12 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Warm-Up Activities (they are more than just fun & games!)

Do you use warm-up activities before you start teaching? Warm-up activities are more than just “fun and games”! My most popular download is my free Top 20 Warm-up Activities so many teachers are interested in using warmers as part of their lesson.

https://patrice-palmer.mykajabi.com/products/top-20-warm-up-activities-for-esl-efl-teachers (Vol 1).

Here are some comments from teachers who have downloaded this FREE resource:

Thank you so much !! They are great to use in my class and very creative! :) Gabriela

Thank you for sharing. It means a lot when an ESL/EFL teacher is willing to share ideas. These especially help new teachers and those who have exhausted ideas or keep repeating the same activities over and over again. Rashida

Thank you for sharing this material. Amazing. I really appreciate it. Andriati

This is EXACTLY what I need! Thank you so much Patrice! I am so impressed with this resource!!! Adrienne

What is a Warm-up Activity?

A warm-up activity is a quick activity (usually 5 minutes) used at the beginning of a lesson (a warmer), in the middle to boost energy (a filler), and/or at the end (an ender).

There are many reasons to use Warm-up Activities. Here are my top 12 reasons why teachers should use warm-up activities as effective teaching and learning tools:

A Warm-up activity

1. is a great way to introduce a topic

2. motivates Ss to arrive on time

3. gets Ss’ attention

4. boosts Ss’ energy

5. helps Ss make the transition from L1 outside the classroom to English inside the classroom

6. helps Ss learn English without knowing it

7. creates an interest in learning

8. encourages collaborative learning (pair/team/groups)

9. recycles language from other lessons

10. is fun and creates laughter (this helps students relax and feel good!)*

11. fosters a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning

12. enhances creativity

Here are some things to remember:

  • Warm-up activities are used by teachers as good teaching and learning tools
  • ESL/EFL teachers are busy people so warmers so require little preparation.
  • Get your students involved! They can plan and deliver the warm-up activities. I did this with my TESL students. With 30 in the class, I was able to sit back and enjoy their warmers PLUS added many to my own list.
  • Use a variety of activities to keep up students’ interest (even the most fun activity in the beginning can become boring if over-used).
  • Find a way to organize your warm-ups. Some teachers download everything on a USB stick. I used recipe/index cards in my early teaching days.
  • Share warm-ups with other teachers to increase the number of warmers that you know.

Warm-up activities are not just fun and games! If you have a great warm-up that you would like to share for my Top 20 Warm-Up Activities (Vol. 2) which is in the works, please email at teslinstructor@gmail.com

For more warm-up activities, check out these resources:




I recently made a Screencast of a workshop on Warm-up Activities:


*If you are interested in reading more about the benefits of laughter, click on the link below:


Patrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A. TESL has 20 years’ experience as an ESL Teacher, TESL Trainer, and Curriculum Writer in Canada including 7 years in Hong Kong. Patrice has taught students from 8 to 80 years in a variety of programs such as ESP, EAP, Business English, and language programs for new immigrants in Canada. Patrice now works as a teacherpreneur doing the things that she loves such as writing courses, sharing teaching materials, instructional coaching and travelling at any time of the year to conduct short-term training around the world. For free teaching resources, visit https://patrice-palmer.mykajabi.com