Warmers and Lead-ins
Both warmers and lead-ins are activities used by teachers at the beginning of a lesson to create a positive atmosphere for learning. There is, however, a difference between warmers and lead-ins. While warmers are not necessarily related to the topic of the lesson and are used to “wake up” students and make them interested in English and motivated to learn, lead-ins actually introduce the theme of the lesson and are used to activate schemata, the student’s prior knowledge or experience of the topic. They may also include activities to check Knowledge, preview or pre-teach some language points.
Warmers are activities that get students talk and ready to learn. A warmer is not necessarily related to the topic of the lesson.
Examples of warmers
- Command drills used in a fun way may wake up students and get them ready to learn. (e.g. stand up. Sit down. hold up your right hand. show me your pen….)
- Writing a long word on the board (e.g. CONSTITUTION) and asking students to provide words using the letters of the word on the board.
- Writing a letter on the board and asking students to call out any words they can think of starting with that letter.
- Students volunteer to ask questions and write them on the board. The other students are given 2 minutes to write answers for some or all the questions.
A lead-in introduces the theme of the lesson. While warmers are not necessarily related to the topic of the lesson, lead-ins introduce the topic of the lesson.
Examples of lead-ins
- Before reading a text, choose some key vocabulary from that text and ask students what the text is going to be about.
- Before reading, write some questions about the text and ask students to answer the questions or predict the topic of the text.
- Write model sentences on the board. Ask students to translate them into their mother tongue and guess what the lesson will be about.