Ready, steady, go - the power of warm-ups

Exam topics

This post is useful for the end-of-year lessons. If you want to revise exam vocabulary with your students, it’s enough to pick a topic using the wheel and/or one of the ideas below to have a nice warm-up or even the whole lesson. Not only will your students have to be really creative but they will also revise exam vocabulary in context and develop their speaking and writing skills.

  • Challenging writing – students work in groups. Each group gets a different topic (for example group A: Health and group B: Crime). They write down 8-10 words connected with their topics. Then we give them a writing task on a totally different topic (for example Nature) and they have to write it using all their 8-10 words. Follow-up: peer correction and identifying 8-10 words.
  • Chain stories – students work in pairs or groups. Each pair gets a different topic and writes a few words connected with their topic. Then one pair starts a story in which they use one of their words, the next pair has to continue using their word, then the other pair does the same. We can repeat it depending on how many students we have in each group or how much time we have left.
  • Small talks – I ask my students to prepare 1-2-sentence conversation starters on all exam topics. Next lesson each student picks a different exam topic. Then students work in pairs (for example student A gets Sport and student B gets House). Then I give them a conversation starter on a totally different topic (for example Culture) and they have to make a dialogue trying to change the topic into theirs in a natural way. If one of them succeeds in doing it quite quickly, they other student has to try to change it into his. I set a time limit of usually 3-5 minutes. So the students have to continue till the time is up.
  • For other ideas see the ‘Secret word’ post.
Vocabulary with a twist

Secret word

This is a vocabulary revision game for E8 and other intermediate students. Let your students try their hand in the ‘Secret word’ alphabet game. The game is obviously just a starting point. After playing the game I suggest one or two of the following follow-up tasks:

  • Give your students 2-3 minutes. They must add one more word to as many letters as possible.
  • Choose one letter. Give your students 2-3 minutes. They must write down as many words as possible beginning with this letter.
  • Ask your students to give the definitions of the words which were not the correct answers in the game.
  • Some of the words which were not the correct answers actually are fake words, they do not exist. Ask your students to identify them and then to give them meaning and write definitions.
  • Ask your students to make stories in pairs or small groups in which they’d use the ‘fake words’ in the ‘new meaning’. It will be the other group’s task to deduce the meaning of the fake words from the context.
  • Give your students one exam topic, for example, School, Social Life or Sport and 2-3 minutes to write as many words beginning with a chosen letter as possible.
  • Give your students one exam topic, for example, Work, Food or Culture and 2-3 minutes to write as many words each beginning with a different letter as possible.
  • Give your students a few exam topics, for example, Health, Nature, House, Man, Shopping, Crime and Science. Choose one letter. Let the students write one word in each category beginning with this letter.

Grab it, teach it - ready lessons


This is a ready lesson on Mindfulness. All you need to do is click on the link in the shop and use the presentation in class. The students will discuss mindfulness, do the reading task, enrich their vocabulary, involve all their senses. There are also 3 videos recommended which you can use as an idea of a flipped lesson, do in class or set as homework. This is not an easy lesson but my students enjoyed it a lot. I do hope yours will do as well.

Ready, steady, go - the power of warm-ups

A picture is worth a thousand words

I personally hate questions such as: ‘How did you spend your last weekend?’, “What interesting did you do yesterday?’. But we need to practice past tenses with our students. This exercise is ideal for a warm-up. Ask your students to choose one famous character (real or fictional) and a picture that would illustrate the way the character could spend their last weekend. Students work in pairs. One is a famous person, the other a journalist who has to learn as much as possible about the celebrity’s weekend. They talk. Then the journalists share the most interesting facts about their celebrities with the rest of the class.


Drop Everything And… Teach

Hi English Teachers, great to see you here!

My name is Kinga and this is my blog for all the great teachers of teens and adults who also believe that ‘sharing is caring’. I’m going to share a couple of teaching ideas and materials with you every now and then. I’d appreciate all your comments and opinions. I do hope you’ll have as much fun using those materials in class as I usually have.

So why don’t you just Drop Everything And… Teach?

Vocabulary with a twist

Work: I have… Who has…?

I guess everyone knows the game ‘I have… Who has…?’ This one is useful if you want to revise Work vocabulary with your 8th Grade Students. Ideal as a warm-up or an end of lesson activity. Here is the link for you: