Need a quick warm-up for your lesson and don’t feel like preparing in any way, shape or form? Lists are the saviors of the slothful!
Put students in pairs and make sure only one of them is writing (the point is to have them working together.) Give them two or three minutes to make a list on any given topic. Get a stopwatch app for the computer (or phone if necessary) so your students can see the time ticking away. And make it competitive. Whoever can can list the most things is the winner.
What topic should they write about? Connect it to your theme or your grammar point, if at all possible. Teaching fruit? Make a list. Teaching about hotels? List everything in a room. Teaching Simple Past? List as many verbs as possible, or things they did last week.
This activity works for all ages and abilities, from children to adults, beginner to academic, but the best part is that can be adapted to virtually any topic. If you truly can’t think of one, have students list all the reasons they hate you. They’ll need more than a few minutes, of course.