Ice-breaker ideas

As the first week back in the new academic year commences, it’s natural to feel a range of emotions from nervousness to excitement. Due to COVID-19 there are new government rules to follow this year in the classroom. The ‘new normal’ will be different for everyone, with the application of social distancing.

Here at Teachers UK we want to help everyone ease back into the fresh academic year. Therefore, we have thought of a range of activities that are designed to help motivate and bond children, yet still comply to government rules.

So, why not try out these socially distanced ice breakers at the beginning of the class?

– ‘Carry on the story’ game: one person starts with ‘once upon a time’ and each member of the class carries on the story with 5 words max. See where your class’s tale goes!

– The ‘holiday game’: one person starts with the phrase ‘I went on holiday and I packed a…’. Then each member of the class adds an item to the bag, repeating the one said before – see how many items you can get to!

– Team games: split the class in half, Left side vs. Right side – Pictionary or Hangman with topics learnt in the previous class (additional point if team defines the word).

– Gratitude break: go around and each share something for which you are grateful. The benefits of recognising gratitude include less aggression, stronger relationships, better health, and improved mental function.

– Question of the day: pose a question each day for students to write their responses (younger students can draw their responses instead). They can then share their answers with the class. Here are some example questions: Who is the funniest person you know and why? What skill would you like to learn this year and how can you make that happen?

– Empires: the teacher is the adjudicator and the class pick a topic, such as food. Each class member writes down their chosen item from this topic on a board. With the class facing forward, the class show their board to the teacher so the teacher can write down each class members name with item chosen. The teacher reads out all the items once. The class then have to guess which item was chosen by each member, without revealing their own. If they are wrong the person just says no, but if they are right, they say so and then move next to the person who got it right. They now are the King of an Empire. This same process goes around and around the circle gradually building up more empires. If your thing has been guessed and you are in an Empire you can’t guess any more people’s things, but you can however help your King to decide whose thing they should guess next.