I am a big believer in positive energy, and starting each class the right way. Energy is infectious and if you start each session with a fun and engaging game or activity the students will respond and get involved. Each day I start my class with an activity that gets them energised, motivated and interacting with each other. Check out five that I currently use:

Sally

All you need for this lesson starter is a speaker and the song Flower by Moby. Students simply listen to the some and move up and down when told. I normally get students to perform a squat thruster or a squat for the duration of the song. Watch this example of our class performing this lesson starter the other day.

Brain Teaser Time

I split the class into four even teams. Each team has a pen and paper and works together to try and solve the following ten brainteasers. This is great for students to start thinking and working together as a team.

  1. What turns everything around, but does not move? Answer A mirror
  2. What is it that everyone requires, everyone gives, everyone asks and that very few take? Answer Advice
  3. What can run but never walks? Has a mouth but never talks? Has a bed but never sleeps? Has a head but never weeps? Answer A river – a river runs, has a mouth when it merges into the sea, has a river bed, and has a head at its mouth.
  4. Take off my skin, I won’t cry, but you will. What am I? 
Answer
An onion
  5. I’m the part of the bird that’s not in the sky. I can swim in the ocean and yet remain dry. What am I? Answer A shadow
  6. You hear it speak, for it has a hard tongue. But it cannot breathe, for it has not a lung. What is it? Answer A bell
  7. I can be quick and then I’m deadly,
I am a rock, shell and bone medley.
If I was made into a man, I’d make people dream,
I gather in my millions by ocean, sea and stream.
Answer
Sand
  8. Once you hear about me, you want me. Once you have me you want to share me. But if you do, I no longer exist. What am I? Answer A secret
  9. Though liquid in nature, don’t push me too far, for then I will break, and the damage may scar. What am I? Answer Glass
  10. What is yours but your friends use it more than you do? 
Answer
Your name!

For more riddles and brainteasers click here

Roxanne

All you need for this lesson starter is a speaker and the song Roxanne. The duration of the song Roxanne by The Police goes for just over three minutes. Students must remain in the upper push up position, and when you hear ‘Roxanne’ it’s one push up and when you hear ‘red light’ it’s one squat thrust. Watch me perform this youtube clip as a demonstration.

Brain Break

Sit, Stand, Kneel, Lay

Students spread out with enough space to move freely. If the instructor says, “Lay”, the students lay flat on the ground. If the instructor says, “Kneel”, the students need to kneel. When the instructor says, “Stand”, the students must stand nice and tall, and when the instructor says, “Sit”, the students must sit down. The faster the four movements are said, the more exciting the game becomes. Play for one minute then have a break. High-energy activity.

Click here to view loads more brain breaks to try with your students.

Team Building Activity

Fox, chicken and grain

Students are given the following problem, which they need to work towards a solution. This can be played inside or outside. A fox, a chicken and a sack of grain all need to get across the river in a small boat. The problem is, they cannot all cross together as the fox will eat the chicken if put together, and the chicken will eat the grain if put together. Get the class to work together, or split them into small groups. Give them time to talk and work out their plan before they actually try and cross the river. This game is very good for teamwork and problem solving.

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