I have included two new icebreakers for you to try at the start of a new semester. Remember, you are always welcome to modify based on the level of your students. If you get a chance, let me know how you adapted the icebreakers and why.
ICEBREAKER: THREE FACTS ABOUT ME (Discussion, Collaboration)
Description: This is a fun activity to do when students are meeting each other for the first time.
Application: This is an icebreaker but can also serve as a review activity.
Process: Hand out an index card to each student and direct them to write three of their interests, hobbies, and/or experiences (sports, music, reading, etc.) on the card. Remind them to put their name on the card. Gather cards. Have all students stand. Select one card, read aloud the first item and say, “Any student that does NOT have something similar, sit down. Read the second item aloud and say, “Only students who have both items in common remain standing.” Read the last item. If only one student remains standing, introduce the student. If more than one student remains, emphasize that they have many similarities, even though they may have attended different schools or live in different neighborhoods, etc. Repeat the process with another card and after activity, review cards to gain insight about each student. Ebony Matkins, CCECHS
ICEBREAKER FOLLOW-UP: TAKE A STAND (Discussion, Collaboration)
Description: The Icebreaker Follow-up: Take a Stand is perfect to end the first day of class as a sequel activity if there is at least twenty minutes of class left. It can also be used as an informal assessment best used with common misunderstandings. It combines elements of discussion with movement.
Application: This activity can be used as an icebreaker, but also as an informal assessment in most subjects.
Process: Before the very first day of class, prepare a list with numerous either-or statements. After the administrative duties that occur on the first day of class are over, engage students in an icebreaker activity that encourages discussion, camaraderie, and collaboration. Ask students to move desks toward the walls and gather around the open area. With masking tape, tape a line in the middle of the open area and announce that it is the “dividing line.” Explain to students that a statement will be read out loud and they will move to the side indicated. If a student is undecided, tell them to straddle the line. Examples: chicken or salad, mountain or beach, Pepsi or Coke, Gatoraid or Poweraid, Netflix or Hulu, football or basketball, thunderstorm or snowstorm, night owl or early riser, shy or outgoing, call or text, etc. (If used as an informal assessment, provide two options of commonly confused information: Display cloud formation: cumulus or nimbus, First President? Washington or Lincoln, Creator of Big Stick Policy? Teddy Roosevelt or Franklin, etc.)
Alison Thetford, M.Ed