ESL Speaking Warm up Activity | ESL Icebreakers

Skills: Speaking/listening
Time: 5-15 minutes
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Materials Required: Nothing

This is an excellent ESL speaking warmup activity for higher levels. Put the students in small groups of 3-4 people. Have them pick four famous people, dead or alive that they’d like to invite to a party they are having. Then, they have to say the reason why they’re inviting them. I do an example like this:

Person: Michael Jackson
Reason? He has a cool house and he can play some dance music for us. Also, I want to know why he got so much plastic surgery.

Give your students a few minutes, depending on the level. Then, I get the student to pick 1-2 of the people, depending on the size of the class and tell the rest of the class their answer. I’ve gotten an interesting array of answers and the students are always quite interested to hear what the other groups have to say.

Teaching Tips

I recommend students pick 3-4 people but then only sharing 1-2 because many groups will have the same answers. This way, you don’t get lots of repeat answers which gets boring. Another way to counteract the tendency for students to pick the same people is to use those most common ones as your own examples.

If you want to make this activity even more student-centered, you can put one student from each original group into a new group to share their answers instead of sharing the answers with the whole class.


  1. Put students in groups of 3-4.
  2. Each group picks four famous dead people that they’d like to have at their party.
  3. They must also think about why they’d like to invite him or her.
  4. Have the groups share their answers with the class.

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