Teach and Learn English

A week in the news - a warm up activity for B1-C

This is a warm up activity that can be adjusted to many levels - preferably from B1 to C2 students. It's easy to prepare and adult students usually enjoy it. You can also adjust it to your group's interests or profile.

"A week in the news" 

group discussion/pair work/student to teacher

5-10 minutes

What do you need to prepare?
A sheet of paper
the Internet
a printer


a laptop/tablet/smartphone - works better with small groups or individual one-to-ones

How to prepare it?
Select a few news items/headlines/recognizable pictures from your trusted news portals/newspaper online editions from the recent week (I love using the Guardian, BBC News, Financial Times, The Independent, Gazeta.pl).
Print screen them and print either all on one sheet of paper or make flashcards (one sheet of paper is more handy with small groups or one-to-ones while you may find flashcards work better with bigger groups).

Here's what it can look like:

Forgive my notes on the worksheet ;) but this was actually used in class last week ;)

How can you use it?

1.  Show the pieces of news to ss, ask them if they have heard about them, if they know any more details, if they were shocked/interested/moved etc. Have them share their thoughts either in pairs or in small groups.

2. Maybe - in their opinion - there is something important that happened recently but has not been included? What would be their list of most important pieces of news from the last week? Why?

3. If you compile news in both languages - English and L1 - you can also ask them to translate the headlines from L1 to L2 - this is especially nice with higher levels and allows to introduce some vocabulary as well.

4. You can always adjust this activity to your ss' needs: if you're teaching to business ss, make it more business-focused (use articles/news/headlines from business or financial sources), if you know your ss' interests or hobbies - make it a compilation of news that will most probably interest them (maybe your student is more interested in football or art or science?)

5. You can also adjust the activity to the topic of your lesson - just select the news or headlines/pictures according to what topic you are going to cover later in the lesson.

6. If you have more time you can also go into language work and focus on language used in the headlines - or- try to translate them into English if their in L1 - possibilities are galore!

Finally – although this activity is a great lesson starter – it could always be used as a back-up activity when there is some time left and we've run out of the materials for the lesson ;))

Love your students and have fun!


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