This warmer involves students ranking their favourite and least favourite pictures.


This warmer can be used with pre-intermediate students however it is better with students at intermediate level above as they have a wider range of vocabulary with which to describe the pictures.


A range of postcards/pictures of works of art. Some blu-tac. The more varied the pictures the better - include some very modern pieces, some classical, some cartoons and some photographs. Stick the pictures up around the room lettered or numbered differently.


  • In pairs the students walk around the room and rank the pictures according to their favourite and least favourite.
  • They should discuss with their partner why they like or dislike a painting and they should agree on the ranking of the picture.
  • This activity can be used to practise adjectives - you could give students adjectives that they then have to apply appropriately to the pictures.
  • At the end of the activity students feedback to the class their favourite and least favourite picture. You can do a class results table if you like.
  • If students do not have enough language for this you could give them titles / dates/ country of origins of the paintings and they have to guess which one matches up with each picture.

Follow on

  • Another activity that can be a follow-on or a lead-in for a creative writing session is to give each student a different letter corresponding to the pictures on the wall.
  • Students then write a short description of their picture and hand the writing back to the teacher. The teacher hands out the descriptions to different students and the students have to guess which picture the description corresponds to.
  • This can then lead to the students writing a piece of creative writing inspired by the picture.
  • When I have done this activity with students the best reactions and most interesting have been generated by abstract art (they thought Joan Miro's paintings were done by children!), art from the same countries as students and also paintings of the town / city where the students school is.