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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

At the movies!
This warmer is an interesting and effective way to introduce a new theme or topic.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Vocabulary - populate
Jesus from Spain asks about the word "populate".
Intermediate
HTML Format
Magic Butterflies
Forget confetti or rice -- guests at chic Australian weddings are casting live butterflies at the newlyweds. (Weddings, traditions, business, writing an advertisement, verb forms.)
Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
'Drink of the Gods'
Growing health concerns about kava have thrown a spanner in South Pacific plans to turn it into a big export crop, straining already frail island economies. Vanuatu's Finance Minister, Joe Baumol Carlo, said adverse medical reports were not the fault of kava, but of the derivatives added by pharmaceutical companies. (Herbal medicines, health, natural remedies, kava, trade, business, government controls on drugs, prepositions.)
Upper-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Work Internet Stopped
Major corporations are increasingly classifying employee email and Internet privileges as potential security hazards, distractions or worse, costly legal dangers in the making. As a result, companies are considering dramatically curtailing, or even abolishing completely the freedoms, on which employees have grown increasingly reliant over the past few years. (The Internet, business, employment, personal phone calls at work, adverbs, writing a memo.)
Advanced
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Dogs of war
A descendant of the San Francisco attack dog that went wild and mauled a young woman to death is being advertised for sale in a local newspaper as "bad to the bone, protective and stable,". The owners of the killer dog have now been found guilty of murder. Dogs in Europe have killed an elderly woman and a young boy. Who is responsible? (Dogs, controls on dogs, verb participles used as adjectives, debate, essay writing.) WARNING: The news content in this lesson may be upsetting to some students.
Upper-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 4 April 2002
Instant Workbook HTML Format
Expert
An effective and fun warmer that can be used in the middle or towards the end of a lesson when students' attention might waver.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Punctuation - apostrophes
Narbal from France asks for some help on when to use apostrophes.
Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML Format
Chew!
Can't remember life before mobiles? Chances are you'll also struggle to recall your home phone number and family birthdays, a 2007 survey found and a 2002 joint study found that chewing gum has a positive effect on cognitive tasks such as thinking and memory. Make sure your students chew gum while they do this lesson! (Chewing gum, habits, science, memory, research, adverbs, the modal verbs may, might and could.)
Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Animal Chatter
Max talks about the words we use to describe the noises animals make.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Drummed Out
London's theater district could lose a popular musical because of local resident complaints that the show is too noisy. The show's producer first thought it was a joke. "Here we are in the middle of the West End playing a musical and they're saying it's too loud... But if anyone buys a place in the West End, they must understand they are not going to have peace, quiet and tranquillity." (Live performances, theater, conflicting rights, South Africa, London's West End, reviews, use of 'if'.)
Upper-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Wake Up, Doc!
Lack of sleep may make less-experienced doctors more likely to make mistakes, according to UK researchers. (Sleep, health, doctors, confidence, writing questions, doing a survey, using comparative sentence structures.)
Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Caged In
A popular Indian film actor crammed himself into a tiny cage and asked for compassion for chickens as part of a "Compassion, Not Cages - Go Veg!" campaign by an international animal rights group. (Animal rights, vegetarians, protest, farming, 'so' linking two clauses.)
Elementary to Pre-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Coin Grab
A fun, communicative warmer that will keep you laughing.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Vocabulary - happy and merry
A student from Vietnam wants to know the difference between happy and merry. Have a happy day!
Intermediate
HTML Format
Four corners
This warmer is a good way of getting students moving and communicating with each other.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Relative pronouns - What you mean
Guillermo in Spain has a student who has a lot of problems using that and what. Anna provides some advice on how to change that.
Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML Format
In Love With My Car
A survey of drivers in the U.S. found that 63 percent actually talked to their cars, 43 percent said they considered their cars to be "part of the family," and 12 percent said they valued their cars more than anything else in their lives, including their children or their home. (Cars, automobiles, possessions, surveys, comparative language using 'more than' and 'less / fewer than'.)
Pre-Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Ebola
"West African nations next to those hit by the Ebola epidemic - Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea Bissau - should prepare for the possible arrival of travellers carrying the deadly virus. The outbreak persists especially in the forests of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia." (Health, diseases, preventing the spread of disease, present perfect simple and present perfect continuous.)
Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
It's a dog's life
A plush, furnished place with televisions, a Feng Shui garden, showers, piped music and an aromatherapy unit - for homeless dogs! Funded largely from money left in a will. (Wills, leaving money to people and organizations, debate, designing an advertisement, English expressions.)
Upper-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Vocabulary - False friends
Patrizia from Italy asks for help with words that could be the same - false friends.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Silly Starters
This is a good warmer to use on the very first day of a new class to help students remember each other's names.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Question tags
Valeria from Chile says she has had a lot of problems finding information or exercises about questions tags so Anna offers some help.
Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML Format
To get ..... or not?
Anna from Russia asks about being and getting hungry.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Are you a giraffe?
This lively warmer is a nice complement to the many Instant Lessons with an animal topic. It ties in very nicely with the lesson "Shelter Pup Finds Career".
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Thief Trapped in Elevator
A thief who wanted to break into an apartment in the southern Swedish city of Malmo was rescued by police after spending 11 hours trapped in an elevator. (Crime, guessing by context, using 'because/and/however/so', using 'a/an/the'.)
Pre-Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
60 Years Among Stars
This lesson is about the famous cosmologist, Stephen Hawking. (Physics, cosmology, famous people, paragraph beginnings, question tags.)
Advanced
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Would You Like to See My Family?
This is a fun activity for lower level students to practise asking for things.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Noun endings
A teacher from Germany asks for some help with noun endings and pronunciation.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Shelter Pup Finds Career
A dog success story: A puppy left at a Toronto-area animal shelter last summer has risen through Canada's detector dog program to earn a job as a drug-sniffer. (Animals rescuing people stories, proverbs, word order.)
Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
A Moviemakers' Paradise
New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings films were shot, is spending millions of dollars promoting itself as a movie makers' paradise, as well as encouraging tourists to come and see where Lord of the Rings was filmed: "New Zealand is Middle Earth,'' says actor Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo. (New Zealand, movie making, movies, prepositions.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
there were a?
Marie from France asks about "there" and verb agreement.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Bah-Humbug!
A British man who went underground behind blast-proof doors and thick concrete to avoid a family Christmas emerged early. Why? Do this lesson to find out and also learn the story of another Scrooge.
Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Psychologist
A warmer to work out a common problem. The problem could be an agreed upon language problem and the "psychologist" asks questions to try to guess what that problem is.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Super Milkman!
British milkman Steve Leech, who saved a row of shops and flats by dousing a fire with 320 pints of milk, has been named "Hero Milkman of the Millennium" by the National Dairymen's Association. (Fire safety, bravery, guessing vocabulary by context, nationality words, surveys.)
Pre-Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Ring's Rave Reviews
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' and "The Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring," both films set in a fantasy world of magic, wizards and young heroes, have been crossing swords at the box office. Critics gave "Harry Potter" five stars. What did they give "Lord of the Rings"? (Movies, critics, movie ratings, movie vocabulary, "as...as" used to make comparisons, playing charades.)
Upper-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Have you ever seen so many photos?
An entertaining warmer to practise making questions and getting information from a classmate using the present perfect.
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
Prepositions of place
A teacher working in China asks how she can help her students better use prepositions of place.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Teen Offenders
Certain factors can help predict if a troubled teen will return to the "straight and narrow'' with treatment or continue to be an aggressive and emotionally disturbed individual, according to New Hampshire researchers. (Health, society, teenagers, vocabulary in context, correcting grammar errors.)
Upper-Intermediate
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Gooooooaaaaaal!
Soccer: "The referee found the ball at his feet in front of the goal, kicked it into the net, then signaled a goal." The referee later resigned. This is a strange sports story. (Soccer, sports, referees, umpires, judges, guessing vocabulary by context, using 'when' and 'while' to connect two actions in the past.)
Upper-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Finnish Grapes
Grapes will soon ripen for wine production in Finland using warm water from a nuclear reactor cooling system. (Technology, farming, dictionary work, using 'will' to talk about a future fact.)
Elementary
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
Vocabulary - Duper
A student in Brazil wanted more information about the word "duper" so Anna gives Andrea a hand. As an update, Anna also responds to more letters about this word: one from Deborah in New Zealand and another from Beth in the USA.
Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 7 February 2002
HTML Format
English stories are boring
Peter from Hong Kong asks whether Anna thinks his teacher is correct about the need to read more English stories.
Intermediate
HTML Format
I Saw You Last Weekend
This is a good Monday morning warmer that will make even the more timid students speak up.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Birds of a Feather
Singapore is fighting an army of crows plaguing its high-rise apartments. Rome is battling swarms of starlings that swoop down on Rome's historic piazzas and baroque churches by broadcasting bird "distress calls'' over loudspeakers. (Scientific study, pests, proverbs, writing letters, relative clauses.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Wild Elephants
Wild elephants killed four people and injured 15 others while rampaging through two villages in southeastern Bangladesh. (Problems related to protecting endangered animals, elephants, the Simple Past and Simple Present Tenses.)
Elementary
Instant Workbook HTML FormatView PDF
The Drinks are on Me
A businessman offered to pay for everybody's drinks at a British nightclub, and ended up with a bill for more than 42,000 pounds ($59,000). (Alcohol rules and laws, drinking alcohol, spending a lot of money on others, non-defining relative clauses.)
Pre-Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Verb forms - Present perfect simple and continuous
Elisabeth from France asks about "unfinished actions".
Intermediate
HTML Format
World's Oldest Man Dies
The world's oldest man, 112-year-old Antonio Todde from Sardinia, has died. His life has been a part of a scientific study. A remarkable number of Sardinia's 1.6 million inhabitants live through a century. Some 135 people per million live to see their 100th birthday while the western average is nearer 75. (Secrets of a long life, habits and lifestyle, scientific studies, prepositions.)
Intermediate
HTML FormatView PDF
Knitwise
Max talks about the history of such warming words as cardigan, jersey, sweater, jumper, pullover and balaclava.
Intermediate
HTML Format
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