Have I got a great one for you today! I was actually surprised at how successful this one was yesterday – with both my teens and my adults. It’s very simple and it comes from my new favourite warmer resource: this improv comedy site (where they call it Pass Ball). You could use it before any topic, but it’s especially good if you’re talking about sport.
It’s very simple. The students and you stand up in a circle. Hold something round and invisible in your hands and elicit that it’s a ball. Then throw it to someone and tell them to “Catch!” And they will do it! They pass the ball around the circle and then at some point you tell them or show them that the ball is now really heavy; now light, like a balloon; now huge; now teeny-weeny.
This worked well to energise and focus the students and I think once they’d made a fool of themselves throwing an imaginary ball, some of them felt more comfortable speaking English in class. My post-prandial teenage snoozer only zoned out once during yesterday’s class and the adults were the best actors of the lot!
I followed this up with the question “What sports did that game make you think of?” and led into a sports vocab brainstorm.