5. We want learners to move in
class. Energizing Brain Breaks help
learners to be active in class and get
refocused and refreshed. They are 1-2
minute brain and body breaks that are
simple to implement in your
classroom. They are perfect for your
learners as a transition exercise. The
learners love them and they are good
for students of any age.
6. 1. THE TRAIN CONNECTION
This activity works because it can be modified to suit
different age groups so there is always a challenge. This
activity spans all the domains and is a very easy to do –
No materials are needed for this activity. This is a “shadow”
activity or “train” connection. Students line up putting
their hands just on a right or left shoulder of the person in
front of them and trail the adult around. It sounds simple
but it can be quite complicated when the leader makes the
path tricky and the train is long. Students love the
challenge of trying to stay connected, especially when the
train is very long and is following a zigzag path.
8. How does it work?
A. Use a ribbon string trying to drape it over
left or right shoulder, add more learners to
the train to make it more difficult, etc.
B. Add spelling words to rotate the students
in the train. E.g. spell a sight word correctly
and the person who is the caboose moves up
one space until he/she gets to be the
conductor and so on.
9. 2. FIND IT IN A FLASH
This activity helps learners to
make associations so that
they can continue to develop
their vocabulary, the way they
perceive things, and their
10. How does it work?
The materials needed for this activity include a
variety of flashcards, which depict
colors, shapes, letters, etc. The teacher has a set
of flash cards. He/she shows the learners the
card and one of the learners must find five
the classroom that correspond to the flash
card. You can use any type of flash cards as long
as the learners will be able to find enough of
the objects in the class.
12. When space is limited in your
classroom, rather then finding 5 items about
the classroom, learners could identify 5
items, more like an I spy game.
Other variations include make the game a
“Treasure Hunt” where learners pair up and
find objects about the classroom that
correspond to the chosen card.
At the end, have pairs present their items
and tell why it goes with their card.
13. 3. DR. TAPE
This activity helps students identify
body parts, learn to follow
directions, and learn about personal
14. How does it work?
Begin by making an “x” on the floor for each
student using masking, duct, or other durable
tape. Make sure there is enough room around
each piece so a student standing on the tape
will not be able to touch others. As the
students come into the playing area, have them
find a piece of tape. Quickly call out body parts
for them to place on the tape (for example, “Put
your wrist on Dr. Tape.” “Put your back on Dr.
Tape” etc.) Also, include some movements such
as: “Jump up and down on Dr. Tape.” “Jog in
place on Dr. Tape.” “Do sit-ups on Dr. Tape.”
15. You can use this breakbrain
activity while learning:
irregular verbs etc.
16. 4. A SPECIAL PERSON
A CONFIDENCE BUILDING ACTIVITY
Everyone needs a pat on
the back once in a
while and this tactile
18. How does it work?Divide the learners into two groups; one group sitting
at their desks, and the others standing in the back of
the classroom. Read the “feel good” phrases listed
below, giving the learners enough time to touch as
many people as they want to on the shoulder or back.
(Make sure everyone is touched: if not, make sure you
station yourself near the children who might not be
touched so that you can sneak a touch.) After a given
number of phrases, switch the groups and repeat.
There should be no talking and the learners should be
shown the proper way to touch someone else so that
no one feels uncomfortable. Soft music could be
played during this exercise. The learners can remain in
their seats, but must have their heads down so that no
one can see who is doing the touching.
19. Have the class help develop “feel good” phrases. You
could also do educational sayings such as “A special
person who has blue on their t-shirt.”
Examples of “feel good” phrases include:
A person who makes me smile.
A person who makes me laugh.
A person upon whom I can depend on.
A person who likes me for who I am.
A person I like to talk with.
A person I can depend on.
A person who I would like to get to know better.
A person who makes me feel comfortable.
A person who has great ideas.
20. 5. VOCABULARY HOT POTATO
y, and vocabulary
will all be aided
with this fast-
21. How does it work?
You will need one ball, no smaller than a tennis
ball and no larger than a basketball. The
teacher will gather up the learners in an open
area of the room. They will then be instructed
to sit in a circle facing the center. The ball will
be randomly given to one of the learners. That
student will then be given one word form the
spelling list. The learner with the ball will state
the first letter of the word. Then that child will
gently pass the ball to another child who will
add the next letter to the preceding one. This
will continue until the word is spelled correctly.
22. A. Learners in the upper grades could have to think of
a word from the spelling or vocabulary list and begin
spelling the word. The other learners would then have
to figure out which word to spell and add the correct
sequence of letters in order to spell it correctly.
B. The learners could spell the word and the last
person would pass the ball to the final learner who
would define the word or use it in a sentence.
C. The first learner would spell a complete word. The
next learner would define the word. The next learner
would tell what part of speech the word is. The next
person would use the word in a sentence. Etc.
23. 6. LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!
This activity reinforces the
relationship between action verbs
and adverbs in a physical way.
24. How does it work?
You will need index cards (half with verbs, half
with adverbs) for this activity. Introduce action
verbs as words that indicate some form of
action. Then introduce “adverb” as a modifier
that tells how the action is performed. Pass out
index cards or spread them on the ground.
Have the students each pick one card. They
must then decide if the word that is written on
the card is an action verb or an adverb. The
children will each partner up with someone
who has the other type of word and the two of
them will act out the phase (ex: hop quickly).
The words must make sense together.
25. 7. OLD MCDONALD
This activity works to help learners
concentrate on following directions
singing a song while participating in
26. How does it work?No materials are needed for this activity beyond personal space for the activities and a working
knowledge of the
words and melody to Ol’ McDonald. The activity is a replica of the song Ol’ McDonald. The words are
and are listed below. The children will need to listen and be capable of following the new directions.
Song (example of first verse)
- Ol’ Miss Brown had a class, E-I-E-I-O
- And in that class they did some jumping E-I-E-I-O
- With a jumping here and a jumping there, here a jumping,
there a jumping, Everywhere a jumping
- Ol’ Miss Brown had a class, E-I-E-I-O (Repeat with a different activity)
Students with a hearing impairments can read the words to the song, or if the activities are in the same
order, they will/can remember the order of the activities. They can stand close to the teacher and the
teacher will sing toward them so they can hear the song better.
Ideas for activities
Jumping jacks Sit-ups Jump
Hop Skip Leap
Slide Squat Twist
Hand-shake “Hi” Stomp
27. 8. WHERE IS IT?
The purpose of this activity
is twofold: to teach the
children geographical names
and to encourage cooperation
through working with a
29. How does it work?You will need pairs of large cards each with the name
of a different geographical location on it (two cards
per location). Have the learners get with a partner.
Place the names of the different countries in a pile
(upside down so that the learners can’t see the
name) on a table or desk. Place cards for the same
states on the floor according to their geographical
location (north, south, east, or west). One of the
partners picks out a card from the pile and looks at
the map on the desk.
That learner must determine the match location, but
not say it or indicate it in any way. The person
holding the clue must direct the other partner to the
30. 9. DOODLE TIME
The purpose of
this activity is
the help of
31. How does it work?
Give learners some blank
paper and markers and let
them DOODLE and talk for
five minutes. It sounds
simple but learners love to
draw and doodle.
32. 10. MINUTE TO WIN IT
33. How does it work?
Each learner has exactly one minute
to perform a specific classroom task.
For example, give learners the task to
put down words that describe the
weather on the day you have the class.
The learner who has the most of the
words is the winner. It is at the
teacher’s discretion to use the task, it
grammar, vocabulary, spelling or any
task the teacher feels appropriate for