Begin every lesson with a 5-10 minutes warm up activity. It should be something enriching and stimulating, so that all students can think and use English. When this opportunity is given to them - to review what they have previously learned and enjoy it, they will be able to move onto the main lesson with ease and have a greater interest in English class.
1) The Shiritori Race
In this activity, the teacher puts the first target word on the blackboard and the students are divided into line teams, from A to F. The first student in the front row of each team will have to run to the blackboard and write a word that starts with the last letter of the target word. For example, if the target word is "dog," then the next word would be something like, "goose" or any word that starts with the letter "g". This activity continues until every student gets a chance to write his/her word on the blackboard and when the 2 minutes time limit has ended. After that, check the words and congratulate the winning team.
2) The Tatte and Yokko Quiz
In this activity, the students will all be standing. Then, the teacher(s) ask some questions. The student who raises his/her hand first can answer the question, but he/she must make a complete sentence. If the answer is correct, he/she can choose a line, either the tatte line or the yokko line. Then, that line can sit down. Alternatively to that, is to choose the right line, the left line, the front line, or the back line. If you know any other variations, give them a try! You can also include a batsu game for the last student left standing!
(* You may want to include answer hints before asking the question or make this activity more challenging. For example, "It was sunny yesterday. How's the weather today?")
3) The Surprise Interview Quiz – For 3rd year JHS students
In this quiz activity, the students will have little or no chance to prepare for it, as it is called a "surprise" interview with his/her teacher. First, the teacher asks a question or tries to start an English conversation with the entire class. For example, "This morning, I got up at 7 in the morning and I had bread for breakfast. Question: What did you have for breakfast?" Then, the teacher calls a student and he/she gives an answer. After that, the teacher continues on, for example, "XXX student had miso soup and rice for breakfast. And, I had bread for breakfast. Question: What did XXX student have for breakfast?" The answer here should be, "XXX student had miso soup and rice for breakfast." By continuing the conversation of up to 10 questions and calling the student's name at the end of each question, it challenges many of the students to focus on listening.