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ESL Warmer Finish the Quote

ESL Warmer: Finish the Quote

Finish the Quote is a simple way to start a new topic or unit with adult or teen students. In this activity you give students half of a quote about the topic they are going to study. In pairs or individually, students complete the quote and later discuss their quote with the class. After, show the students the original quote and discuss its meaning and the students’ opinion.

For example, if you were going to talk about ‘travel’ with students, you could start class by giving students half a quote on travel such as ‘Life is either daring adventure…” and students need to finish the quote. After, ask students to share their ideas and discuss them. Lastly, show them original quote and ask them to discuss what they think it means.

Some quotes you could use with finish the quote include:


Life is either daring adventure or nothing Helen Keller

Buy the ticket take the ride Hunter S. Thompson

You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough Mae West

Above all, try something Franklin D. Roosevelt

I never worry about the future, it comes soon enough Albert Einstein

One who makes no mistakes, makes nothing at all Giacomo Casanova

Do one thing every day that scares you Eleanor Roosevelt

In the end it’s not the years in your life that counts, it’s the life in your years Abraham Lincoln

If I’d followed all the rules, I’d never have gotten anywhere Marilyn Monroe

Action expresses priorities Gandhi


If you’re afraid of butter, use cream. –Julia Child

First we eat, then we do everything else. –M.F.K. Fisher

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. –Ernestine Ulmer

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria. –David Auerbach

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food. –Paul Prudhomme

Education/Language Learning 

The limits of my language are the limits of my world. ‒Ludwig Wittgenstein

To have another language is to possess a second soul. ‒Charlemagne

Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. ‒Rita Mae Brown

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ‒Chinese Proverb

Have you got some good quotes on different topics? Or would you like more quotes on different themes? Share your requests, thoughts and ideas in the comments below.


More ESL Warmers
Discover more ESL warmers for kids, teens and adults.

Enigma (young learners 10+, teens, and adults)

Brain Breaks (Young learners and teens)

How many things… (Young learners and teens)

Boredom Buster (Young learners and teens)

The Story (Young learners and teens)

Creating curiosity in the classroom (Young learners and teens)

5 Ways To Use Music In The ESL Classroom (Young learners and teens)

How To Use Wordles In The Classroom (teens)

Find a full list of warmers here

ESL New Year’s Resolutions Activity

ESL New Year’s Resolutions Activity is a great way to get teens and adults speaking on the topic of New Year’s resolutions. This activity is designed for students with a level of intermediate and above.

  1. Encourage students to first discuss New Year’s resolutions

Some questions to start with include:

  • What are some New Year’s resolutions you have made in the past?
  • Is it popular to make New Year’s resolutions in your country?
  1.    Get students to brainstorm common New year’s Resolutions that people make.
  2.    Then, ask students to put their ideas into a list of most popular to least popular.
  3.     Give/show students the top ten list for 2017.

According to a recent ComRes poll, the most common New Year’s resolutions include:

  1. Exercise more (38 per cent)
  2. Lose weight (33 per cent)
  3. Eat more healthily (32 per cent)
  4. Take a more active approach to health (15 per cent)
  5. Learn new skill or hobby (15 per cent)
  6. Spend more time on personal well being (12 per cent)
  7. Spend more time with family and friends (12 per cent)
  8. Drink less alcohol (12 per cent)
  9. Stop smoking (9 per cent)
  10. Other (1 per cent)
  1.     After students compare their answers, they discuss if they guessed correctly or        incorrectly. Did anything surprise them? Would the results be the same in their country?


ESL Christmas Charades

ESL Christmas Charades

ESL Christmas Charades is a fun and simple no-prep activity for teens and adults on the topic of Christmas. This simple game is a great way to revise Christmas vocabulary and have a little fun while doing it. This game is best suited for adults and teens with a level of intermediate and above.


  1. To play, first you need to print and cut out a copy of the printable activity cards.
  2. Put students into groups of 3/4 depending on your class size.
  3. Students, take turns picking a card and acting it out. The other students in their group have to try and guess what the student is acting out. The student acting out the word should not say anything. They can however indicate:

Number of words in the title: Hold up the number of fingers.

Which word you’re working on: Hold up the number of fingers again.

Number of syllables in the word: Lay the number of fingers on your arm.

Which syllable you’re working on: Lay the number of fingers on your arm again.

Length of word: Make a “little” or “big” sign as if you were measuring a fish.

“The entire concept:” sweep your arms through the air.

“On the nose” (i.e., someone has made a correct guess): point at your nose with one hand, while pointing at the person with your other hand.

“Sounds like”: Cup one hand behind an ear.

“Longer version of :” Pretend to stretch a piece of elastic.

“Shorter version of:” Do a “karate chop” with your hand

“Plural”: link your little fingers.

“Past tense”: wave your hand over your shoulder toward your back.

A letter of the alphabet: move your hand in a chopping motion toward your arm (near the top of your forearm if the letter is near the beginning of the alphabet, and near the bottom of your arm if the letter is near the end of the alphabet)

3.  Continue until either one group wins or time runs out

4. Enjoy and have fun!



ESL Christmas Charades game for teens and adults


More Christmas activities
Discover more Christmas activities for kids, teens and adults.

ESL Christmas Quiz – This great no-prep Christmas quiz is great for teens and adults and covers Christmas cultural knowledge, vocabulary, Christmas music.

4 ESL Christmas Activities – This huge Christmas post includes speaking, vocabulary and a video lesson. This is suited for Young learners and teens and even adults.

Christmas Tongue Twisters – Tongue Twisters is a fun activity for young learners or even teens to practice pronunciation. Great as a warmer or cooler for your Christmas lesson plan.

Christmas Story Recall – In this activity, students watch/listen to a short Christmas story and then they try and rewrite/tell the story later.

Just a minute Christmas Challenge – In this activity students need to speak about a Christmas photo for one minute. This activity is great for teens and adults who are preparing for the B1 Exam (PET).

ESL Christmas Debate – In this activity, students have a debate on different statements related to Christmas. This activity is great for teens and adults with a higher level.

Find more games and activities on our YouTube Channel
ESL Game Agree to Disagree

ESL Game Agree to Disagree

ESL Game Agree to Disagree is a simple no-prep activity to encourage students to speak and discuss a  topic. In this activity, students decide how they feel about a topic by moving to a part of the classroom where they can discuss their opinions with their classmates. This activity can be useful to encourage students to express their opinions and allows them time to form their ideas before moving on to a wider class discussion. Below you will find some example statements to get the students talking.

Some sentences you could use for teens include:

There is nothing that young people can teach older people.

Parents are the best teachers. Schools should ask students to evaluate their teachers.

It is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a big city.

Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people.

Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication, such as letters, email, or telephone calls.

Parents should make important decisions for teenagers.

School uniforms are good.

Homework is the most important part of school.

The school day should be longer.

Holidays are not important for young people.

Students should get paid to go to school.

More Speaking Activities

Questions for teens and adults based on topics – Section of questions based on different topics

FCE Speaking Activity – Speaking activity for intermediate + students

Magazine Personalities – Get students talking about their interests

Survivor – Students discuss what they would do in an extreme situation

Find more games and activities on our YouTube Channel

Halloween Idioms

Guess the Halloween Idiom ESL Halloween Activity for teensThis activity is a simple way to have fun introducing your students to some Halloween idioms. This activity is perfect for teen and adult classes and is a great way to learn some idioms while having some seasonal fun.

Level: B1, B2 (FCE), C1 (CAE) and C2 (CPE).

Materials: PowerPoint

Download a copy here


Printable version

Download (PDF, 1.02MB)

Time: 15 minutes+


  1. Put students in pairs or groups. 
  2. Explain that they are going to see pictures which visually represent some Halloween idioms.
  3. In their groups, students must decide what the idiom is. If a group gets any of the words correct, they get a point for each correct word.
  4. After each idiom the teacher awards points to each team and explains the meaning of the idiom. Ask students to think or explain similar expressions in their own language.
  5. Get students to predict what the Idiom might mean and how would it be used. 
  6. Have fun!

1. Make someone’s blood boil. – to make someone very angry

Ex: It just makes my blood boil to think of the amount of food that gets wasted around here.

Halloween english idiom Make someones blood boil 

2. Ghost town – A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned or is in decline and has very little activity.

Ex: This town is a ghost town, there is never anything happening.

English halloween idioms ghost town

3. Stab in the back – to stab someone in the back means to betray them
Ex: After all I did for him, he stabbed me in the back when he told all those lies about me.

english halloween idioms stab someone in the back

4. Skeleton in the Cupboard – a scandal that is kept secret
Ex: James has a few skeletons in his cupboard and is terrified that he will be found out.

Halloween english idiom Skeleton in the closet

5. Skeleton staff – the fewest number of people needed in an office
Ex: We always operate with a skeleton staff over the Christmas period.

English Halloween idioms Skeleton Staff

 6. Scared to death – so scared that you cannot move

Ex. I am scared stiff of walking on ice.

Halloween English Idiom Scared to death


7. Scare the pants off someone – to frighten someone a lot
Ex: The film “Nightmare on Elm Street” scared the pants off me.

 English Halloween idiom Scare the pants off someone

8. Make the blood run cold – to totally scare you
Ex: The screams in the woods made my blood run cold.

English Halloween Idioms'Blood run cold'

9. In cold blood – to act in cold blood is to do something without any emotion and deliberately
Ex: The victim was shot in cold blood.

In cold blood Idiom english halloween

10. witch hunt – an investigation carried out under the pretext of uncovering illegal activity but is actually used to harass people with different views.
Ex: The Government has been accused of carrying out a witch-hunt on small businesses.

ESL Idioms, halloween, game, Teens, CAE, FCE B2, C1

More Halloween Activities
Check out our other Halloween activities for young learners, teens and adults!

Trick or Treat – is a fun activity for young learners where they draw cards and get treats or tricks!

Halloween Guess Who – in this activity, young learners act like monsters helping them consolidate new monster vocabulary.

Zombie Apocalypse – is a fun speaking activity for teens where they discuss how they would survive the zombie apocalypse.

Halloween Family Fortunes – Ideal for teens and adults and even young learners to practice Halloween vocabulary.

Halloween Idioms – Ideal for teens and adults.

Halloween True or False Quiz – This activity is perfect for teens and adults (lower-intermediate +)

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