Starting lessons in a new way

the right beginning of the lesson always sets the right mood for the rest of it, doesn’t it?

So recently I got a little tired of just informal chit-chat during the first minutes of my one-to-one lessons, and it got me thinking, what else can I do?

Here is what I’ve come up with: several versions of more or less the same thing, so here goes.

Version one:

this week,

  • the tastiest….
  • the most interesting…
  • the most unexpected…
  • the hardest…
  • the most boring…
  • the most pleasant…


Version two:

Just before the lesson,…

  • The last thing I was listening to/heard was…
  • The last thing I read was…
  • The last thing I saw/ was looking at was…
  • The last person I talked to was…
  • The last thing I had smth to eat/ drink, it was..

As in my case it was always a 1-to-1 activity, I usually started off with my own example, and then it was quite clear to my students what they were supposed to do.

I had a chance to try it out with different levels, from pre-int to upper-int, and the results obviously sounded differently, but I can say it worked well with all of them.

Plus, you get to hear a lot of interesting things and experiences your students have done. I wonder if it should work the same way in groups, but have no chance of checking at the moment. What do you think? )))


About Svetlana Urisman

I am an ADOS and an English teacher (and materials writer) in a language school in Moscow. I have been an ADOS and a teacher trainer for a couple of years and a teacher for about 10 years. I am keen to share some ideas and materials I've developed in order to take them further and not to lose them. You are welcome to use any materials represented in this blog, and I will be happy to get your feedback afterwards if you take them to your classroom! ;-)
This entry was posted in ELT, intermediate, lesson plans, lesson starters, materials writing, teaching higher levels, teaching lower levels and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Starting lessons in a new way

  1. annazernova says:

    Hello Svetlana,
    Thanks for sharing. Several years ago I was using one of your ideas about May holidays (the most exciting about my holidays was…), where students had to come up with their own sentences. It was great. Thanks for this idea! One more thing in my ELT treasury!

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