AFT - American Federation of Teachers

Shortcut Navigation:
 
Email ShareThis

Icebreakers

Getting To Know You
Have students line up silently according to the month and day of birth. Have pairs face each other and exchange information specified by you (likes, dislikes, favorites, what they most want other students to know about them, etc.). Then have members of each pair introduce the other.

Find Your Partner
Distribute cards with famous partners (Romeo and Juliet; Mickey and Minnie Mouse; Angelina and Brad, etc.) and have each person find his or her partner. The duo may be paired to work on a task together or find out something interesting about each other to share with the class.

A variation of this activity is to prepare cards that have four items that can be grouped. When the groups are together they will work as teams on a task.

It’s a Match
On 3x5 cards, write down adjectives that describe people (happy, fun, direct, appreciative, creative, kind, analytical, adventurous, etc.). Make enough that each participant will have three cards and include duplicate cards. Instruct participants to exchange cards with others in the room until they get three cards that best describe them. Allow five minutes for participants to complete the exercise. When time is up, ask participants to introduce themselves and share the three words that best describe them.

Truth or Not
Ask participants to write down three statements about themselves. Tell them to make sure one is false. Participants then circulate around the room, introducing themselves to each other, sharing their statements, and asking each other to identify the false statement. Allow five-10 minutes for participants to mingle. Bring the group back together and ask participants to read their statements and have the large group guess which is the false statement.

Bingo
Create a bingo card with boxes that contain questions like:

  • Who has three siblings?
  • Who speaks a foreign language?
  • Who knows how to water ski?
  • Who grew up in the city?
  • Who likes beets?

Leave a line in the box under the question for the answer. When participants enter the room, give them a card and ask them to find another participant in the room who is the answer to each question. For example, a person who grew up in the city writes his or her name on the line of the other person’s card. Participants may not use their own name on their card.

Postcard Select
Prepare postcard sets, 3x5 cards with stickers affixed, or objects of different colors. There should be as many of each category as you want to have in working tables or groups. Each person draws an object or card from a bag and finds others with the same category; like groups sit together. To get to know each other, have groups exchange answers to questions such as:

  • Share something about yourself that you think no one at the table may know.
  • Describe a positive experience in the past week.
  • Share your biggest challenge at school.
  • Share something you would like to know more about.

Team Building
Divide students into groups of four or five people by having them number off. Tell the newly formed groups that their assignment is to find 10 things they have in common with every other person in the group. (No body parts [we all have legs; we all have arms] and no clothing [we all wear shoes, we all wear pants]). This helps the group explore shared interests more broadly. One person must take notes and be ready to read their list to the whole group upon completion of the assignment. This activity may give clues to interests that may form the basis for projects.

People Search
This review technique may be used after a break or at the start of a new session. Each person receives a search sheet and asks other students or participants to answer one of the questions on the sheet. The person’s name and answer are jotted on the grid. The first person to complete all the boxes is the winner. Each question must be responded to by a different person, ensuring that contact is made with a number of people.

I Have, Who Has...?
This activity can be adapted for any subject. It is a looping review activity in which each student receives a card that begins with the answer to a question and then asks another question. The last question in a round will be the question for the first “I have…” statement that was made. The round ends with that answer. To plot your activity, use this  printable chart .