Icebreakers are a wonderful way to help students get to know one another and feel more comfortable in the classroom. Icebreakers are the most effective tool to engage people and encourage participation. And when students engage at school, they’re more likely to succeed. A good class icebreaker activity can get students laughing and interacting in no time. We offer seven fun icebreaker ideas.
This is a fun icebreaker for all ages. Ask each student to create their own “signature” sound or move, like a gesture, clap or word. Invent your own as well. Then have each person in the room (or on the virtual call) demonstrate their signature. After, it’s time to recall each person’s signature and go around the circle again. Those who remember every single one get a student giveaway, such as glitter putty. For virtual teams, mail a coupon for a free ice cream treat.
2. Scavenger hunt
Create a list of items for students to find—either in the classroom or at home. Items can be anything from functional, easy-to-find things to unique, harder-to-find items. Here are a few examples:
- A rollerball pen
- A business card
- A rock with rounded edges
- A snack
To help build camaraderie and encourage teamwork, pair students up to tackle the list together. Reward teams who find everything by giving them a small prize (that can be handed out or mailed), such as a bag of Smarties®.
3. Getting-to-know-you BINGO
Create BINGO cards that have descriptive sentences about daily life in each square. Ideas include:
- I had orange juice this morning
- I have a pet reptile or spider
- I’ve traveled to a different continent
As the different sentences are read (just as numbers and letters are called in regular BINGO), students mark the ones that describe them. The first person to get a BINGO gets bragging rights and a prize that can be mailed or given out in person, like a school supplies pouch.
4. Two truths and a lie
This class icebreaker activity doubles as a great get-to-know-you exercise. Put students into groups of three. Each student writes down three things about themselves—two that are true and one that’s a lie. Students in each group guess and/or ask follow-up questions to determine which statements are true. This icebreaker is a great conversation starter for students of all ages.
5. “Suddenly” stories
Help students flex their creative muscles by coming up with stories on-the-fly. Start the story with a sentence like, “Last week, I went to the store to pick up some milk when suddenly …”. Then, each student adds to the story, with each addition ending in “suddenly …”. This is a fun group exercise that will get everyone laughing and paying attention.
6. “Would you rather”
Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly? Would you rather be a mouse or a cricket? Would you rather shovel snow or rake leaves? The game “Would You Rather” is a classic icebreaker that can be adapted for all ages.
For younger students, ask silly questions, like “Would you rather kiss a frog or hug a snake?” For older students, ask realistic questions, like “Would you rather vacation in the tropics or the mountains?” Younger students will soon be giggling and warming up to each other, while older students will get to know each other better and create conversation points for later.
7. Create together
Divide students into groups and ask them to create something together, like a short video or re-creation of a meme. Provide a prompt so students can get started without spending time brainstorming ideas. For example, ask students to make a one-minute, step-by-step video on how to plant a garden or cook spaghetti. Select categories like funniest or most accurate. Share the videos or memes in class, and then ask each student to vote for the winner in each category. The winning team gets a student giveaway, such as a happy face stress reliever or mailable Fold Up Flyer.
Easily engage students
Millions of students attend summer school each year. That’s lots of students to warm up and make feel comfortable. With class icebreaker activities, like memorizing signature moves, playing get-to-know-you BINGO, and creating “suddenly” stories, students will be engaged and ready to learn in no time!