This is a quick, no-prep warmer which can really help students to settle in to class and concentrate. I have a class of adult FCE students who find listening exercises quite difficult. Added to that, their class is at the end of the day so they’re often quite tired. I decided to find a warmer that would both prepare them for a listening task and incorporate the topic of the listening in the book: robots. Some time ago I’d stumbled across just such an activity on improvencyclopedia.com (where it’s called One Mouth) and been longing for an opportunity to use it and now the time had finally come!
I told the students we were playing a game where they were my robot students and when I talked to them, they had to answer me altogether, as if they just had one brain and one voice. I said “Hello,” and they responded “Hello“. It actually took them a couple of goes to get listen to each other and answer simultaneously. There were giggles when they got it wrong, and I suggested they looked at each other and not at me. It went on like as follows, although we started from the beginning each time they didn’t respond with one voice.
- How are you?
- What day is it today?
- What month is it?
- What year is it?
- Is it raining?
- What day is it tomorrow?
- Who’s your favourite teacher?
- Emma. [that’s me]
You could use the same questions or change them as appropriate for your class. Because we repeated the same questions in the same order each time we started again, the students got better at it each time and I think they felt more confident in answering. By the end of the warmer, they were focused, and ready to listen to each other and the listening exercise. They also all had smiles on their faces. It felt like a good way to start a lesson!
This activity also went down well with my teenage FCE class. I haven’t tried it with lower levels, although I think it could be done. What do you think? Let me know if you try it!