A new school year means new faces — both for teachers and students. While your class may be reserved at first, you can quickly work through that initial shyness with a good icebreaker activity. Icebreakers work to create a more relaxed and welcoming classroom environment, and help students get to know each other better. After you meet your new group of students, try one of these fun icebreakers:
Scavenger hunts are a popular activity, but with this hunt students aren’t looking for objects. Instead, they’re searching for new friends! This scavenger hunt asks students to find classmates with similar interests, as well as practice sharing school supplies.
For a more traditional scavenger hunt that asks students to find objects in the classroom, you can use this alternative. If you want an activity that gets students to explore their new learning environment for the year, it may be a better fit.
Design challenges and science experiments aren’t just good for STEM education; they also make great icebreakers, because they’re hands-on and offer opportunities to contribute in different ways. Also, there are so many STEM activities that are appropriate for a variety of ages. You can ask younger students to build a cup tower, or if your students are older you can task them with building a catapult.
To make things more exciting and provide some extra motivation, you can also make the activity a competition. For instance, if you’re having your students build a bridge, challenge them to make the longest bridge, or the bridge that can hold the most weight!
This graphic questionnaire includes prompts for students to share their interests, hobbies, and fun facts. Students can write about themselves, or you can assign pairs and have students interview each other. Then, learners can present on their interviewee. Since students are sharing about themselves one-on-one and then relying on someone else to relay that information to the rest of the class, this can get rid of some of the awkwardness that comes with introducing yourself to large groups of people.
For an icebreaker, some goals to shoot for are to get each student to say their name at least once and open up about themselves a little. As a lightweight introduction activity, these name tents tick both of those boxes.
Students will design their own name placards for their seats, as well as draw pictures representing what they enjoy. After they share, they can keep the tents on their desks to help everyone learn each other’s names.
Encourage your class to move around and mingle with these bingo cards! To fill in spaces, students have to ask their classmates questions to see who meets the criteria. If you have enough students, consider instituting a rule that learners can only write each other student’s name once. You can also offer a small prize to the first few students who manage to hit bingo to add some extra encouragement.
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