What are Lesson Starters? A bit of history and FAQ.

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Lesson Starters Intermediate

Plan your lessons faster, and never run out of ideas again!

Lesson Starters is our bestselling material (read on to find out why), but we still get a lot of questions about it from many teachers. In this post we’re answering all of them!

Why did we make them?

We ran out of lesson ideas!

We reached a point in our teaching where we’d had lessons with the same students for years.

Does it happen to you? At the beginning it’s easy, you have so many topics to choose from. But after a few years with the same groups, you can’t talk about the same things over and over again. And you just want to shout:

“I don’t know what to do with my students! We’ve done EVERYTHING!”

So we came up with this idea for Lesson Starters.

We thought: wouldn’t it be so much easier if you just had a list of interesting (and not so common) topics to do with your B2 students? And then we went even further – what if we gave you not just an idea for a topic but also all these extra activities you could do with your students? That way whenever you run out of ideas for a lesson, you could just take one topic card, use it as your lesson starter, check out all the activities, and run your lesson.

And so it began!

Lesson Starters Upper

What are Lesson Starters?

Lesson Starters are sets of 100 cards full of interesting topics. They will help you with planning engaging lessons and introducing extra practice on a topic you’re covering.
Each Lesson Starters set consists of 100 cards in 50 different topics:

  • 50 Photo Cards to be used in your lesson
  • 50 Teacher Notes Cards – the engine of the pack. They give you a selection of possible activities you can do on each topic.

Each card and every topic gives your students the opportunity to practise:

  • speaking and communication
  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • writing
  • collaboration

All activities require very little or no prep.

What topics are covered in Lesson Starters?

Among the topics in Lesson Starters, you’ll find some common ones, like Food or Home. However, we also aimed to include some more uncommon topics, which can be a great way to supplement your “regular” coursebook topics. For example, you can supplement the typical coursebook “Body” topic with our “Body Acceptance” topic card + activities.

That way you can suit the needs of all kinds of students: those who prefer to talk about things they are familiar with, and those who are ready to discover new, interesting topics.

For a full list of topics for each level, visit our shop HERE.

Lesson Starters Elementary

How do they work?

Planning lessons with Lesson Starters is very easy.


  1. Choose the topic card that you want to cover.
  2. Check out the Teacher Notes for that card and choose the activities you want to do in this lesson.
  3. Use the Photo Card as your lesson starter (or warmer).
  4. Run the rest of your lesson.

Do they work for online lessons?

Yes! All slides in Lesson Starters are horizontal, which mean you can display the full page without having to scroll up and down during the lesson.

The clickable contents will take you to your desired topic straight away. And bookmarks will let you navigate between the topics and cards very easily.

What levels and ages is it for?

Lesson Starters are intended for classes with adults and older teenagers at all levels. Right now in our shop you can get:

Lesson Starters Elementary (A1-A2)

Lesson Starters Intermediate (A2-B1)

Lesson Starters Upper (B2 onwards)

Lesson Starters Intermediate

What can you do with Lesson Starters?

Lesson Starters will make it easy for you to plan full lessons. But you can also use them:

  • as warmers
  • to supplement your coursebook topics
  • for grammar revision
  • to introduce new vocabulary

Why do teachers love them?

We asked teachers who work with Lesson Starters to tell us what they think. Here are their answers:

“They save me so much time on my lesson prep!”

“The topics are very interesting and the questions encourage students to talk. Even students who are normally quiet want to talk.”

“So many times I’ve run the whole lesson using just the Photo Card, the questions really make the students talk.”

“I love them because they are good, and also, because they just look so beautiful!”

Are you ready to save some time on your lesson prep?

Check out detailed contents and sample pages for each Lesson Starters set here:

Lesson Starters