Icebreakers

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Name of Teacher: Devin Holloway
Class/Grade/Language Level: Any
Textbook and specific lesson: N/A
Goal: Warm up
Preparation: N/A
Class time: N/A
  • Birthday Chain: Have students ask each other “When is your birthday?” They are to line themselves up chronologically according to their birthdays. Works best on the first day with first years at JHS and SHS levels. Can be used for eikaiwa as well!
  • Business Cards: Pass out business card size slips of paper and ask students to make their own card with things like their names, where they live, etc. Anything they’d want to share in a self introduction, really. It doesn’t have to be full sentences. “Pink” is just as okay as “I like pink.” After they’re finished, ask them to stand up and introduce themselves to the person next to them and exchange cards. Then have them introduce themselves to another person as the person whose card they are holding. Exchange, introduce, exchange, etc.
  • Getting to Know You: With eikaiwa, my students were curious to know all sorts of things about me on the first day. So, I wrote about 15 answers to self introduction questions on the board. Like, 23, older sister, Georgia State University, pink, cats, etc.They had to ask me questions about myself like “How old are you?” “What is your favorite color?” and so on. If the answer was one on the board, I gave them a little omiyage from back home. They seemed to enjoy it; we played again with students taking turns writing their answers.
  • Snowballs: Everyone writes three facts about themselves on a slip of paper. When they are finished, ask them to crumple it up and make a ball. If space allows for it, have a snowball fight with these paper balls. (Note: When I played with my adult eikaiwa, we just put them in a bowl and mixed them up. Worked just as well, even if it’s less fun.) After the snowball fight, everyone picks up the ball closest to them. Start out with you reading the facts first. Ask the students to guess who they think it is.