Number one for English language teachers

Pictures: Picture warmers

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

Four short warmer activities using pictures to start off the lesson.

What do you see?

Bring a picture of something related to the topic of the lesson (for example a picture of a classroom full of students). Show it to the students for five seconds and ask them to describe it to each other afterwards. Feedback on what they saw. Then begin your lesson.

Same but different pictures

Bring in a series of pictures all related to the topic of your lesson. Give each student a picture. They must circulate and describe what is on their picture to others in the class without showing their picture. When everyone has shown each other their pictures ask them to sit down again and tell you what they remember. Ask them what all the pictures have in common.

Into focus

This warmer works best if you can put a blurry image of your picture on the board. Ask students to speculate on what the picture is. Bring it slowly into focus, pausing from time to time and asking students if they have any more speculations.

Collaborative picture dictation

Begin a drawing on the board of something related to your topic, e.g. a teacher. Ask individual students to come up and add things to the picture (desks, students, a window, the teacher is writing on the board…) until you build up a complete picture of something related to the topic of your class.  

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