Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №10/2010

Jazz Up Your Lesson

Here are some more useful games to warm-up your class. Hope you and your class will enjoy them!


Practises: speaking, present simple

A student describes a typical day. This can be his/her own day, or that of a filmstar, famous politician, friend etc. This activity is good for all levels, especially beginners. Lots of present simple constructions: “I get up at midday. My hairdresser arrives at 2 p.m.” After you have played this game once, you may also distribute the special cards with some specific people (their names, or just occupations) so that in class or at home students will prepare a story about this person’s typical day. This is also a great way of training some new vocabulary and writing vocabulary stories.

Possible unusual people:Possible occupations:
1. President Medvedev1. A chef of a fancy restaurant
2. Captain Cook2. A zoo-keeper
3. Queen of Beauty3. A movie-star
4. Bill Gates4. A homeless person
5. Dima Bilan5. A director of a clothes shop
6. Victoria Beckham6. A supermodel
7. Michael Schumacher7. A lion-tamer
8. Queen Elizabeth II8. A house wife


Divide a lined piece of paper into 4 columns like this:



In the first column, insert random letters chosen by the students, like this:



Now fold the edge of the paper over so that the students cannot see the letters. In the second column, insert the same amount of nouns, again chosen by the students, like this:



Make sure the students understand it is important that the nouns begin on the same line as the first letter. The students now have to think of an answer for each noun that begins with the adjacent letter, like this:



The game finishes when the students have completed all the answers or as many as they can. In the event they cannot finish, a time limit must be imposed. Scoring is as follows:

• no answer: 0 points

• same answer as another student: 1 point

• an answer nobody else has: 2 points

Scores are written into the end column on the sheet, like this:



The scores are then totalled up and the winner is the one with the most points. The length of the game can be extended or shortened by using more or less letters and nouns.


This simple activity practises vocabulary and to some extent speaking. Make a list of 4 or 5 words, all but one of which have something in common. Ask the students to find the “odd-one-out”.

Don’t be surprised if they come up with some unusual answers. Just ask them to justify their choice. You may well find it logical. For example:

• dog, cat, donkey, dragon

The answer could be dragon (because it is the only mythical creature) or cat (because all the other words start with “d”).

Ideally, the students should phrase their justification in a form such as:

• I think the odd-one-out is dragon because it is a mythical creature and all the others are real creatures.

Here are some suggested words. You can easily create more. And one good exercise is to ask your students to create some lists (along with valid justifications).

Words:Some possible answers:
banana, tomato, peach, apple, pearbanana – shape
Thailand, Singapore, Tokyo, England, VietnamTokyo – city, not country

England – not in Asia

car, aeroplane, truck, bus, trainaeroplane – flies

truck – not for passengers

train – guided by rails

camera, computer, television, telephone, fax-machinecamera – doesn’t need electricity

television – 4 syllables

love, hatred, fear, greed, angerlove – positive

greed – not an emotion

hotel, motel, town-house, condominium, classroomcondominium – 5 syllables

classroom – not for residence

water, bottle, shop, pencil, riverwater – uncountable noun
branch, strawberry, anvil, iceberg, boatanvil – doesn’t float in water

Compiled by Alyona Pavlova ,
Moscow State University for Printing Arts