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.