ESL Warm Up Questions- Student Generated!

ESL warm-up

ESL warm up questions…take the burden off yourself to always be coming up with new and interesting questions and instead get your students to do the hard work. Take a rest, teachers.

Only 1 Question ESL Warm-Up

Skills: Listening/speaking

Materials Required: Pen, paper

Students have to think of one single question about a certain topic. For example, if you’re studying about holidays, they could use any of the following:

“What’s your least favorite holiday?”

“What did you do last _____?”

“What do you think about Valentine’s Day?”

There are many possibilities but I usually make a couple rules that it must be interesting and also that it can’t be a yes/no question. Once students have done this, they ask at least 10 people their question and quickly record their answers with 1 or 2 words. After the time is up, they tabulate the answers and can quickly report to a small group what they found out about the topic. You can ask each small group to share the most interesting thing they learned with the entire class.


Give students a topic and have each student make one interesting question about it. Give them examples of boring questions.

Each student talks to 10+ students, using the same question. They quickly write down answers with 1-2 words.

Students tabulate the results and report the results to a small group of 4-6 people (or the entire class if fewer than 10 students).



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