Each year, we have the privilege as teachers to host 25+ young learners in our classroom for the year. And as excited as we are to get started and begin our routine, it’s very important to take time to get to know each student. Along with that, students need to get to know each other, too! Having a strong classroom community can truly make or break your classroom management later in the year. Taking time at the beginning of the school year to play team building games and icebreakers is important! I’ve gathered five fun icebreakers that your students will just love to play!
Icebreaker #1: Joke/Punch Line
Begin by creating joke cards. Write the joke on one card and the punchline of the joke on another card. You will need to make the number of cards that matches the number of students you have. Mix the cards up and pass them out randomly to students. Have students walk around and try to find their partner. Once found, have them answer a fun ‘get to know you’ question about themselves. Allow one group to share out their joke.
To continue playing, have students mix up the cards again and play to find their new partner! You can continue to do this until all of the jokes have been told or until time runs out! This is a fun way to get students up, moving, laughing, and meeting new friends!
Icebreaker #2: Capture the Balloon
Begin by blowing up a balloon for each child. Give them a balloon and have them decorate the balloon with their name, pictures that represent them, etc. When ready, play music and allow students to bat the balloons all around the room to mix them up. When the music stops, have students grab a balloon (one that isn’t theirs) and freezes!
Next, the teacher will call on a student. That students will say the name on the balloon that they are holding. Then that student (whose name is on the balloon) will tell the class something special about themselves. Finally, start back up the music, bat the balloons, and continue playing until everyone’s has had a chance to say something about themselves.
Icebreaker #3: Four Corners
This is one of my favorite icebreakers! I love it because there’s absolutely no prep and no paper or materials involved! Four corners is the perfect icebreaker! To play, you can do this digitally or verbally, completely up to the teacher! Come up with ‘get to know you’ questions and have 4 choices ready to give. Read the questions out loud. Then read each choice and assign each one to a corner of the room. Have students move to the corner of the room that matches the answer they want to choose.
Once all students are in place, you can take time to talk about their answers or simply go onto the next question! I love this game so much that I decided to make one to share with teachers! All you need is a computer and projector to display and you’re ready to play! Come snag this awesome Back to School 4 Corner Game for your first few weeks of school!
Icebreaker #4: Quadrants
Quadrants is a super quick and easy get to know you game that works for all level of students! Simply have students draw a 2×2 quadrant (4 squares connected). Then ask the students 4 questions – these can be very basic ‘get to know you’ questions or more deep questions. Students will answer each question by drawing out an answer, one in each square. When done, have students form small groups and go around to discuss what their drawings are showing and explain their answers to each question! Super fun and simple!
Icebreaker #5: Group Juggle
This is a fun way to get to know everyone’s names! Put students into small groups of 6-9. Give each group a small ball to toss around. One person starts. Then he/she must say another student’s name and toss the ball to him/her. Then that person says another person’s name and tosses the ball to him/her, and so on. Do this until a pattern has been made. Then to make it more interesting and fun, add in another ball! Students must go in the same order over and over again paying attention to where the balls are coming from and who they have to toss to!