A while ago I used magazine pictures as a warm-up activity which worked well. In the long run I faced a problem of finding a proper picture....And.... I was really lucky to find a set of 50 questions (conversation startes) on busyteacher.com! http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4392166/Methodology/387_conversation-starterstop-501.pdf
I intend to make maximum use of this stuff.
Idea 1. Group. I ask my students to choose any number from 1 to 50. He/she chooses say number 40 and I ask question 40 from the list:
If snow could fall in any flavour, what flavor would you choose?
The question might seem a bit strange, but it helps to switch off and get tuned for the lesson.
Idea 2. In pairs. I made flashcards with these questions. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4392166/Methodology/questions%20flashcards.docx
At the beginnining of the class every student is supposed to take one question and ask his partner. Don't forget about follow-up questions:) and time-limits. I guess 5-6 min will be enough:)
Any other ideas?