Mondays are tough for everyone. The last thing you want to see is students arrive in drips and drabs, sit down as far away from each other as seems possible, and either a) stare into space; b) stare at their phones; c) apathetically flick through last weeks lesson notes; d) immediately ask to go to the toilet.
To avoid this kind of situation and bring a bit of life to the classroom on a Monday, here is a simple warmer.
NB: Space-wise, you really need two whiteboards for this. If you don’t have that luxury, then you can stick A4 papers around the room, one for each student + 1 for the teacher.
- Give each student a marker pen as they arrive to class.
- Ask them to find a space on the whiteboard and draw a square for themselves. The square should be big enough to draw a picture inside.
- Tell them to write their name above the square and then to draw a picture / some pictures that represent something that they did or saw at the weekend.
- Give them time to draw and inform late-comers what to do as they arrive.
- The teacher should also draw his / her weekend picture.
- After some students have finished, tell them to take a look at the other pictures and with their marker to write some questions they would like to ask the artists about their weekends. Tell them they should write questions for at least 3 other students.
- Allow some time for this and write some questions of your own as the students mingle and do the same.
- Finally, gather the whole class together, still standing, and go round to each picture and ask the artist the questions that have been written underneath. Get them to answer the questions for the whole class to hear. You can allocate students to ask these questions, rather than doing it yourself.
- Allow any follow up questions and discussions to run, and perhaps even do some error correction on question forms.
- Move around the pictures and let everyone answer the questions that have been written underneath. If you have a class of more than 10, then time-wise and attention-wise, you should probably only allow one or two questions to be publicly answered per student.
That’s it. It’s very simple, quite fun with some drawing, personal, and hopefully awakens some interest and energy on a Monday morning.