Tuesday, August 9, 2016
My Favorite Icebreaker Activity
I'm really not a fan of icebreakers. I don't like for kids to feel uncomfortable and many icebreakers feel that way. This is an activity that I do most years with all of my classes at some point during the first week of school, typically around day 3. I'm careful to avoid the words 'fun' or 'game' in general because I don't like to hear kids say "I thought this was supposed to be fun." or "This is a dumb game."
I call this activity "I Like." The entire class sits in a circle facing inward, either on the floor or in chairs. If anyone is wearing a skirt or dress, then chairs are better. I usually start by standing up and saying something such as "I like to ride roller coasters." Then everyone in the class that also likes to ride roller coasters stands up. After about 3 seconds the person to my left either stands or remains standing and says something such as "I like pizza." Then everyone that likes pizza either stands or remains standing. Anyone that does not like pizza sits or remains sitting. This continues until everyone has had a chance to say something that they like.
Avoid the word favorite. Many kids may like soccer, but it may not be their favorite sport. Also, require that everyone share something new that they like when it is their turn, no repeats.
The idea is for the class to see that they have lots of things in common. Maybe they will even strike up a conversation later in the year when they are assigned a partner or group.
So there you have it, a simple activity to encourage kids to get to know a little about each other. It requires no supplies and no one feels overly embarrassed by having to do something weird in front of the class.