10 Ways to Break the Ice!
The 2012-2013 school year has arrived ... and with every new school year, that means it is time to break the ice! Here are 10 fun activities you can try with your students.
- Secret Identity: Prepare a post-it note for each student in your class and write the names of different famous or well-known people (could be an athlete, musician, celebrity, historical character, etc). Stick a post-it note on everyone's forehead. Students will go around and ask people yes or no questions about who is on their post-it. Keep going until they get a no, or guess who they are. Keep playing until everyone has guessed, or if time is short, stop after the first few correct answers.
- Name Bingo: Create a 4x4 or 5x5 Bingo card for every student, filling them with personal statements. Ex. "has green eyes", "has red hair", "has traveled overseas", "likes the same show as you", etc. Hand out the sheets and allow students to wander and find people that fill in the gaps. Each player can only use another person once on their sheet. Once everyone completes their grid, start reading off random names of your students. Continue until someone yells "Bingo!"
- My Name Is?: Ask each student to state his/her name and attach an adjective that describes a dominant characteristic and also starts with the same letter of their name. Example: Graceful Grace. Write down each of the students' answers and refer to them by this for the rest of the day.
- Mingle Game: Compile a list of random things for students to find .... "someone wearing a ribbon", "plays a musical instrument", "has an unusual hobby", "has braces", etc. Create a worksheet with space for 12-15 blanks. Ask students to walk around the room collecting signatures from people who meet the criteria. A person can only sign the sheet once. Award the first few to finish their lists with prizes.
- Once Upon a Time: Ask your students think of a place, name of a person, or a thing and write it down on a sheet of paper that is passed around. Select one person to begin a story. They must mention the place, person, or thing they thought of within the first 15 seconds. The story is continued by the next person, who must pick it up and mention their place, person, or thing with 15 seconds. Continue until everyone has added to the story. Bonus: Record the story and share it with parents!
- 3 Truths & a Lie: Every student writes down 4 statements ... 3 are true facts, 1 is a lie. Everyone takes a turn reading their list aloud and the rest of the students write down what they think is the lie. When all are done reading the lists aloud, go back and see who was able to correctly identify the lies.
- Flags: Provide large sheets of paper, crayons, markers, glitter, paint, etc. Ask each student to draw a flag containing 4-6 symbols and pictures describing who they are, what's important to them, what they enjoy, etc. Ask some of the students to share their flags and explain the meaning of what they drew. Hang all of the flags up for display around the classroom. Bonus: Have students try to match the flags to each artist.
- Team Architect: Divide students into groups and instruct them to build something out of a limited amount of odd materials. For example, one team is given a packet of popsicle sticks and a roll of tape. They must build a bridge that will be able to support the weight of a heavy book. Another example: a group is given 2 sheets of poster board and glue. They must build a tower that is a certain height, that can also support the weight of a heavy item. After the allocated building time is up, gather the groups and test the structures.
- One Minute: Compile a list of random subjects/topics and write each one on a different index card. Assign each card a number and have students draw from your stack. Make sure that your topics are creative, amusing, and will help stimulate the imagination. Students will go in numerical order and take turns talking about their card's topic for one minute. Use a timer or stopwatch and see how long each person can last before drying up!
- Let's Make a Deal: Divide students into groups and hand each a worksheet with 6-8 items listed that students would likely have with them. Make 2 or 3 of the items more uncommon. The team gets points for each person who has items on your list. Only 1 of each item per person can be counted and the team with the most points wins. Your list could include: an unusual key chain, a picture, something green, a ruler, etc.
So ... which of the above icebreakers are you going to try with your students? Did I miss one of your favorite activities? Add your own ideas to the comment section below!
BONUS: Want EVEN MORE ideas to use with your students? Check out this great resource I found inside the Teacher Learning Community: 8 Icebreakers Adapted for Online Student Communities
This resource was created by Collaborize Classroom, a FREE online learning platform that allows teachers to extend their classroom discussions to a structured and private online community.
Start the 2012-2013 school year off on the right foot ... Learn more about Collaborize Classroom and Get your FREE Online Learning Platform TODAY!