Icebreakers are quick and fun activities for students to find out more about their peers. Icebreakers reduce anxiety of students, and energize them for learning.
Icebreakers need not be related to the learning objectives. They can be used as “openers” to engage students in thinking together about course content, help students take risks during class discussion, work better together, and feel accountable for what happens in class.
Here are a few factors to consider when identifying suitable icebreakers:
- Minimal preparation time and ease of facilitation;
- Engages all the students at the same time;
- Involves getting students to move around the classroom (e.g. by getting up to talk to different people);
- Takes no more than 10-15 minutes;
- Involves students learning something about each other that they do not already know (e.g. names); and
- Does not require students to reveal aspects of themselves that they do not feel comfortable revealing.
- Teaching Essentials: Ice-breakers: Getting to Know Your Class (University of Toronto)