Are you looking for a super-quick, easy warm-up for any level of ESL student? Then you’re most certainly in the right place.
Keep on reading for all the details about this picture prompt ESL warm-up activity for children as well as adults. It’s the perfect way to get your English lesson started off on the right foot.
ESL Warm-Up Activity: Picture Prompt
Picture prompt is a great ESL warm-up for kids as well as adults. It can be used for all levels from beginner to advanced. Show students an image and have them generate questions or speculate about the picture.
Question Examples for Lower-Level Students
For lower level students, this can be purely descriptive
Q: What do you see?
A: I see a house, a car, and some people.
Q: What colour is the car?
A: It is blue.
Question Examples for Intermediate Level Students
For high beginner/low intermediate students, have an image which can generate questions such as:
What is happening in this picture?
How does that person feel?
Why do you think so?
Or, you may also using it to focus on English Prepositions. For example:
Where is the book?
Is the man standing next to the child?
Example Questions for Advanced Students
For more advanced students, use an unusual image. Encourage them to create a narrative to explain the story.
This activity can also be done with writing. You could have students create a story about the picture in a few minutes.
Or, you could have them write an explanation for what happened.
Teaching Tips for Picture Prompt:
You can find collections of unusual images online which are perfect for advanced students to create their narratives. Just search on Google Images or something similar according to your topic that day.
If you want to use this as a writing activity with beginner or low intermediate students, give them a worksheet of questions to answer.
If you have more advanced students in a writing class, more options are available to you for what you can do. You may even require students to write a paragraph, essay or a creative story based on the picture that you show to them.
This activity can be an excellent lead-in for a holiday themed lesson. For more ideas, you’ll want to check out: Thanksgiving ESL Games and Activities.
Procedure for this ESL Warm-Up
1. In advance, prepare an image, either PowerPoint or a picture large enough for the class to easily see.
2. Divide students into pairs or small groups (optional).
3. Depending on the level of the students:
Elicit descriptive sentences about the image. Encourage them to make their own questions to ask a partner.
Have them discuss what they think is happening in the picture, how the person/people feel and why they think so, etc.
Have them create a narrative about the image. (Unusual images work well for this.)
4. Optionally, have students write their responses.
Like this ESL Warm-Up Activity?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 74 Pages - 09/11/2015 (Publication Date)
Yes? Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Kids (7+).
Get your classes started off in style by generating some interest and excitement with an ESL warm-up. It’s hard to get into the meat of the lesson right from the start, so help you students ease into English with one of these activities.
You can get the book on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The (cheaper!) digital copy can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app.
Keep a copy on school’s bookshelf as a quick reference. Have dozens of top-quality warm-ups with you for lesson planning on the go at your favourite coffee shop. Yes, it really is that easy to have more creative English lessons with your students.
You can check out the book for yourself over on Amazon, but only if you want a serious dose of ESL awesome in your life.
ESL Picture Prompt Warmer for Kids
Check out this short video for more details about how to use this ESL warmup in your classes:
ESL Warm-Ups: Have your Say!
What is your go-to ESL warm-up activity in your classes? Have you tried one of the warmers from this book? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. It’ll help other teachers, like yourself find this useful teaching resource.
Last update on 2020-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API