An energiser is a very brief activity to help students relax, refocus and feel less tried. Brief energisers in the form of for example, stretching, breathing, songs and games can add energy and fun to the lessons. They can create interest in the topic being discussed, provide transitions from one topic to another, help students focus and can be used to teach valuable lessons.
An energiser should never be longer than between 1-3 minutes. Use your students as a resource and ask them to lead the class in energisers.
Please use energisers with care. You should not use an energiser that will clash with the feeling conveyed by the activity or the mood of the class. For example, when you are dealing with a serious topic like abuse or bullying, you cannot use a frivolous energiser like pass the laugh or jump up and down. You would rather use a deep-breathing and silent energiser.
Below are examples of short 1-minute energisers. Choose appropriate energisers for your lesson.
Sing the first few lines of a song. Get the students to stand up and sing the rest of the song while they clap and dance or stamp their feet. Alternatively, ask any student to sing the first few words of a song and the rest of the class can join in.
Let the students reach up with their arms while they stand on tip-toe, as if they are tickling stars, as high as they can go.
Ask the students to quickly stand up, sit down, stand up and then sit. Yawn Ask the students to give big, huge yawns and sighs.
Ask the students to give big, huge yawns and sighs.
Give students these instructions: ‘Breathe in deeply through your nose. Send this breath down to your tummy and feel your tummy move. Now breathe out through your mouth, while drawing your tummy in.’ Repeat x 3.
Pass the laugh
Start laughing. Soon the students will also start giggling and laughing. Soon the whole class will be laughing.
Ask the students to scream with their whole body as if they were 2-year olds throwing a tantrum except no sound must come out of their mouths. They can pull their faces, put their tongues out, make a fist, shake their legs and breathe out. This is all done silently!
Let the students shake their hands, arms, legs, head, shoulders, feet, ears, hair – as many body parts they can manage.
Move on the spot
Let the students march, jog or dance on the spot (where they are standing), while they swing their arms.
Game for focus
- Ask the students to work with a partner sitting next to them by standing up and facing each other.
- Students must take turns counting up to three. Partner A says ‘1’, Partner B says ‘2’, Partner A says ‘3’, Partner B says ‘1’, and so on. Have them repeat this pattern for a few seconds.
- Instead of counting out loud up to three, students have to clap. The first student claps once, the second one claps twice and first one claps three times and so on.
- Now let students count to three by using a clap for ‘1’ and a finger click for ‘2’ and a clap for 3.
- Students can count to three by using clap for ‘1’, click for ‘2’ and foot stomp for ‘3’. Repeat x 3.
On your own, attempt 5 different energisers.