Introductory classroom activities

I haven't posted on this forum before so let me begin with saying that I'm sorry if I'm posting in the wrong forum.I'm looking for ideas on how to get to know a new class, "icebreaker" activities, not only for me but more importantly so that the students will get to know each other. Any suggestions?Any help is much appreciated! 

cmftrier's picture

I'm not usually a fan myslef of embarrassing ice-breakers, but as a teacher I've really found that they break down the tension in a new group and can really lead to the creation of a nice classroom environment in which everyone feels comfortable speaking and participating.Here are my favourites. (I should add, I work with advanced learners, young adults, so some activities may need adaption for beginners / children).1) speed dating: Students have 30 seconds (you can make this longer if you don't want to stress them out as much! But it's quite funny with sucha tight time limit) to talk to another student in the class and find out about them. Then they move on and talk to another student for 30 seconds, then another, etc. At the end of the 30-second 'rounds', we come back together and everyone who talked to a particular student is asked to contribute what they found out. Of course name, age, home town/country, what they study/work as, etc are the most standard questions, but if everyone only asks these questions you get fairly boring introductions, so it's important to encourage students to be creative with what they ask. That way you also hear funny stories about past holidays, for example, or how many pairs of shoes someone has, the craziest person they know, etc etc - the possibilities for creativity are endless. The stress usually makes it funny, and forms bonds between the studednts are they're all "dealing with the stress situation" together. 2) Find someone who: Each student is given a sheet with a list (I'd say 10-20) of attributes / characteristics and asked to find one other student in the class (find someone who...) who fulfils each of these and write their names on the sheet. You can devise your own set according to the group, if you know them, but standard suggestions are: is not wearing jeans, has one sister, has eaten sushi, was born outside of this country, has a tattoo, doesn't eat meat, likes reggae music, etc. Then feed back together as a group to see who has done / does what. This helps students learn each others names, as they have a bit more information to 'attach' name information too in their memories. Hope that helps! Let me know if they work!!CMF

sajacas's picture

Pictograph Mingle. I’m starting with a new class next week, well new to me, they all know each other. It’s also the first class after the summer holidays, so I’m assuming they all want to talk to each other.Warmer- elect student artist, get student to draw 5 things on the board that are important to you, the teacher now, and you want to talk about. For me that’s a dog, a book, a mountain, a gold bar, and a smiley face. Get students to speculate/discuss/ and ask questions to find out what this all represents. (I miss my dog, I’m reading a lot, I just moved to Switzerland, it’s expensive, but I like it.)Give students a post it or blank piece of paper, get them to draw 5 pictographs representing things they want to chat about, things that are important to them at the moment. Give students a time limit to wander about and catch up with each other and explain their pictures.   

girishseshamani's picture

Ice breakers are very critical to get the group be comfortable with each other. I am listing 2 activities which participants of any age group will enjoy.VOLLEY BALL  This is a game in which the whole class is divided into 2 groups. They stand facing each other. The ideal strength of each team is between 8-10 people. Both the groups stand facing each other in a vertical line. The team members put up their hands and call out their names. You could probably have this introduction twice so that students get to know the names and try to remember them. One team starts the game. There is an imaginary ball. Let's say Team A starts the game. One person from Team A will look at any person from Team B, call out his name and pass the ball. While calling out the name, he should also have the imaginary ball in his hand and then pass it.   Once the ball comes to Team B the person who recieves the ball from Team A should pass the ball to any member of his team by looking at him, calling out his name and show the action of passing the ball. This completes one pass within Team B. The member of Team B who recieves the ball from his team member should again make a pass within his own team. He can pass the ball back to the same team member who passed the ball to him or he can pass it to any other team member from his team. This completes 2 passes within Team B. After two passes within Team B, the ball again passes to Team A. Team A should also ensure that they make only 2 passes within their team. Again the ball goes back to Team B.The passing of the ball has to be very quick. No person can take time to get the name right. Secondly each team also needs to ensure that they make only 2 passes within their group. If any team makes less than 2 or more than 2 passes the opposite team gets a point.I bet my life the participants will love you for this. NAME AND DRINK In this game all participants sit in a circle. One person starts the game by introducing himself and naming a drink that he likes. E.g. : My name is John and I like tea. The person sitting next will say, John likes tea. My name is Jack and I like coffee. Make sure participants who speak first are made to recollect the name and drink of other participants anti clockwise. It is sheer madness.All the best.

alexgfrancisco's picture

Hi,My students also like rap so when I was teaching the topic Mass Media I got them to visit the site The Week in Rap - http://theweekinrap.com/ - which presents us with a week's worth of news, rapped. Their challenge was to create something similar and then record it (video or audio). They were allowed to use Newsmap - http://newsmap.jp/ - to get updated news and RhymeZone - http://www.rhymezone.com/ - if they needed help with their rhymes.Hope this helps.Alexandra Francisco

nikiekefa's picture

Hello from Greece!I'd like to share with you two ice-breakers I've been using for quite a long time and I dare say that they do work.The first one is for your students to get to know you - I usually start classes with this. as soon as I enter a new class I tell my name and a few other things - it's up to you how much you want to reveal to your Ss - and I tell my students that we are going to play a kind of game to get to know me. I put them in groups of 5 or 6 Ss- I usually teach groups of 25 to 30 Ss - and assign a secretary in each group. Their task is to come up with any questions they want concerning me and my teaching and write them down. while the groups are doing this I go out of the classroom. I've found out that in the absence of the teacher they are more creative. depending on the level of the students, I might put the following restriction: questions which are grammatically wrong or do not make sense cannot be answered. It's a fun activity but it takes some time.The second is for ss to get to know each other. Pair Students and tell them they have only one minute to talk about themselves to their partner using the sentence "I'm a person who..". when they finish their partner has 40 seconds to repeat as much as their partner said to them using the phrase" You are a person who...". Then the same procedure has to be repeated with the other partner. Ask Ss to present their partners. it's a fast activity that requires attention and listening carefully  to remember the information.I do hope the activities work for you the same way they 've worked for me

ElizabethE's picture

Hello everyone!This has nothing really to do with what was posted before.Do any of you have any ideas on how to improve the use of the black/white board?Sometimes I feel that my board is too messy or in any case difficult for my students to view.Is there any literature available concerning this important tool or do any of you have any insights??Thanks:-)))

Nazokatxon's picture

Hello everyone! My question is how can I make my lessons more interesting that the students of the class are really don`t want  to learn English in compulsory education system