August 31, 2011

Warmers and Fillers - #Goal 2 - "Contribute to a Blog carnival"

I was intrigued with the idea of writing a blog about warmers and fillers to participate on
Eva Büyüksimkeşyan  24th Blog Carnival, which is actually my first one, and on the other hand, I will acomplish my first goal, Number 2  of  The 30 Goals Challange introduced by Shelly Terrell.

I wasn't thinking so much about warmers and fillers, but since spending a lot of time with my two sons while on holiday, I got some ideas that I will introduce to my students when we return from holidays.

 1. Who am I? What am I?
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So, as I mentioned, this is not originally my idea, but I got it while playing with my sons.
We like to play this board game "Pogodi što si/tko si" or known also as "Hedbanz",maybe, you have heard of it.  I find it very interesting as it is not just all fun, but very educational and practices logic, but it can also be used in the English class for practising of asking questions in Present Tenses and for learning vocabulary. 
My sons and I have been playing it in Croatian of course, but this can easily be brought into the language class.

What is it about?

- You need to have a set of cards with the names of the items students will have to guess!
- You put Ss into groups 3-4, depends on a class and a time you planned for this. 
- All of the students choose a card and without looking at it put a card on his/her forehead (in the original game each of the players wears a headbend where the card is placed so that everybody can see their card beside them). The items on a card in the original game are usually vegetables (cabbage,potatoe, brocoli..), fruit (apple, banana, orange...),vehicles (boat, car, bike...) animals (dog, cat, lion...), furniture(desk, chair, bed...), food (sandwich, spagetthi, pizza...), but you can put whatever vocabulary you want them to practice. 

Since there is a hedbenz for adults and if you are doing this with adults or teenagers you can put the names of famous people, movie characters, cartoon characters, singers... 

- Each of the players/students have about 60 seconds to ask as many questions as he/she can to discover what item or a picture he/she represents. (You can give more time if you want)
- The questions must start from general to specific. "Am I an object?" ,"What colour am I?
- The other Ss in a  group just answer „yes“ or „no“ at first and wait for their turn. Later they can answer with few words depending on a question. (see example questions)

Some more examples of general questions:Am I an animal/thing/food/vegetable/....?“ if, for example students gets an answer „yes“ for an animal, other possible questions can be:
                                                    „Do I have 4 legs/ do I have feathers or fur?
                                                      Am I a vegetarian, do I sleep in a barn?
                                                      Am I a wild animal....? Am I a dog?...
                                                    "Am I a cartoon character? Am I an animal cartoon?
                                                    Am I a hero? Do I save the world? Am I a boy or a girl?
                                                    Where do I live?, What do I like to eat.......?"

- After 60 seconds another student asks as many questions to try and guess his/her item.
The students who is the first to guess 3 items is a winner.

To make it more easier for the students you choose certain general vocabulary you want them to revise or practice. You can say: „you will have to guess which vegetable, food, fruit, furniture, cartoon character you are...?“

Then give them cards with either names of an item or even a picture if you find the time. 

Suggested age of the students who can play this game is from 6 to adults just be careful of the level of their knowledge of English. I would suggest this from pre-intremediate to intermediate.

2. Typical guessing game


The guessing game - Guess who/Guess what is very popular also and I use it a lot in the class. In this game one of the students remembers a thing, object, movie character or something similar that you agree on at the beginning of the class and the others ask him/her questions what he/she is!

Check the youtube example from the comedy serie I like to watch "The Big Bang Theory"

The below  link is even better, but I couldn't select it from Youtube,

Guess who-from "the Big Bang Theory"

3. A broken phone
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"A broken phone" or in Croatian "pokvareni telefon" is a game we used to play as kids.

- One of the students whispers a word or a short sentence to another student and he/she has to whisper it to another until the word or a sentences comes to  the last student who has to say it aloud.

This is fun and competing, especially when you divide students into groups, they have to be as quick as possible, they can whisper the word only once, so sometimes the original word is not the one that was given in the beginning.

- Students have to switch places so, that the one who had to say the word aloud is the one who starts with the whispering of another word or a short sentence.
  - You as a teacher can pick words - it can be familar vocabulary, something you have done so far or totally unknown, in that way you present a new vocabulary that will be introduced in a particular lesson.
I really love this idea for a Vocabulary game.

So, if you plan to talk about moods you just give them mood adjectives  which you can explain later.

angry, crazy, naughty, anxious, exctited, lonely, scared, frightened, confused, cheerful.......

- The group who is the fastest and has more correct words is the winner.  You run the score on the board, and of course write down the words that  you can later use in a lesson.

I hope I have given you some ideas and they can be easily understand.

Let me know if you are familar of any of these games.

If you use any of the above warmers or fillers, please write in a comment later how it worked in your class.

I have several new ideas, but I will leave that for another post.


  1. Hi, Marijana!
    Nice activities. Way to go! :-)
    Hugs, Teresa

  2. Hi Teresa, thank you so much, I love your encouragment! :)

  3. Hi Marijana,

    Thanks for the blogroll and the Tweets. Hope the lessons are useful.


  4. Hi Phil, yes I like your lessons very much. I have shared your blog on EU-educators facebook group, one of my collegues is very thankful and loves it. Keep up the good work and thank you for the comment

  5. Hi Marijana, really nice activities. Congrats!!! x3: for the blogpost itself, for taking part in your first blog carnival (btw, it was mine too! And I hope we have the courage to face other similar challenges) and for having accomplished your first goal in "the 30 Goals Challenge", which I guess I've done too! LOL ;)))))))))))))))

  6. Hi Marcia, you are great. I am so happy we collaborate almost every day via Skype. Now, what will be are next #3oGoals Challange!? Any ideas, let's keep up the good work!
    LOL :)

  7. I love the Big Bang Theory and since my students are engineering students, I'm sure they'd get a kick out of it as well. thanks for the idea.

  8. Thank you Sharon for leaving a comment. Let me know how it worked with your students.