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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 12:05 am
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Lightbulb Ice breakers - first class

I really don't know if these are new to you guys but since I was brainstorming some ice breaker ideas, I decided to share them.

1. Put some sentences on the board that will help them get to know each other, not more than five. For example, with Basic students: What’s your name? / nickname? / occupation?

Put them standing up in two rows facing each other. They’ll have to talk to the person in front of them ask and answering the questions. When you clap your hands, they all move to their left (the ss who are first and last in the row, then change rows.) and continue doing the same thing with the new partner. Feedback with whole class at the end.
Variation: you can put some lively song (but at low volume) and instead of clapping, you’ll stop the song every time they have to change position.
Odd number of students: Since it’s fast paced, you can leave 1 student out. As soon as you clap, you put this student in the row and take out another student. When you clap for the second time, you put the student you’ve just taken out back in the row and take out another student and so on. Or you can participate.

2) Toilet paper – Pass around a roll of toilet paper and tell ss they can get as much as they want (it needs to be the one with the dotted lines). After all of them have taken some, they’ll have to give as many pieces of information about themselves as the number of “squares” they took from the paper.
- A variation can be done with M & M's (cuter, no doubt, but less fun)

3 - Ss have to write down on a piece of paper 3 pieces of information about themselves. After that, they’ll make a plane with the paper. You’ll play a song and while the song is playing they’ll have to throw the airplanes around (of course, getting any airplane that lands next to them). Once you stop they’ll get the plane they have in their hands or right next to them and read the information and try to guess who wrote it. They can go around the classroom asking questions to find out. Feedback with whole class at the end.

4. If I were... I would be... – Give out cards to students with one or two sentences using this structure “If I were... I would be...”. They’ll have 1-2 minutes to think of an answer. When they’ve done that, get them standing and in pairs or small groups they’ll have to read out and explain to their partner(s) their answers. When you clap, they change partners. Feedback with whole class at the end.
Put one sentence for you on the board and do it yourself first so students can get a hang of it.
Some possible sentences: If I were an animal, I would be...
If I were a fruit/food/vegetable, I would be...
If I were a country/state, I would be...
If I were a color, I would be...
If I were famous, I would be ...
Variation - they write down their answers and give you back the paper. You mix them up and distribute to students who have to try to guess who wrote it.

5. Yes / No / Maybe-Not much – Write these three “words” on different sheets of paper big enough so ss can see them from a certain distance. Stick them on the walls as far as possible from each other. Get students standing up in the middle of the classroom. Tell them you’re going to read some questions and they must stand next to the suitable answer for them. Read out first question. When students are placed, ask one from each group some follow-up question (or to make it more fast paced only ask one student varying the groups on the next questions). Then put them back in the middle and ask the second question and so on.
Variation: Select a student to answer and ask other students to make the follow-up questions.
Example of questions for intermediate students:
“Did you have vacation?”
“Did something really good happen to you this year?”

Hope it helps.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

Thanks for sharing your ideas! Here's one that I always use..

I like to use a small sponge ball and place the students into a circle, where they have to throw a ball to another student while saying, "What's your name?" When the person has caught the ball and answered, "My name is xxx. What's your name?" they then have to throw the ball to another student and the process is repeated.

Once they get to know each other you can speed it up, introduce two balls or have them say, "My name is XXX, her name is xxx. What's your name?" You can vary it as much as you want and all your students will be happy.
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Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 06:47 am
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

for more ideas you can take a look at these
http://www.eslflow.com/ICEBREAKERSreal.html
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Unread Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:24 am
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

You'll find a bunch of warm-up activities and icebreakers here on video.
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Unread May 2nd, 2012, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

My favorite icebreaker on the first day is running elections in class. They just love it.
I usually ask them to elect a class English delegate. I just make the process funny. Most of my class have monthly delegates. So there is always an on going competition to become the English delegate next month. Just make the delegate have attractive privileges.
Just my two cents.
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Unread Aug 7th, 2013, 06:23 pm
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

Hi! I teach esl adults (from 18 to 60 years old) absolute beginners, and I need some icebreakers or getting to know each other games, but taking into account that they DON'T SPEAK A WORD OF ENGLISH... any suggestions? I would appreciate any help! Thanks a lot!
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Unread Jan 8th, 2014, 05:34 pm
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

Thank you for sharing these ice breakers. I will be teaching my first Adult ESOL classes Spring Semester 2014 beginning next week and have been looking for some ideas. These posted on this forum look very engaging, fun and aligned with adult learning. I'm sure I'll be back.
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Unread Jan 19th, 2014, 09:28 am
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

These will be useful
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Unread Jan 28th, 2014, 01:24 am
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

This is a bit late but in case we are building a database of games that we can later come back to, I play a game called Dracula where you stand everyone in a circle and make them say their names once, loud and clear. You are in the center of the circle and you run towards a student while acting like a "monster". In order to save him or herself, the student has to yell out the name of another student in the circle. When he/she does, you turn around and run towards that student. If you touch someone before they can call the name of a fellow student, that student comes to the center of the circle and you take his place in the circle. It works great as an ice breaker.
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Unread Jan 28th, 2014, 01:30 am
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

This is a bit late but in case we are building a database of games that we can later come back to, I play a game called Dracula where you stand everyone in a circle and make them say their names once, loud and clear. You are in the center of the circle and you run towards a student while acting like a "monster". In order to save him or herself, the student has to yell out the name of another student in the circle. When he/she does, you turn around and run towards that student. If you touch someone before they can call the name of a fellow student, that student comes to the center of the circle and you take his place in the circle. It works great as an ice breaker.
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Unread May 4th, 2014, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Ice breakers - first class

The weirdest icebreaker I ever heard was this one: A teacher named the students on their first day of class with the eight parts of speech. So at the end of the process there was a student called Noun, Verb, Adjective and so on and so forth. There were ten students in the class anyway. So two had other names related to parts of English language.
The teacher's idea was to get them to remember these parts of speech all the time.
If it inspires you give it a shot. Your students will go nuts.
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Last edited by Denis DNT : May 4th, 2014 at 11:13 pm. Reason: spelling
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