20 flexible, fun and unusual ideas for games and group activities to help you to get to know new classes and to encourage students to work together. These ideas will work in any subject and can be adapted to work with any key stage.
Icebreaker activities from the resource:
Icebreaker taboo. Get students to identify a special power, an unusual fact or interesting quirk, for example impressively large hands, unexpected double-jointedness, an exotic birthplace, etc. They should write down three words connected with this ‘secret’ on a card, without using the word itself. Other students have to guess this special fact using the words on the card as clues (and up to five yes/no questions).
One word. Ask students to describe themselves in one word. This could be by describing themselves as an animal, a colour, a food, a type of sweet/chocolate, or a key characteristic (silly, funny, fast, etc.).
My song. On a similar theme, ask ‘What’s your special song, and why?’.
Sweet treats. Bring in a bag of differently coloured sweets. Share them out. Depending on the colour they pick, students have to share something about themselves on a different, eclectic topic – blue for best-ever holiday, red for fantasy pet, yellow for favourite sport, etc. You could even agree the colour topics at the start, so students talk about things everyone wants to know more about.
Speed dating. Give students a list of 10–15 ‘challenges’. They need to move around the classroom finding people who fit the bill – for example, find someone who loves yellow, someone who has size 5 feet, someone who hates sushi, etc.
Desert island essentials. Ask students: ‘If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you take with you?’ Categories could be decided together and might include favourite music, food, book or film. For a variation on this theme, students could devise their own essential survival kit.
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