The Warm Up Game‏‎

Lesson Plans & Activities

Female dancer stretching to warm up.The Warm Up Game can be used to literally warm up the class and is ideal for teaching new vocabulary, especially to younger students. An added bonus is that it gets the children going first thing in the morning and wears them out a little!

How to Play

It’s a simple game and perfect for a few minutes at the start of each class. The game is based on TPR or Total Physical Response in that the students are learning English whilst engaged in another activity.

The first time you play, start with a few simple commands given to the class which they must obey:

Stand up!
Sit down!
Turn around!
Watch TV!

Once the students are happy with these commands (maybe after a couple of lessons) move on with these:

Boys stand up!
Girls sleep!
Everyone here!

Of course you need to add a few “mistakes” to catch students out:

No one sleep!
Girls stand up! [when the girls are already standing up]

Again, as the students become used to the commands then expand them:

Everyone shake!
Boys go dancing!
Girls put on make-up!
Everyone bake a cake!


There are variations on this, of course. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a set of commands printed on laminated paper, one student at a time picks a command and shouts it to the rest of the class.
  • Or the student has to perform that command and the rest of the class has to say what it is.
  • Students make up their own commands to add to the list.
  • Get the commands to be famous people: Everyone is James Bond! (Again, this can be quite good if the class has to guess who the student is being!)

Useful Links

TPR – Total Physical Response‏‎ in English Language Teaching – a look at this teaching method and the basic technique.

Image © KMo Foto

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