Thursday, April 16, 2009

TEACH BETTER: 5 BRILLIANT ICEBREAKERS (AND SLIGHTLY BADASS) WAYS HOW TO DO IT


Icebreakers should always be a part of a teacher's toolkit. They help set the tone for your class. It's also a good way to know your students. Here's my list of the top 5 icebreakers I use in class.

  1. First Impressions/Back-Stabbing

    This is ideal for a group of students who don't know each other. Each student posts a bond paper on his/her back. Then students go around and write their first impressions of one another on the bond paper. You could add in some funky music to make it lively. Students are extremely surprised how people see them.

  2. And the Band was Playing

    If you have students who are music lovers, then this one will be a great hit. Students are put into groups equally depending on the number (e.g. 5 people for a group of 20). Next, students are given a category (e.g. love, color) then they will have to think of songs that have the word in them. One group will sing together a song and they will say "And the Band Was Playing Group #4". Then Group #4 will sing another song within 3 seconds. If not, they will be out. If they sing a song that has already been sung, they are also out. The last group standing wins the game.

  3. Paint Me a Picture

    This is another group game that involves acting. The object of the game is to come up with the best pose according to a given category (e.g. movies). First, a title of the movie is given. My favorite here is Lord of the Rings. Then the students will be given time to conceptualize their pose. After 1 minute, students should freeze and make their best post. The group that has the best pose gets a point.

  4. Knights of the Round Table

    Students sit down in a circle. Each student should write their name on a piece of paper. The teacher then gives a command to pass their papers clockwise or counterclockwise (e.g. pass your paper 3 persons clockwise). A question is given pertaining to the person that they got.

    Some of my favorite questions include:

    1. If this person won $1M, what do you think he/she will do?
    2. If this person were an animal, what would he/she be?
    3. If this person were a famous celebrity, who would he/she be?
    4. If this person were a person from a distant past, who would he/she be?

    When the students get back their sheet of paper, they laugh at the answers. Sharing of answers is definitely recommended.

  5. Two Truths and One Lie

Students will write three statements about themselves. Two should be true statements and one should be lie. Then they share their statements to the class, and students will guess which one is the lie.

(N.B. This post is part of my Day 2 assignment in the 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge by Problogger: Write a List Post)




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Woman Behind A Teacher's Odyssey

My name is Miracel Juanta and I write ATeachersOdyssey to help students and teachers create better English. I have been in the teaching profession for more than 10 years. My field of expertise includes ESL,IELTS,TOEFL,Business English etc. If you have questions about English, feel free to email me at msjuanta@yahoo.com or add my twitter @msjuanta.