Need ideas for Adult students

A few weeks ago, I agreed to tutor the grown kids of a manager at my company. Althought I’ve never tutored adults in English, things have worked out well. Mostly, they are assigned to present speeches and I take notes and give feedback.

I like to start our sessions with a warm up activity, but I’m running out of ideas.

I’ve used the “Story Chain” where one person starts a story, “One day, Mary was walking on the street.” Each person around the table must add one sentance to the story. Last person whose turn it is when I call, “times up” (usually 5 minutes) has to get up and sing a song. This last bit is important. It keeps things zippy since no one “wants” to sing here (even though everyone we know in Taiwan actually likes to sing – – go figure!)

I also used “20 Questions” a couple of times. But this can drag on a long time. I’m always surprised how many people don’t (want to) understand what “Yes or no question only” means.

Both of these games/warm-ups worked well for these students – in their early 20s, good people, no major hangups.

Can you share some of your ideas that have worked? These need to be 10 to 15 mins. in length for 5 to 10 students.

Hi Accidental Teacher

One that works for me - give all the students except two a picture - should be a line drawing - cartoon or what ever. Have the class tell the two how to draw the picture on the black/white board. Two makes it a bit easier as they can confer. Alternatively get the class to tell you what to draw. Make a few mistakes - that really gets their attention - and English going

What am I?

One student leaves the classroom.
The remaining students decide on a noun.
Student returns, asks “What am I?”
Students give hints :“you are a fruit”, you are yellow", etc. etc.
Student “I am a banana”

Suitable for all levels.


I don’t know if you are still looking for ideas but here are a few links to some activities that should go over well in your adult classes:

For many more teaching ideas, you can go to: