warm-up activities

hand holding a green and white flyswatter against a white background

This activity is a staff and volunteer favorite!


Purpose:  to help learners build their skimming and sight word recognition skills

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  two flyswatters


black chalkboard with the words what where how why when and who written on it with a question mark in the middle

Purpose:  to get learners comfortable with asking and answering basic conversation questions while building an awareness of wh- question words.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  Sets of Wh- Questions and answers cards, cut apart


hands holding a notebook and a pen

Purpose:  a fun and active way to talk about vocabulary.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  scratch paper


pile of coins

Purpose:  A fun and energetic game to practice counting coin amounts

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  sets of index cards with the words More, Less, and Same written on them (one word per card), a list of coin amounts


cards with numbers 1 through 12

Thanks to Megan Hallstrom for this activity idea!

Purpose:  To practice verbally reviewing numbers

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  cards with numbers written on them


silver whistle

Purpose:  A fun, energizing team game that develops listening for specific information skills

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Materials Needed:  Song, slips of paper with words from the song, tape


standing woman holding a hand to her ear

Purpose:  To encourage learners to practice listening to each other and recalling specific information

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None


  1. As a class, brainstorm a list of questions that learners can ask one another. Write the questions on the board. The questions should be personal questions on the topic that the class is currently studying.

Example: Weekly topic: Food and Shopping

two red dice with white numbers

Purpose:  A fun and upbeat game to review spelling, vocabulary, or reading questions

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  Dice, a list of questions or vocabulary words



Subscribe to RSS - warm-up activities