The activation phase - 4 of 4

a. We sing "Three Blind Mice", because singing together is the nicest way to start the day and not   because the song contains useful past, present perfect, and stress patterns.

b. We talk about our last weekend, in pairs, because that way we can talk about things that are more personal and not  to get the pupil-talking-time coefficient to rise.

c. We change groups and gossip about our previous partners so that everybody knows as much as possible about everybody else in the group, and not   to get practice with the he and she   forms.

d. We play the ball game because after 35 minutes of talking we all feel like a bit of exercise, and not   because it obliges everyone to answer fast.

In short, the activities are just vehicles to slip in as much unperceived information as possible. They are pretexts for the teacher to convey a stimulating image to the students of what they can become, and they are occasions for students to discover how fast they can learn.