the activity, what they did wrong and what they did right. Here’s a link to help you out on how to play this game with your students:
The classic Simon says
This is the game where the teacher is the “silly person” in the class. The sillier you get, the more children will love it. This is a great game for young learners. Especially if you are trying to wake them up a bit on a sleepy day or if you want to send them home with a smile on their face (and red cheeks) on a Friday. The thing is, they`ll want to play this game everyday. Trust me, been there done that! Make sure to have different or a variety of activities or games for them. This will keep them excited each day they have lessons.
How to play: The teacher stands in front of the class (you are Simon for as long as you play the game). While you say the actions out loud, you also need to act them out. The trick is, you do the actions only when you start your sentence with “Simon says”. E.g. Simon says clap. Everyone should clap. The teacher needs to get the students to do the action without actually saying Simon says. If the teacher says sit on your knees, and the students sit, then they are out of the game. Below, you`ll find a list of ideas on what you can say while playing this game.
Here’s a link to help you on playing this game.
Where Shall I Go?
Looking to practice those prepositions that you learned the other day? Say no more! This game is truly brilliant and fun for all ages and levels. Especially since it’s played blindfolded. But please, you, the teacher reading this, make sure to have your eyes open while they are blindfolded. Who knows where they will end up!
How to play?
Before I tell you the steps on playing this game, it would be a great idea if you would play this in the school garden. If you cannot, then get ready physically to push those desks and chairs in the class. Rearrange your classroom by turning it into a maze. Do that before the students arrive (if you don’t want any mess). When they arrive, put them in pairs outside your classroom and blindfold one student from each pair. When they are allowed to enter the class, their partner in crime (another student from their team) should lead them by giving directions on where they should put their next step and this way to also end the maze without any problems.
These are just some of the famous games and activities that are known to please and teach students of any age. Bear in mind that you need to keep your students happy and engaged while they learn. And if at some point you get stuck, you haven’t thought of any game or activity to do in your classroom with your students, no worries. You will eventually make up your own, I mean you are a teacher with “magical powers” right?!
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