A few, probably good ideas...

A few, probably good ideas.

During the school year teachers work very long hours. They run their lessons and what is more they very often replace other teachers who are absent. We all know that it is not an easy task. It happens that we do not know that class, sometimes students are unprepared, and sometimes so do we. It is good to have some short, nice and pleasant lessons prepared in order to use them in emergency situation. I have some ideas for you.

It is good to start the lesson with something they know and can do well. I suggest the game called “Fish and chips". On small pieces of paper write well known pairs of words, like fish and chips, bad and breakfast and cut them into two. Give each student one part and tell to find a student who has the other element. They can only ask questions in English. The winner is the person who first finds the second half.

The next thing you can do is to practice both grammar and vocabulary. Somebody writes five sentences about oneself on the board. Three of them should be true and two false. The students must ask as many questions about the sentences as it is possible. Answers can be only yes or no.

If you find your class very energetic you can introduce the more complex kind of “Simon says”. The rule is very simple. A teacher gives instructions to the class and they should follow only when it starts with words “Simon says”. Instructions can be either very simple or including more complex vocabulary”. It all depends on your imagination.

When you know the class a bit and you know they like stories and acting, present them the game “The moving story”. To start it you have to prepare a short narrative of about 20 sentences. It should include a lot of action, words describing atmosphere, adjectives. Show it to one group, give some time to prepare. After that, they must perform it without words to the rest of the class. The second group should tell you the story on the basis what they could see. The closest version to the origin, the better.

Sometimes it happens that you can’t come to an understanding with the class. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up. What can you do is some funny dictation, reading comprehension or just a simple discussion. For those kinds of lessons you have to be prepared and always have some texts close at hand. Here are some topics:

  • What would you do if you won $1000000?
  • The funniest event in your life
  • A trip around the world - places worth seeing.
  • Recently I have…..
  • I would never…..
  • If I were you I……
  • What did you do when you were 10?

And one more
game. Do you know “Noughts and Crosses”? Divide class into two groups.
Tell them to draw a grid on the board: 



Ask them questions about vocabulary from the previous lesson or the one they should know.

If the group
answers correctly they can draw X or O in the grid.

There are of course many other games and warmers you can carry out. Nevertheless, it is good to know some and be always prepared.

Good luck and many good ideas.