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Why should teachers use Warm-Ups?

  • Warm-ups are a great way to build connections between students and teacher.
  • Warm-ups help release tension and anxiety.
  • Warm-ups can be used as a movement break for students.
  • Warm-ups help focus and engage attention.



Starting Position: The students form a large circle.

The Teacher demonstrates that s/he will jump, raise their arms and loudly say “HA!”. Next time the students will work as a team to all do it at the same time as the teacher. (You can do a practice one counting down from 3.)

Repeat a few times.

Ask for volunteers to be the new Jump – HA! Leader. Encourage the new leader to be loud and not to do it quickly so the rest of the group have a chance to join in. (If the leader is making false starts- remind the students that a good leader doesn’t trick, they lead.) For the final turn(s), tell the group that nobody knows who the leader will be but someone will take the initiative to Jump – HA! and everyone will follow.

Pass the clap / energy

Starting Position: Group form a circle.Receive and send a clap. The teacher sends a clap to a student who then receives the clap and then passes it to another student and so on. Eye contact is important as it is done silently.

When the receive and send technique is mastered, encourage the participants to “play” with how they send and receive the clap. Have fun with it. Experiment with movement – fast, slow, high, low etc. Encourage the receiver to receive the clap based on how it was sent e.g. if it was sent very fast, they will receive it as so.

Energy: Tell the group that the clap is now invisible energy which can change shape, weight, texture etc. in your hands. Demonstrate this. Play the game as above and encourage the fun and imaginative element.

Break the group up into pairs A and B.

A and B of each pair now find a space in the room away from each other. A has the energy and will send it to B and then it will go back and forth. They will experiment and negotiate the space with the other pairs doing likewise.
Encourage them to move around the space.

Note : As with all pair exercises; if there is an odd number in the group, there can be one group of 3.

Group Count 1-20

Starting Position:Students all have their eyes closed.The students must count to 20 as a group with only one person saying one number at any time. If 2 or a few say a number at the same time, the group must begin at 0 again. In the beginning, begin with a count to 1-10 or 1-15.

Adaptation : Use keywords from the lesson topic instead of numbers.

Shake out

Teacher shakes out their legs and arms as follows and all the students copy the moves and count at the same time:
Shaking L arm – Calling loudly “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8”
Shaking R arm – as above
Shaking L leg – as above
Shaking R leg – as above
Keep repeating physical moves above but now with 1-2-3-4 x 4 limbs, then 1-2, then 1 1 1 1, 1 1 1 1 (make the last 1 much longer and louder)


Teacher draws a large imaginary X in the air with their right hand. Ask the students to copy. Practice this over and over.

Teacher now draws an imaginary large circle in the air with their left hand. Ask the students to copy. Do this over and over.

Teacher now asks the group to do both X and O at the same time.

Most students will be unable to do this but hopefully they will laugh at themselves and realise it’s ok to not be able to achieve this. Teacher might explain this is the most difficult thing they will do today!

Who’s the leader?

Starting Position : Group from a Circle – Standing.

The teacher demonstrates as the leader first. The leader makes easy movements with their arms so the rest of the group can follow at the same time. They can also choose to do faster repetitive movements instead. Send a volunteer student out of the room and pick a new leader. Start the movements and invite the volunteer in who must now guess who the new leader is. They can observe the group from any place in the room.

After the volunteer has guessed wrongly or rightly, discuss how well the group did in moving as one together. Was it easy to see who was the leader? Why/ why not?

Pick a new volunteer and before they enter, the group can discuss different
tactics on how they may fool the guessing student i.e. all students are looking at different students instead of the leader only. They may eventually do the movements moving around the space.

Note : As with all pair exercises; if there is an odd number in the group, there can be one group of 3

Mirror Pairs

Starting Position : Group Stand in pairs (A+B) facing one another.

One student follows the very slow movements of their leading partner. The teacher can demonstrate first showing how slow the movement needs to be. The partners swap over. Once they have established a good technique, encourage the pairs to move around the space.

A and B can alternate who is leading themselves. Sometimes it may not be clear who is the leader as they work in sync together..


One pair follow another pair.
Pairs can join up and one pair follow another pair.
All students follow one leader.
All students join together and follow one leader in the space.
The teacher can suggest new leaders at any time.


Starting Position : Group circle – Standing. Teacher stands in the middle.

The teacher “shoots” at one person in the circle. (or throws an imaginary pie) and says “Splat!” That person must duck and the two people on either side/ shoot throw an imaginary pie at each other and shout “Splat!”. If the first person doesn’t duck, s/he is out. If s/he does duck in time, the last person to throw their pie on either side is out. Continue until only 2 students remain.

The Duel:
The two remaining players stand back to back in the middle of the
room. Each time the teacher calls out a fruit, the players take one step forward. When a vegetable is called out, both players must turn around and shoot/ throw their pie. The first to throw/ shoot is the winner! The other students will be the judges.

Adaptation :Key words from the class lesson can be substituted for the word “Splat!” or the fruits/ vegetables at the end.

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