8 Ice Breakers to Start Off The School Year

By July 20, 2017Teacher Resources

Getting to know people could be a little difficult, especially when it comes to getting to know your students for the upcoming school year.

So here are a few games to break the ice with your students!

Two Truths and a Lie

Everyone has interesting facts about themselves, but it’s not so easy to tell if a person is lying or not if you barely know them! Two Truths and a Lie is a good way to get to know your students. The rules are simple. Start off by thinking of two truths, things that you have actually done or that have happened to you. Next comes the lie. Make it as simple or outlandish as you want. Now it’s time for everyone to guess! Will your students believe that you’ve jumped out of a plane or that you’re a descendant of Cleopatra? Who knows! Continue on until all of your students have had a turn. They might just stump you too!

String Game

Got a ball of yarn laying around the house? Good! You’ll need it. Form a large circle with your students, and start off by saying your name and your favorite food or color. Next, toss the ball of yarn to a student, preferably one not standing next to you, while still holding on to your piece of string. Here’s the tricky part, each person that catches the yarn next must repeat all of the names and favorites that were said before theirs. After everyone has gone the game will reverse and you will have to untangle the yarn while repeating the names backwards. Don’t get too tangled up!

I am, You Are

It’s always fun to see your students interact with each other, and it is even better to see them getting to one another. I am, & You are is just the game for that. It goes as follows: say you have 22 students, then you’ll need 21 chairs in a circle. You guessed it; one student will be left without a chair. Ask our chair-less friend to stand in the middle of the circle. If I were the person in the center of the circle, I’d say something like, “ I’m an 8th grader and you’re an 8th grader if you have a dog.” Everyone with a dog gets up and switches seats. The person left without a chair repeats the same process. 

The Candy Game

Who doesn’t love candy! This game is inexpensive and consists of any colorful candy, like skittles or M&M’s. Make sure each student gets at least 1 or 2 of each color candy in the bag. Write a series of ‘getting to know you’ questions on the board or on a hand out. Each question represents one color candy. You can either have the students write out their answers and read them to the class, or have them present them as they go through each color candy. The best part is you don’t have to clean up. Let your kids feast!

This is My Dance

Let your students show off their mad dance skills. Have your students gather in a circle as you start off the game. For example, if I were I going I would step up a little and say “My name is Kia and this is my dance (whips).” The class would then repeat me by saying “Her name is Kia and this is her dance” and they would also repeat my dance moves. Continue to go through the circle, but make sure to remember everyone’s name and dance moves. As you continue down the line, each person after you must repeat every name and dance move that came before. After everyone has gone you will all go through everyone’s name and dance moves as a group. 

WhoDunIt

Guessing games like I spy can get a little boring but this guessing game is so much fun! All you need is one note card and a pencil/pen for each team. Split your class into two teams and have each member write down one interesting fact about themselves. For example, if there are 12 members to a team there should be 12 answers on a note card. After all of the note cards have been filled out you will switch note cards with the other team and you have to guess which person did what. If the students do not know each other’s names yet, please be sure to do an introduction first. 

WhoRYou

This game might sound familiar! It goes as such: Go around the room and say your first name along with an adjective that starts with that letter. So, I would say something like “kind Kia” and you would continue this process throughout the room.  Make sure to remember everyone’s answers that came before yours because you’ll have to repeat them as you go!

Mingle Mingle Mingle

This game calls for a bit of wiggle room, so make sure there’s enough space for your students to move around. Mingle mingle mingle is my personal favorite! Pair your students up with someone they don’t know and prepare a series of questions to ask them.The students will then answer the question with their partner in one minute, giving each person 30 seconds to talk.  After everyone is finished talking, call out ‘Mingle Mingle Mingle’ and the students go find another partner. Make the questions as simple or a difficult as you’d like. 

I hope these sparked a few ideas for you to engage with your students!