These warmers all use one word or words as a starting point to the lesson.


This is one of the most traditional and oldest warmers in the book. Decide on a word that is the topic of your lesson (e.g. school) and play hangman with the students. To vary it a little, you can change the picture. Try playing Crocodile, where you draw a man and then a crocodile little by little next to him with its jaws wide open.

Anagram game

Draw a circle on the board and write letters to the topic word for your class inside the circle, but all jumbled up. For example: A O I D E C T U N. Ask students to write as many words as they can in two minutes using the letters in the circle. When they have finished, feedback and ask if anybody got a word using all the letters. Then tell them what word you had written on the board (note: in this example it is EDUCATION).

Secret word

Tell the students that you have a puzzle for them. You are thinking of a word, and you are going to give them clues one at a time for that word. When they think they know the word they should write it down. An example of clues for a topic-based lesson on school would be:

1. It is a place.

2. Almost everybody goes there when they are young.

3. Some people like it and others hate it.

4. Teachers work there.

Collocate me

Collocations are words that go together. Write a series of collocations on the board, but separate them into two columns. Ask the students to match the words that go together and then identify the topic of the lesson. For example: 

do languages
text homework
final book
study exam





Word classes dictation

Write on the board NOUN, VERB, ADJECTIVE in three columns and ask students to copy it into their notebooks. Then dictate a series of words about the topic of your class. Students must write the words in the correct column.