Just as a concert often starts with a short lively piece to warm the audience up, a lesson often starts with a brief activity that is relatively lively. Its main function is to generate a good class atmosphere, but it can also be used for reviewing material from previous lessons or introducing new material in the day’s lesson.

Incidentally, the warmup tends to set the tone for the lesson, and if it involves real communication, it will tend to reinforce the importance of genuine communication right from the beginning of the class period.

There are literally hundreds, probably thousands, of ESL songs that can be used for warm-up with your students but this list of twelve (12) favorite EFL songs every China ESL teacher should know will help get you started and feel prepared. Having these up your sleeve before stepping into any Chinese ESL class will ensure your lessons run smoothly and should things get a little out of control, you’ll be able to pull back the attention of the class in no time.

Want to jump right into the list? Here are the 12 ESL warm-up songs we think Chinese kids love most:

  1. A-Tooty-Ta

  2. Baby Shark

  3. Hello!

  4. Let’s shake hands

  5. Hokey pokey

  6. Open shut them

  7. One little finger

  8. Walking walking

  9. If you are happy

  10. Head, shoulders, knees and toes

  11. Make a circle

  12. Bingo

If there are other favorite songs that we missed, kindly add them in the comments section and we will gladly update the list.

Thank you, and happy teaching!