Here´s a simple warmer that never fails to get learners talking: Ask them to work with a partner or in a small group and say what they had for breakfast that morning.
Tell them that it´s OK if they didn´t have anything for breakfast, they can tell their partner that instead and perhaps also explain why that was (if they feel comfortable sharing that).
While they´re doing this learners can practise using food vocabulary and encourage them to ask you or check with a dictionary if they´re not sure what word they need for a particular food or drink item they want to say.
Learners can also practise using the present simple and past simple appropriately. When they´ve finished the activity, you can ask for some feedback from the learners on what they or their partners ate for breakfast and focus their attention on the contrast between:
I drink a coffee every morning when I get up
This morning I drank a coffee and ate some toast
This can lead into a discussion about whether not eating or skipping breakfast makes it more difficult to concentrate. Learners can also compare and contrast each other´s breakfasts, e.g.
I usually only eat a small breakfast, but Juan always has a large breakfast.
As you can see from the example above, this is also an opportunity to practise using frequency adverbs.
If you would like to look at the topic of breakfast in a little more detail, you could also use this video “What does the world eat for breakfast.” Ask the learners to watch the video and make notes on the contents of breakfasts that they would like to eat and then ask them which breakfast they would most like to eat–they´re not allowed to choose the breakfast from their home country if it´s in the video.
If there is a picture of breakfast in the learners´ home country or countries, you can ask them if this is really what people in that country eat.
Now the learners have “profiles” of some of the different breakfasts in the notes they made while watching the video, you can ask them to express their opinions about the breakfasts and compare and contrast them. To do this, you could use
too / not enough
in combination with adjectives for food, e.g. large, small, salty, sweet, filling, light, plain, rich, spicy.
The bacon in the British breakfast is too salty for me.
The flatbread in the Egyptian breakfast isn´t sweet enough for me.
The salsa in the Mexican breakfast is too spicy for me.
Of course, this is also a good opportunity to focus on country names and nationalities. Encourage the learners to use the words for the nationalities of the countries when they´re describing and comparing the breakfasts.